The Angel's Command (Castaways of the Flying Dutchman Series #2) [NOOK Book]


Ben and his black labrador, castaways from the legendary ghost ship Flying Dutchman, swore never to go to sea again. But fate casts them adrift once more on a French pirate ship, with two villainous sea captains--and a ghost--in pursuit.

Ben and Ned, a boy and dog gifted with eternal youth ...

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The Angel's Command (Castaways of the Flying Dutchman Series #2)

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Ben and his black labrador, castaways from the legendary ghost ship Flying Dutchman, swore never to go to sea again. But fate casts them adrift once more on a French pirate ship, with two villainous sea captains--and a ghost--in pursuit.

Ben and Ned, a boy and dog gifted with eternal youth and the ability to communicate with one another nonverbally, encounter pirates on the high seas and rescue a kidnapped prince from a band of gypsy thieves.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In this Redwall Castaways novel, Ben and Ned continue their nautical adventures. As in Castaways of the Flying Dutchman (to which this is a stand-alone sequel), our 17th-century heroes sail from danger to danger. This episode finds the boy and his dog on board a Frenchman's pirate ship, pursued by not one but two hostile vessels -- a Spanish buccaneer and an English privateer. Even landfall brings them no rest. After they escape into the Pyrenees, they stumble into a pack of gypsy thieves. Superlative swashbuckling excitement.
Publishers Weekly
In this sequel to Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, young Ben and his faithful black Labrador, Ned, having escaped the ghostly ship's hellish curse but bound to wander the world for eternity lending a helping hand wherever needed, return for another spate of adventures. Once again, Jacques spins a rousing yarn that fairly bursts at the seams with exciting escapades, exotic locations, poems, shanties, treachery and derring-do as the heroes travel from the pirate-infested Caribbean to a cave awash with evil magic high in the Pyr n es. If Jacques piles it on a bit thick in what actually becomes two separate tales-one a sea voyage and the other an overland trek-the sheer storytelling vigor is hard to resist. The second half of the book proves especially enticing, when Ben and his dog, who communicate telepathically and whose affectionate sparring provides much of the book's spark, team up with a feisty gypsy girl and a young artist to save the long-lost son of a nobleman. As in all of Jacques's books, he conjures a colorful, fully realized world (particularly the gastronomic delights) and injects the pages with plenty of snappy repartee ("Cease cackling like a market goose, you old relic," the nobleman calls affectionately to his cook). Readers can once again take satisfaction in the fact that virtue is rewarded, evil-doers get their comeuppance and good triumphs over evil in Jacques's universe. All ages. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Ben and Ned, a Labrador, immortal refugees from the Flying Dutchman, must leave the Caribbean on the pirate ship La Petite Marie. They find themselves in the middle of a gripping sea chase, with two other pirate ships in pursuit. After many adventures at sea, Ben and Ned finally make it safely to France and begin a quest to find a nobleman's lost son. They meet Karay, a girl who uses keen observation to tell people's "fortunes" and Dominic, a very gifted artist. The four journey through the land, are captured by Gypsies, and free a man imprisoned in a bear suit. Alas, Ben and Ned can never stay in one place for long else their immortality is noticed and they must leave their good friends. This book is really two smaller, very different books. The first and second parts really have no relation to each other beyond the presence of Ben and Ned. They also have very different tones; the first a high-adventure sea story, the second a quest with more interesting characters. Part one might be a bit hard for someone unfamiliar with "sea lingo" to follow, but is exciting, nonetheless. Elliot's small black and white drawings sprinkled throughout the text add a unique flavor to this two-toned adventure story. 2003, Philomel,
— Amie Rose Rotruck
This charming yet haunting story of a boy and his dog, fated by an angel to wander the earth for eternity doing good deeds for others, will appeal to any reader looking for the next step after Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (Orchard, 1990/VOYA December 1990). Ben and Ned's plight is well detailed, entwining seemingly unconnected episodes into a single tale of their unending journey that will keep most teens interested. VOYA Codes: 3Q 4P M (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2003, Philomel, 372p,
— Ali Daniels, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-This installment in the series is not Jacques at his best. It is 1628, and Ben and his dog, Ned, have been charged by an angel to wander the world helping people. To aid them, they have been given the ability to communicate telepathically. Early in the book they point out to a French buccaneer, Raphael Thuron, that the Spanish pirate with whom he is gambling is cheating. After that, the captain keeps them close, for luck, as his ship, La Petite Marie, races away from the Spanish ship as well as an English privateer. Their story ends, at least for now, on a beach with a priest who is conveniently the younger brother of the now dead Thuron. When Ben presents him with the pirate captain's ill-gotten gains, the priest's days of worry about his "children" and the parish are ended. Another adventure, set in the mountains, is sandwiched in between the tavern in Cartagena and the beach. With the exception of the English privateer, the characters lack a distinctive voice, and the constant and secret wisecracking between Ben and Ned gets a little annoying. In addition, Jacques, who is usually so good with setting a scene and putting readers right into it, fails to capture life on a ship. There are guest appearances by the Flying Dutchman to add a level of spookiness, and the plot is almost nonstop action, with lots of swordplay, an avalanche, and a shark attack. A book for fans of the first "Dutchman" title.-Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Buccaneers and privateers, Carib hunters with poisoned darts, killer sharks, fiends, angels, and insane Captain Vanderdecken of the ghost ship Flying Dutchman converge in this rousing second installment in Jacques's Castaways of the Flying Dutchman (2001). Ben and his faithful black Labrador, Ned, the only two to escape Captain Vanderdecken's doomed ship in the first volume of the series, return to sail with buccaneer Captain Raphael Thuron, the terror of the Caribbean. The immortal duo, who communicate telepathically, continue the mission of the Angel of the Lord: "to do good and help others wherever the need arose." After swashbuckling adventures in the Caribbean and the sinking of Thuron's La Petite Marie, Ben and Ned find their mission: go to France, rescue the nephew of Comte Vicente Bregon of Veron, and help Father Mattieu, Captain Thuron's younger brother. Rescuing Adamo means entering the clutches of evil Maguda Razan in her caves in the Spanish Pyrenees, and a new round of adventures begins. Joining Ben and Ned are Dominic, the legendary Facemaker of Sabada, and Karayna, gypsy singer and accomplished pickpocket. Labyrinthine passageways, hideous tortures, the cobra-like Maguda, avalanches, and the help of new friends make this a faster-paced read than its predecessor. Jacques's formula works well again. Readers always know who the good and bad guys are, and vivid language, larger-than-life characters, and multiple story lines yield a sprawling, epic tale. Anyone, young and old, who enjoys being immersed in big, romantic adventures, will love this series. Young readers hooked by Jacques's storytelling magic in Castways and the Redwall series are destined to be readers for life.May his readers be legion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440621680
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/30/2004
  • Series: Castaways , #2
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 280,659
  • File size: 945 KB

Meet the Author

Brian  Jacques
"I sometimes think it ironic for an ex-seaman, longshoreman, truck driver,
policeman, bus driver, etc., to find success writing children's novels," says Brian Jacques (pronounced "Jakes"). Yet it is all too true. With the publication of his first
children's book in 1987, the award-winning Redwall, Jacques' fresh talent has received exceptional praise from reviewers in the United States and England. Newbery Award winner Lloyd Alexander called it "a fine work, literate, witty, filled with the
excitement of genuine storytelling. Young people will surely be captivated. I hope they give their elders a chance to share the delights."

A well-known radio personality in his native Liverpool--as well as an actor, stand-up comic, and playwright--Brian Jacques is the host of "Jakestown" on BBC Radio Merseyside. Ever the performer, Jacques is well-known for applying his acting and entertainment background to his lively presentations to legions of young fans at schools
across the United States and England.

Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool, England on June 15th, 1939. Along with forty percent of the population of Liverpool, his ancestral roots are in Ireland, County Cork to be exact.

He grew up in the area around the Liverpool docks. His interest in adventure stories began at an early age with reading the books of: Daniel Defoe, Sir Henry Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Thomas Malory, Robert Michael Ballantyne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Kenneth Grahame. He attended St. John's School, an inner city school that had its playground on the roof. On his first day at St. John's, at the age of ten, he had an experience that marked his potential as a writer. When given an assignment of writing a story about animals, he wrote about the bird that cleaned a crocodile's teeth. The teacher could not, and would not, believe that a ten year old could write that well. When young Brian refused to falsely say that he had copied the story, he was caned as "a liar". He had always loved to write, but it was only then, that he realized that he had a talent for writing.

Some teachers at St. John's proved to be good role models. As Mr. Jacques recalls:

"My favourite teacher was Mr. Austin Thomas. He looked like Lee Marvin. Big Man. A Captain in World War II. He came to school on a big bush bike with the haversack on back. He was a man's man. Always fair. I was fourteen at the time when Mr. Thomas introduced the class to poetry and Greek literature. (Because of him, I saved seven shillings and sixpence to buy The Iliad and The Odyssey at this dusty used book shop.)"

This interest in poetry extended to Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Goldsmith.
It was also at St. John's that Brian met a teacher, Alan Durband (who also taught two Beatles, Paul McCartney and George Harrison), who, more than thirty years later would bring about a major change in his life.

After Brian finished school at fifteen, he set out to find adventure as a merchant seaman. He travelled to many far away ports, including New York, Valparaiso, San Francisco, and Yokohama. Tiring of the lonely life of a sailor, he returned to Liverpool where he worked as a railway fireman, a longshoreman, a long-distance truck driver, a bus driver, a boxer, a bobby (Police Constable 216D), a postmaster, and a stand-up comic.

Penguin mourns the passing of celebrated children’s book author Brian Jacques


The drawings that open the chapters in a Redwall book may look sweet, but Brian Jacques' fantasies are not for the faint of heart. Adventure, peril, betrayal, and downright slaughter abound in these hefty novels about the creatures -- mice, hares, moles, badgers, and sparrows -- who inhabit Redwall Abbey in medieval England.

Brian Jacques has had a life nearly as exciting as that of some of his characters: After dropping out of school in his native Liverpool at the age of 15, he traveled the world as a merchant seaman, visiting ports from America to Asia. Upon returning to England, he held a wide variety of jobs, from railway fireman to boxer among them. In the 1960s, he and his two brothers formed the Liverpool Fishermen, a folksinging group. Jacques also tried his hand as a playwright, producing several stage plays -- Brown Bitter, Wet Nellies, Scouse – about native Liverpudlians.

The Redwall stories, which were to earn him legions of fans, were born out of his time as a volunteer storyteller at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool. Jacques maintains that his detailed writing style was developed here; he was forced to be as descriptive as possible, so his audience would be able to experience his stories as if they could see. He created the first Redwall story as a gift to the children of the school, but never intended to publish it commercially. Fortunately for his many fans on both sides of the Atlantic, a friend sent his first manuscript to a publisher, and the rousing series took off in England in 1986 and in the U.S. the following year with Redwall.

Jacques takes issue with the notion that his books are "fantasy" fiction, a description that he says "smacks of swords and sorcery and dungeons and dragons. . . . I like to think of my books as old-fashioned adventures that happened ‘Once upon a time, long ago and far away.'"

The novels appeal generally to an audience of nine- to fifteen-year-olds, but have admirers both younger and older. The tales pivot on the conflict between good and evil; good invariably triumphs. Indeed, morality issues are always clear in Jacques' books: cruelty, greed, and avarice are eradicated in all forms; bravery, loyalty, and resourcefulness reap rewards aplenty. When it comes to characters, though, Jacques is less simplistic: Martin the Warrior, who through his courage and cunning rose to become the noblest hero in the land, is given to impetuousness, and the miscreant Cluny has both good and bad sides, a la Long John Silver.

For female readers, the Redwall books can be extra satisfying. His female creatures are as adventurous as the males: they don't faint into their male counterparts' arms, but explore, swashbuckle, and rescue on their own. In Mariel of Redwall (1991), the courageous girl mousechild Mariel, thrown overboard by the Gabool, leader of the evil pirate Searats, exacts her own brand of revenge.

Jacques' usually swift pace sometimes comes to a slogging halt with extraordinarily detailed descriptions of the legendary Redwall feasts, right down to the last acorn and drop of buttercup and honey cordial. But the author is redeemed by his delicate interweaving of subplots, his memorable menagerie, his rollicking sense of adventure, and his ability to transport the reader into an entirely different world, a world that, as one critic for The New York Times put it, "is both an incredible and ingratiating place, one to which readers will doubtless cheerfully return."

Good To Know

Brian Jacques wrote his books in longhand or on a manual typewriter, or, if the weather permits, outdoors.

Despite his success as an author, Jacques continued to broadcast the weekly radio show, Jakestown, that he hosted before he wrote the Redwall books.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      June 15, 1939
    2. Place of Birth:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Date of Death:
      February 5, 2011
    2. Place of Death:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Education:
      St. John’s School, Liverpool, England
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2010

    Loved it!!!

    I read this book and loved it! This book has everything! Adventure, comedy, friendship, and cliff hangers that makes you keep wondering "what's going to happen?". This book is for everyone and it is a "can't put it down". After you finish this book you must continue with the next one. I highly recommend this book for people who love adventure books!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2008

    one of the best

    When I read this book, I felt that this was the book for me. What I like about the book is that there are multiple perspectives to this book. that way I'll be excited to read the next part of the book. Some times the perspectives mesh together. That's alright with me. Makes an encounter happen. Then it'll be even more exciting. What drove me to buy the book was because I read a lot of Brian Jacques's books. He does the same with all of them. I'm not saying thats bad though. My favorite part in the book is when the privateer gets a new ship to ride. Although thats a bad thing, I like it when captain Red jack Teal loads up with grape shot. My least favorite part is when Adamo comes in with Arnela and Karay on his back. It made me not want to look for a little while but then, I read on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2012


    Is this book on pirates beacause i'll read it if it is.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

    This book is a must read

    I have read all of Brian Jacques books and I really enjoyed this book. I recommend you read the others first

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2008

    an amazing book!

    this story in my opinion is amazing everything is described in a way with such detail and you can relate to the characters. i totally recommend this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2007


    This book was great and I love the series. I can't wait foe the next one to come out. They are full of adventure and action. Love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2008


    I think that this book is the work of a genius! I mean, having a book where a boy can comunicate with his dong! Awesome! And it is sad but yet adventurous and just outstanding! I love this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2006

    Best book I've ever read

    This book is phenomanal. It has more action than the first book, but you have to read the first book for this one to make any since. This book has the most action and adventure packed into one book that I have ever seen! This book is crazy good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2006

    Brian needs to write more of these!!!!!

    I liked this book far better than the first one. They spent more time fighting pirates and less time solving riddles. I just couldn't get over the high seas chase, and the adventure into the mountains. This book should be read by everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2006

    the angel's command is awesome

    this book is compelling, innovative, and just plain great. It shows true human relationship and how 1 simple thing can change everything.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2006


    I enjoyed Castaways, but this book was twice as good! More of everything that was good about the first book - more pirate adventures, more excitement and friendship and adventure, with a whole host of more interesting and likeable characters to boot. The best book by Brian Jaques I have read. The only small disappointment was a lack of the traditional Jaques riddle-solving, but the adventure sweeps you up so much you don't really notice... I really hope he continues this series. I love joining Ben and Ned on their adventures.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2005

    Castaway Sequel Sails Home!!

    The Angel's Command is the perfect sequel to Castaway's of the Flying Dutchman! It starts off on a pirate ship, with Ben and Ned aboard. Ben is considered the captain's lucky boy until a member of the crew hears about Ben's previous captain - Captain Vanderdecken of the Flying Dutchman! The crew decides to mutiny and Ben is sent off the ship - with the pirates' treasure. He meets a young girl who travels with him and another young man. They decide to help an old comte find his long lost grandson. That is the beginning of the adventure. Ben and Ned travel far and learn lots. The story is full of adventure and a very slight touch of romance. If you are looking for a long, exciting, adventurous novel - this is it!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2005

    only FIVE stars????

    Sorry to say but it blew castaways out of the water,and that is one of my favorite books! If you haven't read this book I really hope you do 'cause it's worth it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2005


    I thought Castaways of the Flying Dutchman was good, then I read its sequel! This book has the perfect mix of adventure and friendship, just like all of Brian Jacques' books! All Redwall fans must read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2004

    An Outstanding Book

    This is by far my favorite book I have ever read. It is a gripping book that will have u reading for hours at a time. The first hafe is great! Lots of action and adventure, navel battles and ship chases. The second half isn't as great but still has u reading as long as u can. Evel bandits, a cursed witch, and a blood-thirsty dog. The whole story is greatly writen. A must read book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2004

    Best book he's ever written!!

    Brian Jacques' 'The Angel's Command', is exiting, fast moving, and keeps all readers ready for crazy turns of events. If you're not a sea-faring person, you may want to keep a dictionary close at hand. This particular book is much more exciting than 'Castaways of the Flying Dutchman', but no less descriptive. Brian Jacques once again manages to transport the reader so they feel what Ben and Ned are feeling. This book is a little confusing because it's more like two books put into one, but is still guarenteed to keep lover's of 'Castaways of the Flying Dutchman' entertained for days (unless you read it faster than that, which I doubt). This book includes buccaneers, privateers, gypsies, noblemen, a goatherd, an artist, a priest, and a hilarious cook who manages to make readers laugh every time she comes up. Find this book in a book-store or library, and enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2004


    I must say, this is the best novel that Brian Jacques has written (Martin the Warrior was close, but Rose shouldn't have died). I've read them all! Amazing, compelling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2004


    This was not as good as Castaways of The Flying Dutchman, but it was still amazing! Neb and Den (Ben and Ned) are still two herioc characters. Followed by the Diablo Del Mar and the Devon Belle, plus Vanderdeckan's ship, this book provides lots of entertainment. In the second part, Ben and Ned have to rescue a comte's nephew from the Razan. If you enjoy adventure, you need to buy this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2004

    Must Have!!!

    This is one of the best books that I have ever read. If you are looking for the perfect book for your collection, then this is it. This novel combines myth, mystery, adventure, excitement, and humor all into one book. The best part of the book is the humorous conversations between Ben and his faithfull labrador Neb.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2004

    Yess! He wrote another one!!!!!!

    This book is magnificent! With his scope finally moving towards humans, Brian Jacques has done it again. Ben and Ned are truly believable characters although they are in a fictional situation. The other people in the book are a great addition. The ending is somewhat disappointing, but since we can, (hopefully), expect more, that can be brushed aside.

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