Highlights from the first 100 reviews


As there are now around 100 written reviews for Slave to Fortune on Amazon and Goodreads, I thought I’d share a few highlights – featuring the different aspects of the book that readers have commented on.

Most of the reviews have been very positive (thanks!). There have been a few critical ones too: one reviewer thought that the writing was too old-fashioned; another thought the writing was not old-fashioned enough. A couple of reviews clearly wanted more blood and gore. And one recommended that readers should read some racist books instead!

The following is a selection of reviews, grouped around a number of themes. For each theme, I’ve attached links to the relevant information on the novel’s website so you can find out more.

General praise

I am so glad to have found this book!!!! It is by far the best book I have read and I don’t say that lightly. Full of historical facts and a little fiction as well. Buy the book, you will be glad you did!!! Chris Gordon, Washington State, USA (on Amazon.com)

A very rare gem for all readers. This book really is excellent. I read a couple of books each week and I’ve not come across such a quality read since the Aubrey/Maturin series years back. – Rog, Nottingham (on Amazon.co.uk)

One of the best books I have read. This book made me realize what modern man has lost, mainly the ability to make the best of extremely difficult times and how these difficult times that may come your way are real opportunities for growth and knowledge, let alone gaining the ability to survive. – B Kiper (on Amazon.com)

Excellent read, one of the best books I’ve read. – Alison A. (on Amazon.co.uk)

Probably one of the best books I have read. Full of historical fact (as well as a good dose of fiction) – Dave, Bristol (on goodreads.com)

Very good story, well written with perfect grammar & a complete absence of spelling mistakes, or typos; quite a rare occurrence in Kindle books. Tom’s adventures are stirring and exciting in something of a “Boy’s Own” style. I think this book would likely appeal to the younger reader. I am an older reader & also enjoyed it very much. I liked the historical references at the end of the book & appreciate the accuracy of the settings. B Jarvis, El Salvador (on Amazon.com)

I couldn’t put this book down. Though it’s not my usual era or genre of book, once I opened it I was hooked. – Mrs S Wilby (on Amazon.co.uk)

Great book, interesting and informative. Followed his adventures as if I were there. Read it twice and could not put the book down. John225 (on Amazon.com)


Probably one of the best books I have ever read on galleons and pirates with lots of twists in the plot. The splendour of Algiers, Malta and Venice skilfully captured… A whirl-wind ride of well researched historical facts that you don’t normally hear about in countries not many of us have had the chance to visit. – J Seifert (on Amazon Australia)

If you are the type of person who wants to know what is over the next hill, around the next corner or what lies beyond the sun set each day this book if for you. I am that type of person, and I guess that is why I served in the U.S. Navy many years ago. So I could see those foreign ports and cities I had only read about. I got to see a lot of them and now 50 odd yrs. later that desire still burns within me. GREAT BOOK. – Everett S. (on Amazon.com)

Best book for me this year and I read three books a week. Now and again you find a book that takes over your life and you can travel the world whilst sat in your favourite chair. This for me was such a book. – mash, (on Amazon.co.uk)

I enjoyed being part of the story as our hero was abducted, sold into slavery, learned to live in another culture, mixed with pirates and villains. The stories flowed well together and reminded me of the serials I would watch at the Saturday morning cinema when I was lucky enough to go. Definitely worth the 6d I paid. This book was likewise great value. I’d recommend it wholeheartedly. The places described spring to life in your imagination and you find yourself running down the old streets and sitting in the old inns. The story continues through many challenges and the heroes and villains portrayed appear vividly almost as if they are real. A fantastic read, thank you. – R. Sk. (on Amazon.co.uk)

Excellent book very enjoyable and I hope for more. Great read, engaging and it put me in Venice Italy in the period like I was standing there. Great book! L.V. Tremmel (on goodreads.com)

Isle of Wight







A great swashbuckling story, full of exciting sword fights and sea adventures. The author brings this book to life with great description of sea battles, but also keeps the reader wanting to turn the page to find out who the hero’s real enemies are. Excellent historical fiction. Plain Jane (on Amazon.co.uk)

This is an excellent book. A great adventure story, meticulously researched and written and with fascinating period detail. Really enjoyed it! A Stubbs (on Amazon.co.uk)

Wonderful first person narrative of Tom Cheke during the 1600’s. Kidnapped from his home on the Isle of Wight, slave in Algiers and then rescued by Edward Hamilton, a Knight of St. John. This is his story and a good un. Barry, NY (on goodreads.com)

One of the best adventure books I’ve read in a long time. You never know where the story is going to take you from one chapter to the next. Lots of plot twists and turns. Mystery, intrigue and close calls around every corner. It’s very well written and until I looked up the author, I really believed it was someone writing from the 1600’s. Well worth the read for anyone. Garpwarp (on Amazon.com)

DSCF0102Glimpses into life in 17th century England





Crescent Moon - High ResShips that feature in Slave to Fortune






A worthwhile read and future classic. I picked up Slave to Fortune and couldn’t put it down. The characterization is first rate, the plot riveting with interesting and unexpected ups and downs. You see the growth of the main character Tom Cheke from a scared boy to a man of the world. If you are looking for not just a good read; but a book with some lessons you can use in your own life, I highly recommend Slave to Fortune.- S J Tonissen, Chicago (on Amazon.com)

An excellent tale of a young English boy kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1600’s. He becomes a textbook example of “Stockholm Syndrome” when he develops a psychological alliance with his master… Strong character development and a good, fast read that left me wanting more from this author. Cisco Kid, (on Amazon.com)

I recently bought a Kindle Fire to read books. This was the first book I got. I loved it. I spent more time reading this book than I did playing my also recently bought PS4. The book starts off fast, intense and dramatic. DJ does a great good keeping the reader engaged. I especially enjoyed references to historical figures within the book that I could highlight on my tablet and get a quick Wikipedia read on. (Amazon customer on Amazon.com)

Very well done. The protagonist is a likeable boy placed in a perilous predicament. We see him grow into a likeable man determined to make the best of things. I especially enjoyed the character of Edward Hamilton, knight of the Order of St. John. Ronin (on Amazon.com)


Murat Rais (also know as Jan Janszoon)

Antoine de Paule, Grand Master, Order of St John

Charles Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua etc

Cardinal Richelieu


Politics and Religion

An exciting and insightful account of piracy, slavery and of politics in the Middle East and Europe. The author is appropriately respectful of Islam and gives a kindly description of the many good things he recognizes therein. He shows a sound understanding of the perils of currency debasement and the evils of inflation. Being set in a time and place remote from the modern Western World makes the lessons in finance easier to comprehend. This work is much more than a novel in the style of Daniel Defoe or Robert Louis Stevenson; but it is also a great read. John F (on Amazon.com)

Thought provoking. I’m not religious. As such I always worry when reading a book that deals with religion because they are usually so biased. But I believe slave to fortune brought justice to both religions. It shows the all too clear nature of humanity and that there is a lot of good and evil on both sides of the fence. Asteria (on Amazon.com)

Holy War

Holy War: a message for our time





A Spanish treasure ship, a bullion fraud and a 17th century monetary crisis





osj banner

The Knights Hospitaller – Order of St John