When his mother goes missing, Max Daybreaker’s world is turned upside down. Luckily, a crew of Spice Pirates, led by the mysterious Captain Cinn, help Max on his dangerous mission across the three seas.
Along the way, an unlikely alliance aids in his search—a teenage warrior queen, a three-eyed seer, and an assassin spy.
Their journey takes them through treacherous lands while facing shapeshifting bears, an ancient witch, harpies, and the nightmarish Djinn, who will stop at nothing to enslave the world.
With every new challenge, Max unlocks the secrets of his unsettling past. Powers awaken within, forcing him to question everything he knows.
Is Max who he thinks he is? Only time and destiny will tell…
Title: Max and the Spice Thieves (Secrets of the Twilight Djinn, #1)
Author: John Peragine
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Publisher: Crumblebee Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
“Ye must be Master Max. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Cornelius Cinn—captain of the Saucy Pig—at your service.” Cinn took off his hat briefly and bowed.
I stood paralyzed.
“Yer Max . . . Max Daybreaker, right?” asked Cinn as he straightened and took a step closer.
“Uh, yes, sir. But my mom . . . she told me not to talk to strangers.”
“Yes, yes. Sage advice. Yer mom is a very sharp woman, Master Max,” he said, looking around. “Might ye know where she be?”
Before I could answer, I heard Tully nicker. The tallest and most powerful-looking man I had ever seen approached with Tully in tow. He wore a thick leather tunic, and his britches looked to be made from waxed sailcloth. He had a bald head, and his skin was the color of moonless midnight. He stood a good foot taller than Captain Cinn and was covered in thick muscles that looked like taut rope. I backed up in the wagon a bit and searched for anything I could use to protect myself.
“Oh, good show, Piers, good show. Any problems?”
“No, Captain,” Piers replied in a deep, rich voice.
“Well, Max, yer safe, and we have yer horse. Now, where be ye mother?” Cinn asked.
“You know my mom?” I squinted at Cinn. How could such a strange man know my ordinary mother?
“Aye. She was supposed to meet me at the Grog Blossom hours ago. A dreadful place that be. Their food is bland, makin’ me wonder if they cut old potatoes to look like fish. Awful, don’t ye think?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never eaten there,” I replied.
“Of course ye haven’t. That’s no place for a young boy. It’s full of all kinds of rogues, even . . . pirates.” Cinn grinned, showing his pearly-white teeth with a top front tooth capped in gold.
“Pirates, yes . . . Mom mentioned pirates. She said we were going to sail on a pirate ship.”
“She’d be correct. The Saucy Pig is the terror of the high seas, lad.”
I stepped off the wagon for a closer look at Cinn. “So, you’re a Spice Pirate?” I asked, looking him over.
“Aye, but don’t say that so loud,” whispered Captain Cinn. “I’ve a reputation to keep in these parts. I can’t be seen helping boys and their ponies. Why I’d be a laughingstock.”
I bristled, puffing up to show I wasn’t some little kid. I was almost thirteen, and though I didn’t have a beard yet, I was practically a man.
“I don’t know how much help I can be. Mom told me to wait for her, then she left. I knew I should have gone with her. She was meeting with a . . . Well, I guess she was meeting you. But that was hours ago when the sun was still down.”
Tears clouded my vision, and so I squeezed my eyes shut. The strange sensation I had felt earlier returned—a pressure under my ribs, except this time heat rose through the center of my body. It was as if I’d stepped out of the shade into direct sunlight—waves of energy pulsed through my arms and legs. My fear of losing my mother became desperate anger.
I opened my eyes to see Captain Cinn gripping his throat. His eyes were red and bulging, and his skin started turning a muddy purple.
About the Author
John Peragine is an author of over fourteen books. The Secrets of the Twilight Djinn series was written as a bedtime story for his son Max to cope with medical issues he was facing as a little boy. John is a full-time ghostwriter who lives with his son, wife, and a menagerie of animals on his vineyard overlooking the Mississippi River.