Jump to content

The Pirate of Souls - Upper Middle Grade Historical/Fantasy - Caroline Strong

Recommended Posts

The Pirate of Souls Pitch Document

The Pirate of Souls can stand alone, but it also the first installment of a planned historical/fantasy series.

Genre: Historical/Fantasy High Middle Grade

Book comps: The Traitor’s Blade by Kevin Sands (Book 5 of The Blackthorn Key series, Aladdin Books, 2021), Deeplight by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2019)

Media comps: Avatar: The Last Airbender, Pirates of the Caribbean

Hook: A 19th century abandoned boy joins a crew of sailor-magicians to rid the world of a legendary pirate sorcerer out to ravage Europe.

Word count: 62,700 words

Pitch: Thirteen-year-old Senan MacCulloch is starving and living alone on the streets of 19th century Portland, Maine. He won’t survive the approaching winter unless he can find a job.

One morning, British Captain Arthur Tremayne, a pirate hunter, finds Senan being berated by members of his crew for sleeping in their rowboat. When the captain discovers that Senan is half-fae with latent magical power, Tremayne offers him a position in his crew. There, Senan will help Tremayne make the Atlantic Ocean safer from bloodthirsty raiders.

Senan learns that the captain and his crew use magical weapons and potions to aid them in their travels and battles against pirates, sea monsters and wicked mermaids. Senan begins studying magic in addition to combat and seamanship. He comes to see Tremayne’s ship as his new home, and his shipmates as his new family.

Tremayne and his crew acquire a map from a ship they sink near North America which reveals the location of his ultimate adversary: Black Roy, a fae sorcerer-pirate who aims to drive all humans out of the United Kingdom. Senan and his motely shipmates are in for the hardest fight of their lives. He will do everything he can to help them prevail against Black Roy or die trying.

Alternate title options: Songs of the Mariners, The Mariner’s Tale, Tales of the Mariners



Chapter One
Come all you young fellows that follow the sea.


Am I going to die on that thing?” Senan wondered, riding with the mariners as they rowed back to their ship.

He did not have even a smidgen of professional sailing experience, and it was hard to avoid thinking of all the ways he could perish at sea. He could fall off a mast and break his neck. He could drown in a storm, be eaten by shark or get a horrible disease or infection, just to name a few.

Cut it out,” Senan scolded himself. “Be grateful. There’s no other choiceI’m no match for winter on the streets, so I’ll try the ocean.

Back on shore, Senan had no work, no home, and no family he knew of that cared about him. Winter in Portland, Maine, the city he had just left behind, was harsh and long. It was summer now, yet he was barely surviving without any shelter or reliable sources of food and fresh water. When he lifted his shirt, he could faintly see the outline of the underside of his ribcage through his skin. The arrival of winter would sentence him to death via exposure or starvation. The sooner he could chart a different course for himself, the better. Senan did not want to leave this world as a frostbitten corpse before he had gotten the chance to make something of himself. To find a purpose and claim a role in society on his own terms.  

And so, despite the fact that he had only met this crew of pirate-hunting mariners and their captain that very morning, Senan was now about to begin working as an apprentice sailor on board their ship. Said ship was a schooner named the Kelpie. She was named after the mystical water-horse of Scotland. These water-horses were said to by hypnotically beautiful, but also deadly. They would drown whoever had the audacity to touch them.

Personally, not the name I would have chosen for my ship,” Senan thought. “But what do I know?

The Kelpie had three masts, the foremast at the front, the mainmast behind it, and the mizzenmast at the rear. Each mast was the same height and had one large sail and a smaller topsail above it. There were four jib sails at the front of the boat, fastened to the bowsprit and the foremast. The Union Jack flag flew from the foremast, and an arrow-shaped weathervane was on top of the mainmast, with a crow’s nest directly beneath it.

A raging horse figurehead (or rather, a kelpie, Senan figured) was carved into the underside of the bow of the ship. Its nostrils were flared, and its mouth wide was open, revealing sharp teeth belonging to a carnivore. Its front legs were reared up, ready to crush anyone or anything in its way.

The ship was well-constructed and in excellent condition. But Senan was alarmed to see that it didn’t seem to have any cannons.

How does a pirate-hunting mariners’ ship survive with no cannons? What do they fight them with?” Senan asked himself.  

Well, there was yet another way Senan could perish at sea: murder at the hands of a pirate. He gulped and wiped his sweaty palms on his trousers.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 0
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



WTF is Wrong With Stephen King?

  • Create New...