Trade Wind Author:M. M. Kaye Hero Athena Hollis, a lovely Boston bluestocking with a long list of good intentions and a self-appointed mission to abolish slavery, visits her diplomat uncle and his family who are stationed in Zanzibar. In transit, there is a violent storm at sea and the unfortunate Hero is swept overboard only to be rescued by Captain Rory Frost, disreputabl... more »e scoundrel, privateer, slave trader, etc.. She is eventually returned to the bosom of her family, unscathed, but with a tremendous dislike of the Captain and his chosen profession.
This epic romance is chock-full of adventure and excitement - international politics, the slave trade, Arabian sultans and princesses, revolution, pirates, natural disasters, espionage and intrigue. Ms. Kaye's research, as always, is impeccable. Her characters are subtly developed, three dimensional and very believable. The love story is quite unique - outwardly the couple does not seem to be a "match made in heaven." However, the chemistry does work and the romance provides some unusual twists to the plot. There is a rape scene, as some reviewers have mentioned, but I don't think rape has been romanticized here. There is violence in the novel, as this is a historically accurate piece, about a place that has a violent history. The rape is not gratuitous nor is it graphic. The episode adds rather than detracts from the plot.
M. M. Kaye, the author of two historical novels, "The Far Pavilions" and "Shadow of the Moon," does not disappoint with "Trade Wind." Unlike her other books, which are set in India, this tale is told against the languid, sensuous, often savage beauty of 19th century Zanzibar - a lawless island paradise off the coast of East Africa.« less