The tiny nation of Swansgaard is a lovely place with abundant natural resources, including the royal family, which has been blessed with twelve daughters and a son. As this boisterous baker’s dozen approaches adulthood, the king and queen lovingly tell their daughters, “You must make your own fortune, for we cannot enrich you without impoverishing our people or leaving our lands defenceless, and that we will not do.”
Happily, the princesses of Swansgaard are eager to meet this challenge, for they yearn for adventures both near and far from home.
Clarice, an expert swordswoman, is the first to depart. Disguising herself as Clarence, she signs on for a voyage to the New World. The captain is vile and blackhearted, and the crew soon mutinies. Clarice becomes first mate – and finds her heart captured by the new captain, Dominick, who is, to his own surprise, increasingly attracted to Clarence.
Now outlaws, Dominick and his crew turn to piracy – though their hearts are not entirely in it. They soon run afoul of the Pirate Council, who orders them to retrieve the Heart of Light. All who have searched for this great treasure have vanished, with neither ships nor crews ever seen again and no sign of their fates ever discovered.
But none before have carried with them the sorceress Shamal, who stakes a claim of her own on Dominick’s heart.
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