Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.
But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task-to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren's own mother and Larkin's, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren's quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.98(d)|
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For the second time in our friendship, Michelle practically held me at shotgun insisting I read a book. This time, though, she even connected me with the author so I'd have a review copy. How do you say no to that? Well, I didn't say no, but I did stall. I don't know why exactly, but all of a sudden it was December and I hadn't read it yet. So I made a promise to Michelle that I would read Cutlass in 2014, even if I was up all night December 30th reading it. And I kept that promise for the most part (I finished the last little bit in 2015) and thank goodness, because once again Michelle was right. Cutlass was fantastic So Michelle started talking to me about this book BEFORE she read it. She was enamored by it so much that she reached out to Ashley Nixon and told her she'd requested to be on the tour. And boy do I remember her excitement when she found out she'd be on it. I was nervous for her, because with that kind of excitement I was worried the book couldn't live up. And I'll admit, I was being a total cover snob at the time. I HATED the cover (which has since been re-done to this one, THANK GOD)! It really turned me off on the book. So, like a good friend, I was excited FOR Michelle, but not really WITH her. Then she read it and holy crap she loved it. I was happy for her and asked her to describe it to me. Could I get over the cover? From what she told me, it sounded kinda like a UF, though she told me it was more high fantasy. I was interested now, but pirates? Cool, but not necessarily my thing. Not NOT my thing, but they didn't pull to me. Which is pretty funny because one of the things I loved most about Cutlass was the pirate way of life. The way the pirates feel about the freedom life on the water gives them and the relationship they have with the sea is beautifully written and really connected me to them. I've always felt most at home ON the water. I completely understood the connection the pirates felt. And these pirates live by a very honorable code, which made their life against kings so acceptable for me. Easy "bad guys" to root for. When I say Cutlass was kinda like a UF, I'm wrong though. The main reason I see any connection is that the main female character, Larkin, is kick-ass. She came out of left field for me, because I was expecting a historical Lady - this feels like a historical, with events unfolding in the Mediterranean in lots of ways - and when we meet her she is prim and proper. But she does not need a man to rescue her! Woot! She's bold, says things she shouldn't, and in general made me love her. So, besides Lady Larkin and the fantasy element, Cutlass has nothing in common with a UF. It's high fantasy, without being so high that it loses you in prophecy and song. High Fantasy with training wheels, maybe? I think high fantasy is typically overwhelming in a way Cutlass wasn't. It did have a section, about 75% in that dragged and that was all about the elves and dreams and visions - less of the nail biting action and intrigue that carried the rest of the story forward. But even that was interesting, just much slower. There's surprisingly little magic, considering that you've got elves and half elves running around and that was disappointing for me, but I enjoyed the sword fighting that replaced it. Cutlass kinda defies an exact classification and its definitely a case where you'll be sorry if you judge the book by it's cover. It was a thrilling ride with great characters and I'm only sorry it took me so long and so much pushing to read!
PIRATES!! ELVES!! KINGS!! OH MY!! Okay, so if you haven't noticed by my very exclaimed sentence above there, I am freaking out over this book. It has been quite some time since I have read a novel with pirates in it. And to have this book contain some fantasy elements to it...well, I am definitely not opposed to that. I really cannot explain what it is that interests me about pirate stories. Maybe it is the freedom of the open seas, or the smell of the salt air, but there is something there that just makes me want to pick up a pirate story and read it. Has been since I was very young. I just love the adventure. And this story was not short of that. We are initially introduced to a young man named Barren, who has held a grudge against his brother William for the death of their father five years before. He wants revenge. So when opportunity seems to arise in the form of an engagement letter, Barren gets an idea. A final showdown between the two brothers...all over William's bride-to-be. But that would actually depend on whether or not William is willing to risk life and limb for this girl. And according to her, that is not going to happen. Larkin is a girl who has been raised to despise pirates and all they stand for, so it is not surprising to her when a bunch of pirates decides to capture her, something her father has tried to prevent, or so he says, since she was very young. These two characters will clash in the beginning, but time will pass and people's true intentions will arise, causing them to band together to stop a great and terrible force from taking over and raising its ugly head once again after all these years. This book was maybe not perfect, but close. It was phenomenal and just a wonderful story. The characters, especially the main ones, were indescribably well-written. They felt so alive...so there. I am actually quite happy I have no clue what is going to happen next in this trilogy, because I want to be surprised. I want to be awed by what this author can think up next for Barren and his crew.