Number of pages: 475
The second sequel to Swallows and Amazons feels very different from its predecessors. It opens by introducing the eponymous Peter Duck. While in Swallowdale, this was the name of an imaginary friend, now Peter Duck is a real-life sailor, who tells the children a story of how he saw pirates burying gold on Crab Island.
It isn't long before all of the children seen in the previous novels set sail with Peter Duck and also Captain Flint to go in search of treasure. While this sounds a bit like the plot to the first book, real pirates - led by Black Jake - and a mysterious red-haired boy, are added.
A lot of the action takes place at sea, at the heroes realise quite early on that Black Jake is pursuing them to Crab Island, and the pirates in this book do form a significant threat, and this leads to some scenes that are (for a children's book) quite intense.
I enjoyed getting to revisit the characters from the first two books again, and liked the fact that the plot managed to feel almost completely original, and it was enjoyable wondering if the red-haired boy would turn out to be good or bad.
I am enjoying reading through this series a lot. While I did pick up a copy of the eighth novel, Secret Water recently, I want to read them in the correct order, so am hoping to read the fourth, Winter Holiday soon.
Next book: Love, Sex and Other Foreign Policy Goals (Jesse Armstrong)