Here's grand scale summer entertainment, escape reading that men may like even better than women, in a romantic adventure novel built around the sea-rover, John Ward, hero of the Spanish wars, during the reign of the dour King James I. There is plenty of cloak and sword romance, battles and a duel on land, but this was no age of chivalry, but a sordid, noisome world with underworld life, where crime and vice flourished under gangster rule, while a strange king played politics with the Spaniards and signed away England's rights. Only the freebooters in the Mediterranean upheld the honor of the nation on the seas -- and one by one they were betrayed and hung as pirates. John Ward was their leader -- Boger was scarcely more than a lad when he enlisted to fight at his side both of them loved little Katle, but John found other attractions and Roger returned to win her in his own right. Good story telling; convincing characterizations, an authentic picture of the period, though -- quite frankly -- the deliberate use of the ""oant"" of the day interferred, for me, with the pace of the tale, and the hawdy undertones might give some conservatives pause.