Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing
Skulls & Crossbones is a collection for people who enjoy pirate stories. It contains twenty tales by different authors, many of whom have been published in other anthologies or who have books of their own. There is a biography of each author provided at the end of the book. The stories are arranged in chronological order ranging from Viking raiders to space marauders in the future and they vary in length, from five to eighteen pages. They demonstrate that the definition of a pirate is not standard as some of them feature blood-thirsty killers, some privateers and some characters who see piracy as a way to help people who are less fortunate. Happy endings are not guaranteed in these stories, but pirates seldom have happy endings.
One of the unique aspects of this book is that the stories don't vary in quality. Usually in an anthology, some stories are weak, some are strong and a lot fall in the category of alright. This book doesn't have any poorly written stories, but none of them stand out as especially interesting either. A couple of them are difficult to understand because they drop the reader into the middle of a story or make references to events that the reader has no knowledge of. One positive for the book is that it is well edited.
This is a perfect book for sitting on the night stand. You can read one story at a time and not have to worry about remembering plot points.