The book opens with Captain Declan Ross, an honest pirate. He doesn't hurt those he steals from, he's got a system of honor, and his crew looks up to him. His daughter wishes to be an official crew member, but he won't have it. Trouble is, they're low on loot, and there's a leak in his ship that will cause it to sink... in a week.
So they go to an island, where they find a boy, brutally injured, with no clue of who he is. Declan Ross and his men take him aboard, where they name him Cat. Eventually, they sail to an island with some monks who know the secret of a treasure. The treasure is located on the Isle of Swords, which is, of course, not on any written maps.
But there's a catch: Bartholomew Thorne, the most ruthless pirate on the sea, is after the treasure too.
This book is perhaps the grittiest and most intense of Batson's work, and in my opinion better than the Disney movies. They're a departure from the traditional Hollywood pirates, and more real and compelling as a result.
Hey, it beats the Disney ride, too.