On Stranger Tides is a grippingly entertaining novel. For one reason or another (read: memory failure), that and "pirates" was all I had remembered about the book for about the last decade before picking it up again, so it was a deja-vu-tinged brand new experience to get into it this week. It's a very Powersy story indeed, with Blackbeard and other historical figures featured in a magical secret history that, by the time you're done reading the book, seems like it obviously describes the way things really happened.
The protagonist, John Chandagnac (aka "Jack Shandy") is thrown into increasingly harsh circumstances and gets his goals and body repeatedly smashed, but keeps on fighting anyway, despite being up against a series of powerful, obsessively determined (and creepy!) rivals. There's really no way to describe it more thoroughly without breaking out the spoilers, so I'll just recommend it!