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Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow

The Adventures of Jack Sparrow is a series for young readers of nine to twelve years written by Rob Kidd. The series is published by Disney Press and was written to go with the Pirates of the Caribbean films. The events in the series take place before the events in the movies. The books are about Jack Sparrow's teen years before he becomes a pirate.

Settings

Tortuga, Dead Aztec City, Mermaid Kingdom, Isla Esqueletica, Yucatan Peninsula, New Orleans and Isla Hermosa (so far in the book).

Characters

  • Captain Jack Sparrow- An adolescent stow-away (not yet a pirate) with an unknown past. In the books, he is depicted as more of an adventurer than a pirate. He is the Captain of the Barnacle. He, Arabella, and Fitzwilliam are all presumed to be in the fourteen to fifteen year age range (referenced upon meeting Jean and Tumen, "The two of them were a few years younger than Jack.") He seems to be the only one who can bring sense upon Arabella, whom he seems to have somewhat of a crush on. When he wants to make a point clear, he says "savvy", which he seems to have picked up from his dad (as Fitzy said in book 10 "you two are related"). He constantly flirts with anyone, even when in danger, often winking at some girl when he brags. Fitzwilliam and Jack fight over everything especially over who gets to be with Arabella at parties and such, often both of them lose because of her saying she can handle herself or by her going with someone else, like Jean. Jack sometimes has a soft spot for Jean although he has an intense hate for his shipmate's cat-turned sister. Jack has long dark hair, minus dreadlocks although he did get two beads in the fourth book, and tanned skin. In the tenth book Jack's unknown childhood is reviled: he really never knew who his mother was, or if Teague was really his father. He grew up in Shipwreck Cove with the rest of his family and had the most problems with his Grandma, who likes to show her love by giving him pain.
  • Fitzwilliam P. Dalton III - A young British aristocrat tired of his rich and pampered life-style and so joins Jack's crew in the first book. Jack never wanted Fitzwilliam to be in his crew, but he was forced to after losing a duel. Ever since this event they've hated each other. He and Jack share a love/hate friendship; the sarcastic quips between the two accounting for much of the humor in the series. He gets angry when Jack Sparrow takes his pocket watch (which could stop time and reverse time- book 8 and 9) or spyglass (which Jack ended up keeping). It is revealed in the tenth book that he was really working for the Navy so Jack would help them find Teague. He is also the older cousin of James Norrington by about ten years. In the earliest illustrations, he was shown to have brown hair, but from City of Gold and on, he has light hair. He often fights with Jack over him being a captain and constantly reminds him that he is as much of a captain as their little fishing boat is a pirate ship. Jack gave him the nickname "Fitzy". The name "Fitzwilliam" translates to "Bastard Son of William."
  • Arabella Smith- An adolescent barmaid being raised by her drunkard father who owns a tavern in Tortuga. Her mother was kidnapped by pirates and thought to be dead until book five. At times the rest of the crew fought for her attention but she never had a serious romance with any of them. Arabella is known to have a very retentive memory and is a walking encyclopedia of random facts ranging from history, to current events, to legend and lore from all over the world. She has tousled auburn hair and bites her bottom lip when uncomfortable or worried. She often showed signs of affection towards Jack, who often calls her Bell, lass, or love. (from Vol. 3- "Don't call me Bell! You only call me that when you want something.") She speaks very much like a pirate but she is much too clean to be one. Despite the awkward reunion between her and her mother, Arabella loves her very much, and when it was still believed that Laura was dead, Arabella, threw herself overboard in an attempted suicide so that she would be with her mother. She is dating Bootstrap in "Poseidon's Peak." Both this, and the fact that The Secret Files of the East India Trading Company mentions that she "is an accomplished pirate herself, ...daughter of a pirate, wed a pirate, and is mother to a pirate," point to that fact that she may be Will Turner II's mother.
  • Jean Magliore- A thirteen year old boy from New Orleans, he often spouts French phrases. Tia Dalma turned his sister into a cat. Jean should also be noted for his irresistible love for food and (humorously) bad table manners. He has a liking for Arabella and even went as her partner to Turmen's tribe's celebration. He never trusts Jack with Constance.
  • Constance Magliore- She was turned into a cat by Tia Dalma. It is unknown at this time if she will ever be a human again. A main source of humor is her catlike viciousness towards Jack and the crew members. She gets along with Jean, naturally with him being her brother. It is shown she acts quite like a girl, often flirtatious towards Jack. Ironically, the cure to her becoming human again was given to Jack who never handed it over, thinking it was just junk.
  • Tumen- A Mayan from the Yucatan sold into slavery by pirates. At some point, he met Jean and his cat-sister and the two became best friends.
  • Captain Torrents- A vicious pirate captain with the ability to control storms that Jack and his crew faced in the first book. He comes back in "Dance of the Hours."
  • Left Foot Louis- Notorious pirate with two left feet that kidnapped Arabella's mother and also searched for the Sword of Cortés. He was almost killed by Arabella when she took his sword.
  • Hernan Cortez- A Spanish conquistador. His ghost appears in the third book.
  • Moctezuma- The former Aztec emperor. His spirit battles the ghost of his sworn enemy Cortéz.
  • Madame Minuit- A powerful and seductive creole witch from New Orleans, Jean's hometown, with the power over snakes. She stole a magical amulet from Turmen's people, resulting in the blame placed on him and exile from his own people.
  • Tim Hawk- A young boy who was under the control of Madame Minuit but later turned against her in The Age of Bronze and joined the Barnacle 's crew. He is a parody to Jim Hawkins, the adventurer character from the famous pirate-based novel, Treasure Island.
  • Laura Smith- Notorious pirate who is also Arabella Smith's mother. She was thought to be dead after being kidnapped by pirates. She returns in the 5th book. She seems to have a very bad relationship with her daughter, Arabella, as the two are constantly arguing. Like her daughter, Laura has a habit of biting her bottom lip.
  • Mr. Silverback- Strange pirate of the ship, Fleur de la Mort. He has a crystal leg and tooth (which enables strange powers.) He is also somehow linked to the Sun and Stars Medallion. For a time, he possessed the Silver bullet.
  • Tia Dalma- A powerful voodoo priestess and old acquaintance of Jack Sparrow. She has an unknown relationship with Jean and Constance, though it is known that Tia Dalma did turn Constance into a cat, so they most likely have a lot of tension. She said that Constance was very bad in a past life.
  • Davy Jones- A mighty heartless, immortal seaman and ruler over many siren and mermaid kingdoms in the ocean. He wants Fitzwilliam's pocket watch because it has complete power over time when the "crown" (an item that lets you set the time) appears. The only person to be unaffected by its power is the one who held it when the "crown" last appeared.
  • Mr. Reece- The first mate of Laura Smith. He is blue-eyed and wears a red bandanna like Jack. He never lets Laura down. He is also quite handsome and a skilled fighter.
  • Captain Teague Jack's father and the Captain of the Misty Lady. Calls Jack by the name "Jackie", and is Keeper of the Pirate Code.
  • Billy Turner- He later becomes "Bootstrap" Bill Turner. He makes his first appearance in "Poseidon's Peak." He and Arabella are in love.

Ships

  • Barnacle A battered old fishing ship, captained by Jack Sparrow who found it on Tortuga. The vessel has a box with some crudely made swords.
  • Grand Barnacle The Barnacle was temporarily transformed into a grand galleon by the ghost of Cortez. It was, at the time, the most powerful ship in the Caribbean. It only required a crew of one so long as the person had the Sword of Cortez.
  • La Fleur de la Morte A pirate ship, captained by Laura Smith. It has magical blue sails that render the ship invisible.
  • Cutlass A pirate ship captained by the horrible Left-Foot Louis, who eventually loses his position as captain and becomes a crew member of the La Fleur de la Morte. Its current whereabouts are unknown.
  • The Flying Dutchman A legendary ghost ship commanded by Davy Jones.
  • Misty Lady Captain Teague's majestic pirate ship makes its first appearance in Sins of the Father

Magic Items

  • The Sword of Cortez The magic sword of Cortez with which he conquered the Aztecs. The blade possessed the ability to do many destructive things.
  • Stone Eye Sam's Stone Eye The round stone eye of the famous pirate. It served as a prison for the Aztec spirits.
  • The Stars and Sun Medallion A special medallion that had the ability to bring about the city of gold. The process involved fitting the Bronze, Silver, and Gold gems into their slots in that order.
  • Fitzwilliam's Pocketwatch It has the power to stop and reset time. It is strongly desired by Davy Jones.
  • Poseidon's Trident The powerful trident of Poseidon, god of the sea. He who possesses it can control the seas and the all creatures who live in it, except the blue tailed "Scaly-Tails."

Plot / Summary

The Coming Storm

Release Date: June 1, 2006 (USA) In the beginning Jack is in a Tortuga tavern, looking for his satchel, which has been stolen. He thinks he has found it under the seat of a notorious pirate Torrents, who catches Jack stealing. In the ensuing bar fight, Jack slips out, only to find out that the satchel isn't his. This one contains, among various personal items, the magical sheath for the Sword of Cortés. The barmaid, Arabella, who pulled Jack out of the fight, makes this discovery with him. They plan together to a ship to go look for the storied Sword of Cortés, and reunite it with its sheath. Arabella directs Jack to an abandoned ship, the Barnacle. Before they leave Tortuga, a strong young boy, Fitzwilliam P. Dalton III, insists on joining them for their quest. The three sail for many days and come upon an island, where they meet two twelve year old boys, Jean and Tumen, and Jean's cat-turned-sister Constance. Jack remarks about The Sword of Cortés, and Jean and Tumen lead the crew to a 'dead' city on the cursed island. Inside the main building of the city, the crew find the skeleton of the city's king, Stone-Eyed Sam, who is said to be holding the Sword, but it is missing. Jack pockets the fabled stone eye of the now-dead former pirate king as a souvenir. The crew find left footprints on the ground, and soon realize that the notorious pirate, Left Foot Louis, has it. They all go rushing to the Barnacle, when they suddenly come face to face with Torrents, a crew member of the feared Davy Jones's crew. They all battle on the beach, for who would get the Sword of Cortés's sheath, and Jack eventually defeats Torrents and escape on the Barnacle.

It is revealed in this book that Jack knew Benjamin Franklin, and taught him the secrets of electricity.

The Siren Song

Release Date: June 1, 2006 (U.S.A.) Then, after many days at sea, the crew of the Barnacle begin to act very strange after hearing a phantom-esque song floating over the waves. Each crew member wants to take the Barnacle in a different direction and away from the Sword's location. Jack seems unaffected by the Song, and wonders what is afoot. He is then taken deep below the ocean, after strange creatures start attacking the Barnacle and confronted with antagonist mermaids in an undersea mermaid kingdom. Jack says that he and his crew are after the Sword of Cortés. The mermaids then make a deal with Jack that when the crew eventually gets the Sword, they would have to return to the mermaid kingdom and give them the thing Jack values most. (Although they state that it is not physical treasure.) He also gives them the stone eye - which he does without thinking. Jack is then set free and his crew goes back to normal. It is a little while later, Jack realizes to his horror that the thing he values most is his freedom. (He has essentially sold himself to the Sirens.)

The Pirate Chase

Release Date: August 1, 2006 (U.S.A.) In the beginning, Jack and company spot the island of Isla Esqueletica, and stop there. The village on the island seems to be abandoned- until they find Left Foot Louis, and two of his pirates. The Barnacle 's crew and Left Foot Louis all get into a fight, and in the end of the battle, Arabella grabs the Sword from Louis, and accidentally invoking its power, makes Louis evaporate. Arabella is devastated, claiming she killed him, but was brought to sense by Jack and Fitzwilliam (Tumen and Jean only made things worse).Jack, Arabella, and the others, are shocked, but are relieved that their greatest foe is gone. Jack then reunites the Sword with its sheath, and after reciting a spell, the sword's previous owner - a very dead Hernan Cortés appears before them.

The Sword of Cortés

Release Date: October 1, 2006 (U.S.A.) After suddenly confronting Cortés himself, Jack is tutored by Cortés on how to use the sword. Strangely, snow begins to fall on the Caribbean island. Tumen becomes very sick, and becomes worse by the minute. Jack, taken in by the power of the sword, begins abandoning his friends to learn how to control the power by Cortés. It is revealed that the sword needs to be by the eye of Stone-Eyed-Sam to work at maximum power- the very same eye that Jack had carelessly given to the mysterious Sirens just days prior. So, after returning to the Sirens, and single-handedly defeating a terrible beast of theirs, Jack reclaims the eye and returns to the snow-covered island; where Jack's crewmembers and friends attempt to stay warm in the deserted village. Jack soon realizes that Cortés was merely using him, and intends to reclaim his former sword. In a tragic turn of events, Tumen dies from his mysterious illness. From inside beads given to Jack by Tia Dalma, comes the spirit of Montecuhzoma, who battles Cortés to the (re)death. Jack uses the power of the sword one last time to bring the villagers back, and Tumen is miraculously revived. The crew decides to go to Tumen's village in the Yucatan, as he has not been to his home since he was sold into slavery.

It is also note-worthy that Jack has braided his first dreadlock into his hair - first step in becoming the notorious pirate.

The Age of Bronze

Release Date: December 1, 2006 (U.S.A.) After everything the Barnacle 's crew had gone through with the Sword of Cortés, they decide to stop at Tumen's home village on the Yucatan Peninsula. A day later, one of the village's charmed amulets goes missing- and the crew are the main suspects. They are banished from the island, and decide to go searching for the real thieves. Along the way they confront a bronze ship - with bronze people who had been frozen by the metal. Then, the next day they arrive at the city of New Orleans, and find the true thieves in a hotel- Madame Minuit, and a young boy. The crew battle Madame Minuit for the amulet, and for some reason the boy turns against her and slows her down, allowing the Barnacle 's crew to escape with the amulet. (In the fight, Jack is accidentally smacked in the mouth with the amulet, turning some of his teeth to bronze- explaining their current condition in the films.) They all reach the Barnacle and quickly set sail. The crew then find the boy on the ship, who reveals his name as Tim Hawk, who then reveals that Madame Minuit forced him to turn the earlier encountered ship into bronze, and that she had treated him like her slave for many years and wanted to escape. Jack then agrees to let Tim join the crew. A few minutes later, another ship comes alongside the Barnacle- and on the ship is Arabella's mother, living the life of a pirate alongside an old enemy, Left Foot Louis, who is cursed to work for her crew for eternity. Arabella is reunited with her mother.

Silver

Release Date: February 1, 2007 (U.S.A.) After coming ship to ship with the Fleur de La Mort, the crew of the Barnacle is forcibly brought onto the ship by Laura Smith, Captain of the ship (Also Arabella's mother.) There the Barnacle 's crew discover a new and powerful enemy, Mr. SilverBack, and also the Barnacle 's old enemy, Left Foot Louis. They both erupt into a fight when the Barnacle's crew comes aboard their ship (because Louis wants to kill them all.) They are then both sent belowdeck for fighting by Laura Smith. Jack is very suspicious of Louis and SilverBack, so he sneaks belowdeck and finds out that the two pirates are planning mutiny against their captain. And most of the crew is on their side. Jack immediately warns the captain and his friends of this plan, but is too late. All the pirates on deck erupt in battle against the Barnacle 's crew and Laura Smith. Eventually, they win, and tie up the mutinied pirates. Jack was fighting SilverBack in the battle, and found out he had the silver gem which fit into the medallion he had. So he yanks it out of SilverBack's hand. Strangely, SilverBack and Louis suddenly disappear. Arabella walks over to her mother and begin to talk about what happened in their pasts, which soon turns into a big fight. Jack and the crew then quietly sneak into the captain's cabin where he fitted the silver gem into the medallion. After a fierce fight then afterwards, Laura storms into the cabin finding Jack and his crew. She tells him to leave the ship immediately. Jack enthusiastically agrees and goes over with his crew to the Barnacle. Arabella goes over too but is stopped by her mother. Then she cuts all the ropes tying the Fleur and the Barnacle together free. After that it is found out that the silver gem fitted in the medalion has turned Jack's Bronze tooth Silver.

City of Gold

Release Date: March 1, 2007 (U.S.A.) City of Gold is basically one big continuation of Silver- lots of fight sequences and hostage-passing back and forth. Jack fights Madame Minuit in a final showdown- barely escaping with his life, but victorious nonetheless. At the end of the book, it takes a twist ending with all of Jack's crewmembers/friends going back to their respective homes- save Fitzwilliam, ironically. He and Jack banter back and forth about Fitz's watch, when, in another dramatic twist, the fearsome Davy Jones surfaces beside the Barnacle and demands it.

Note: Some of Jack's teeth, previously turned to bronze in the previous story, permanently turn gold when the gems of the Suns-and-Stars are knocked out. This is yet another of his now-famous traits as a pirate.

The Timekeeper

Release Date: July 31, 2007 (U.S.A.)Jack's got something Davy Jones wants... nope, it's not his soul. It's a very special pocket watch with unique properties. This watch has the power to affect time itself! Jack accidentally pressed down on the watch's crown, freezing time. He ties Fitzwilliam to a totem pole and rows to shore of a nearby island. Reactivating time, Jack and Fitz walked through the jungle and fall into pits, only to be rescued by Aztecs. They throw Jack and Fitz to a volcano and seal the way out. A sabertooth tiger suddenly leaps out at Jack as he freezes time once again. Finding a way out, he carries Fitz to the exit and unfreezes time. Suddenly the volcano erupts and Jack and his friend jump from tree to tree, finding a palace. Inside, Jack and Fitz suddenly fall through the floor, revealing they had been there before, on their first adventure. Finding Jack and Fitzwilliam, the natives take them to a throne room, where they find Stone Eyed Sam. Jack and Fitz hold the watch and freeze time, escaping Sam's power with the Sword of Cortes. Fitz sees pterosuars and they realize the watch is doing more than freeze time!

Dance of the Hours

Release Date: September 25, 2007 (U.S.A.)While trying the keep the mysterious pocket watch out of the hands of their enemies, Jack and Fitzwilliam have unlocked another one of its powers: Time travel. Who knows where or when they're going to turn up! Jack and Fitz run into Torrents, who they had marooned on the island in vol. 1. He hurls them to a volcano using waterspouts and the creature Chancito comes out saying they have till midnight to put things right. Jack and Fitzwilliam are captured by Davy Jones and run into Tia Dalma on the Flying Dutchman, who then helps them ecsape. Jack is told that the pocketwatch must be put on the hand of someone who doesn't belong in his time. He enters a battle with Torrents and Stone-Eyed Sam and puts the watch on Sam's wrist. At the last second, Dalma pulled the watch from Sam and everything reverts to normal. Chancito tells Dalma she will remember something and both disappear. Jack sees a mysterious pirate flag and says they have to leave. Fitz puts his sword to Jack's back and reveals he was undercover for the Navy the whole time so Jack would lead them to Teague.

Sins of the Father

Release Date: December 18, 2007 (U.S.A.) Fitzwilliam P. Dalton III is really working for the Royal Navy as a spy and has led Admiral Lawrence Norrington and the whole Royal Navy, to Jack and his father, Captain Teague (Keeper of the Code), himself. Jack and his father are taken off of Teague's ship, The Misty Lady, and sent to the brig of Norrington's ship. Aboard the ship is a rum-lover and ally of Teague's, Joshamee Gibbs. He frees Jack, Teague, and his crew. Jack boards the Barnacle to take off a Royal Navy flag and to sail away when Fitzwilliam shows up and they then battle rapidly back and forth. When Jack finally wins, he's about to kill Fitzy when his father stops him. Then the Royal Navy wakes up and begins to attack The Misty Lady. Meanwhile, Fitzwilliam somehow follows Teague's commands and the three of them end up on the Admiral's ship once more. The aristocrat then turns in Teague and Jack, who are hiding behind barrels. A fight breaks out between the two crews and Jack and Fitzy take at it one more time. Teague and the Admiral fight and when Teague successfully knocks down the Admiral, his son, James Norrington, is frightened and backs up only to fall overboard. Teague rescues James and his father chastises him about being saved by a pirate. Teague tells Jack the Fitzy only did as he was told because of the ring that makes anyone do anything you'd like. He gives Jack the ring and then takes him to Isle Hermosa. In the story's epilogue, Jack gets a new boat, only large enough for one or two people, and sets sail for a new treasure.

Poseidon's Peak

Release Date: April 29, 2008 (U.S.A.) After acquiring a new boat, Jack sets off to find the fabled Poseidon's Peak and the treasure it holds. He arrives on a deserted island and runs into an sailer who is badly hurt and has amnesia. Following a night of fitful dreams the sailor remembers that his name is Bill and the two of them trek inland to find any clues to where Poseidon's Peak might be. Before long the two are captured by the natives, with Bill inexplicably able to translate what they're saying and are challenge to fight for their lives. Jack cheats and the both of them run into someone very familiar, Constance Magliore, who the natives worship since she swam out of the sea. After getting away from the natives, Jack has the idea of lashing logs together to make a raft to escape the island and while they search, they unearth a chariot covered in sea life. They get on the chariot and it prompt takes them out to sea where the jump off it before it submerges and end up on a small rock in the middle of the ocean. Jack, in a fit of anger, tosses Constance off the rock which causes her to lead them to an underwater cavern. Constance proceeds to lead them through tunnels that seem to go in circles until Jack meets a group of people that are very familiar to him, the former crew of the Barnacle (sans Fitzwillim), along with Arabella's mother and her crew. Jack is especially glad to see Arabella but is dismayed when she runs up and kisses Bill who has regained the rest of his memories and says that he was rescued by Captain Smith's ship sometime after they had split from Jack. Not to long after this, a group of mermaids, of a higher level than the ones Jack has met before, ask them to keep the items belonging to Poseidon (his trident and chariot) away from Davy Jones who would use them to manipulate their kind. Shortly after the request, an unwanted face shows up riding the chariot and wielding Poseidon's trident, Captain Torrents.

Bold New Horizons

Release Date: July 29, 2008 (U.S.A.) In "Bold New Horizons," Jack meets up with his old crew and encounters the merfolk, once again. This time the merfolk need his help. But is Jack going to give it?

He finds himself trapped suddenly in a cavern with his old crew from the Barnacle and Capt. Laura Smith from the Fleur de la Mort. Now he has to try to find a way out. But, the mermaids, from "Siren's Song," are the only ones who can help and they won't unless Jack helps them get back Poseidon's Trident from the evil Capt. Torrents. From then on, it's a fight to the death- Jack and his crew get in a terrible fight with torrents, and its not likely that all them will come back alive. Jack's and his crew or the merfolk who are under control of Capt. Torrents. Leave it to Jack to save the day.

The Tale of Billy Turner (and other stories)

Release Date: January, 2009 (U.S.A.) Wonder what Jack's crew did aboard the Fleur de la Mort after leaving Jack and the Barnacle in City of Gold? Want to know how they met Billy Turner? This double-sized volume will tell that tale along with other rare or previously unpublished stories about young Jack and his crew. The book also includes an exclusive story that ties into the swashbuckling new series Legends of the Brethren Court.

Reception

Although aimed at a somewhat young age group, the book series has gained fair acclaim by critics and fans alike, especially in terms of storyline. They're noted for their spectacular illustrations, and creative integration between the stories told in the books, and the references to the movies. A fair share of readers agree that the stories are too short, but do make up in the number of volumes and their cheap price at only about five dollars.

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