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Review of The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye by Briony Cameron

Where do I even start with this novel?!

I completely fell head-over-heels in love with Briony’s debut, The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye. I flew through the pages as if my ability to breathe depended upon it! Two weeks after reading the final page of what I think is one of my top reads this year, I can still feel the chilly sea breeze on my skin and smell the sea-salt in the air. I was swept away amongst the waves of the sea, and by Briony’s stunning writing.

The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye had everything that I was craving in an action fantasy: kick-ass female pirates, found family, revenge, and sapphic romance. We begin on the shores of Saint-Domingue in 1656 where we meet our heroine, Jacquotte Delahaye, as she prepares to be hanged. Jacquotte has become the name to fear, a female pirate driven by rage, revenge and romance - the perfect 3 Rs for these kinds of novels! The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye tells Jacquotte’s story from her origins on the island of Hispaniola, and the pain that drove her desire for revenge. Consumed by such a rage, not even the love of a good woman could allow Jacquotte to forget it. 

I love a strong female character and Jacquotte ticked all of the heroine boxes for me. Her ballsyness and tenderness, along with her found family and crew, had me crying, cheering and swooning. Briony’s ability to write captivating stories about complex three-dimensional characters with such depth is brilliant and empowering. I can’t stop thinking about this novel, the independent strength injected into each character, and obviously the LGBTQIA+ representation was chef’s kiss. Finally, thank you Briony for uncovering the story of Jacquotte Delahaye and sharing it with us all in such a fiercely perfect way. I could talk about this book forever. From the echoing themes of a patriarchy fearful of women’s strength, to the vividness of so many scenes, to the imagery, language, characters and so much more! This book has stolen my heart! 

Review by Danielle.

The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye was published on 06/06/24 by Piatkus.



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