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August 22 , 2007

Prince of the Atlantic


Here is a story true based on the real-life, extraordinary exploits of Captain Luke Ryan. It is an epic, little known story of adventure, war, heroism, love, intrigue and betrayal. Ryan, a common smuggler, turned to privateering and ultimately inflicted more damage on the British Navy during America’s War of Independence than his more famous counterpart, John Paul Jones. This brilliant, fearless and flamboyant soldier’s story is told in three books: Gather the Shadowmen (The Lords of the Ocean), Prince of the Atlantic and Napoleon’s Gold.

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In Gather the Shadowmen, as the brutal war between the American Colonies and Great Britain drags on, a 25 year old Irishman named Luke Ryan is the master of the Black Prince, the fastest ship on the water. Ryan runs a very profitable smuggling trade between Dunkirk and Dublin and is indifferent to the war until one day the British seize his ship and rich cargo and toss his men into Dublin’s notorious Black Dog. By luck, Ryan is on shore and avoids capture but he is ruined. Instead of fleeing though, Ryan sets out to break his men out of jail and then he intends to retake his ship. His daring plan succeeds but he and his crew have now committed piracy and they will all hang for it if caught. But Ryan has another plan. The Irishmen quickly set sail and head for France - to offer their services to an American named Benjamin Franklin…

In Prince of the Atlantic, the American’s are losing their life and death struggle against Great Britain for independence and they are losing badly. Their rag-tag armies are in retreat. Their small navy has been swept from the seas. The fate of a fragile nation, the fate of the Revolution, hangs by a thread. In walks Ryan with his fast ships and iron men eager to fight the British for their own reasons. Before the Irishmen are finished, they will capture or destroy over 100 British ships, take hundreds of prisoners and invade a number of English and Scottish towns - tying down precious military resources and causing a financial panic in London. Ryan’s two year reign of terror abruptly comes to an end after he is betrayed. He is taken to London in chains to be tried for treason and piracy in the same court where the infamous pirate Captain William Kidd was convicted 80 years before and then, like Kidd, he will hang…

In Napoleon’s Gold, Ryan is tried, convicted and then is sentenced to death. But an admirer of the young mariner, the Queen of France herself, Marie Antoinette, pleads for mercy. King George agrees to commute Ryan’s sentence to imprisonment. After the war, Ryan is released and returns to France but he has no ship, no crew and no money. Prospects seem grim until one day Ryan meets a promising entrepreneur named Joseph Bonaparte and his younger brother, a major in the French Army named Napoleon. The two ambitious brothers crave wealth and power and believe that, in Ryan, they have found a useful pawn…

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