Cinnamon and Gunpowder: A Novel by Eli Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"A gripping adventure, a seaborne romance, and a twist on the tale of Scheherazade—with the best food ever served aboard a pirate’s ship
The year is 1819, and the renowned chef Owen Wedgwood has been kidnapped by the ruthless pirate Mad Hannah Mabbot. He will be spared, she tells him, as long as he puts exquisite food in front of her every Sunday without fail.
To appease the red-haired captain, Wedgwood gets cracking with the meager supplies on board. His first triumph at sea is actual bread, made from a sourdough starter that he leavens in a tin under his shirt throughout a roaring battle, as men are cutlassed all around him. Soon he’s making tea-smoked eel and brewing pineapple-banana cider.
But Mabbot—who exerts a curious draw on the chef—is under siege. Hunted by a deadly privateer and plagued by a saboteur hidden on her ship, she pushes her crew past exhaustion in her search for the notorious Brass Fox. As Wedgwood begins to sense a method to Mabbot’s madness, he must rely on the bizarre crewmembers he once feared: Mr. Apples, the fearsome giant who loves to knit; Feng and Bai, martial arts masters sworn to defend their captain; and Joshua, the deaf cabin boy who becomes the son Wedgwood never had.
Cinnamon and Gunpowder is a swashbuckling epicure’s adventure simmered over a surprisingly touching love story—with a dash of the strangest, most delightful cookbook never written. Eli Brown has crafted a uniquely entertaining novel full of adventure: the Scheherazade story turned on its head, at sea, with food."
I normally don't read or review books of this genre but Eli Brown has written an adventure anyone who loves food, adventure, love and a little bit of murder will enjoy and I couldn't put it down.
The story begins in 1819 and Owen Wedgwood, a renown chef is kidnapped by Hannah Mabbot after she kills employer. Wedgwood is forced to cook a gourmet meal for Mabbot every Sunday with whatever is available on a pirate ship. In return Owen is allowed to live and stay on the ship. Throughout the journey Wedgwood develops relationships with other members on the ship and learns why Mabbot is so set on taking down the Pentelton Trading Company. Through intimate conversations and multiple failed attempts to escapes Owen learns there is more to Mad Hannah Mabbot then the stories he has heard.
The way Owen views food and his descriptions will leave anyones mouth watering. I enjoyed getting to know these characters even though you could meet a guy in one chapter and never hear about him again just as easily. This could be that many man are lost turing battles and no one is sure what happens to them, but the ones that stay with you pull the story together. Brown describes the tea and silver trading that also leads to England becoming rich because of opium. Now, everyone is going to have different views on any political topic whether it's a present topic or historical, But if you look at the over all story I think that anyone could enjoy this book.
From the beginning of the book I liked Hannahs character and as the story develops I grew to like her even more she has a wit about her and she can control a ship of mostly man pirates. She may act like one of the guys but she is also a women with a heart.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves food and pirate adventures.
I received this book form the publisher for my honest review.
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