Many male pirates have fared less well in stories than Grania O'Malley, 16th-century female swashbuckler, who is presented in a consistently glamorous, if not outright admiring, light. Although she is depicted as robber and murderer, these aren't shown to be negative traits; McCully (Little Kit, p. 228, etc.) merely concedes that O'Malley ""sided with the power of the moment, English or Irish, as long as it furthered her own purpose."" Ireland's travails at the hands of England are downplayed; without this background, readers may not comprehend O'Malley's political motives, only her marauding ones. The sweeping, entertaining narrative is accompanied by McCully's characteristically bold, beautiful paintings. In other words, readers old enough to grapple with the moral issues will love it.