All Things End

The Family Sea — Tanith Lee
Piratica, book 3

Piratica-III

2007’s Piratica III: The Family Sea is the third and final volume in Tanith Lee’s Piratica series.

Former pirate turned privateer turned national hero Art Blastside has it all: fame, wealth, and family. If only she could be happy on land. If only she could stop doubting her husband Felix. If only Art could understand why it is she doesn’t love her daughter Africa.


Art and Felix’s comfortable life depends on Landsir Snargale’s protection. His exalted position at the admiralty (combined with Art’s popularity) allow Snargale to focus attention on Art’s career as bulwark of the Republic rather than on her days as a pirate. But there is nobody to protect Snargale. Scandal drives Snargale north of the border with Scotland. With him goes Art, Felix and Africa’s security.

Art is adept at landing on her feet. This time, as before, she finds opportunity. Erasmus Bagge would dearly love to acquire further knowledge of Parrot Island, about which Bagge knows far more than he is letting on. Just how far Bagge will go to get his hands on Art and her crew might surprise Art.

Felix for his part is offended that his wife should once again seek her fortune on the high seas rather than allowing him to support the family. He is pushing Art towards a choice she does not want to make: family or the life she wants and needs.

 ~oOo~

If there is one thing to be learned from this book, it’s that it is unwise to make someone choose between two alternatives unless you know which they will choose—or will be happy with either choice. Don’t make them choose and then pout because you didn’t get what you wanted.

The missing mother in this novel is Art herself. Even when she and Africa share a house, she can barely stand the baby. There’s no place for a baby in her adventures in France, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean. Felix’s comparatively sedate life seducing Scottish queens is a calmer setting for child-rearing.

It might have been comforting if Lee were to have ended the book on a lived-happily-ever-after note … but perhaps not as useful as the way the book did end. Some readers might be young people who will benefit from knowing that it’s not the end of the world if love doesn’t last forever or that not everyone is suited to be a parent. Nothing lasts, not even those things that seemed both eternal and necessary … but such change is not the end of the world.

This isn’t a happy or a comforting conclusion to the series, but it is an honest one. For some readers it could be just the book they need. For others … well, you know what to avoid.

Piratica III: The Family Sea is available here.


Title

Missing or dead mothers

Missing or dead fathers

The Birthgrave

1

1

The Storm Lord

1

1

Volkhavaar

2

2

Drinking Sapphire Wine

0

0

Night’s Master

2

1

Shadowfire

2

1

Death’s Master

3

3

Sabella

1

1

Day By Night

1

2

Silver Metal Lover

0

0

Delusion’s Master

1

1

Cyrion

0

0

Anakire

2

1

Sung in Shadow

1

0

The White Serpent

1

1

The Book of the Beast

0

1

Electric Forest

1

0

The Book of the Mad

1

2*

Lycanthia

0

0

A Heroine of the World

1

1

The Winter Players

0

2

Delirium’s Mistress

1

0

The Blood of Roses

2

1

Castle of Dark

1

0

Prince on a White Horse

0

0

Heart-Beast

0

0

Quest for the White Witch

1

0

Shon the Taken

0

0

Black Unicorn

1

1

Gold Unicorn

0

1

Dark Dance

1

1

Personal Darkness

1

1

Darkness, I

0

0

Wolf Tower

1

1

Faces Under Water

0

0

Red Unicorn

0

1

Saint Fire

1

0

A Bed of Earth

1

1

Louisa the Poisoner

2

1

Venus Preserved

1

2

Metallic Love

1

1

White as Snow

1

1

Mortal Suns

1

1

Piratica

1

1

Piratica II

0

0

Piratica III

1

0

46 books

40* absent mothers

34** absent fathers

* Includes one aunt.

** Includes one uncle.




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