I wasn't especially optimistic about the idea of a prequel to Treasure Island, but it is quite enjoyable. In his afterword, Drake says that he wanted to write the story so that he knew their history. He also has written the book for adults rather than teenagers. It's been many years since I read Treasure Island, so I'm sure I missed a bunch of stuff, but it was still a good adventure story. Long John Silver is the hero, and Drake paints an almost believable portrait of a honourable man who becomes a pirate, and how he leads a crew to be less brutal than they might otherwise. He also has to deal with Flint, a treacherous psychopath who is probably just as unrealistic a pirate in the other direction.
A good read. There is to be a second volume, as well, but I think I might re-read the inspiring work again next.