He was the King of Pirates, and he ruled the waters surrounding the Florida coast... until an old man's gift let him live the life he had missed!
His name was Jose Gasparilla, and he was the self-proclaimed King of Pirates. He terrorized the waters around Florida, demanding tribute from every merchant ship he encountered. Riches flowed into his tiny island kingdom . . . and yet he longed for a life he could never have, for he had left his beloved Isabel behind in Spain. One day he would return to claim her for his bride, he knew, and she had vowed to wait for him.
When he captures a ship and discovers Isabel and her elderly husband aboard, he strikes a deal with the man who stole his bride. For Jose Gasparilla, it means a chance to regain the lost years of his life . . . to live his childhood again and pick a new path, in the Land Without Shadows...
James Branch Cabell (1897-1958)
James Branch Cabell was born in Richmond, Virginia, to an affluent and well-connected family. He was a well-regarded American fantasy author who mostly wrote mannered and witty fantasies set in a "land of fable" Europe, the largest body of which he assimilated as episodes in the Biography of the Life of Manuel. Although now largely forgotten by the general public, his work was remarkably influential on later authors of fantasy fiction. James Blish was a fan of Cabell's works, and for a time edited Kalki, the journal of the Cabell Society. Robert A. Heinlein was greatly inspired by Cabell's boldness, and originally described his famous book Stranger in a Strange Land as "a Cabellesque satire."