Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Pirate's Lady (by Julia Knight)

The Pirate's Lady rating:  3 out of 5 stars
Release Date:  June 18, 2012

Sequel to Ten Ruby Trick (not reviewed)

How are the sex scenes?
There are a few scenes referred to, but none are described.

How are the story lines?
Clever, ever changing and written to purposefully keep you guessing.  This book is definitely an extension of the first one and you should read The Pirate's Lady after reading Ten Ruby Trick.

Would you read it again?
No, but I would read Ten Ruby Trick to appreciate this novel better.


The Pirate's Lady by Julia Knight is a fantasy romance novel that follows privateer Van Gast across the seas as he chases his one true love, Joshing Josie.  Both being pirates, or rather racketeers, there is enough conning, lying, misleading and manipulation to keep any readers' interest.  While Van Gast and Josie are busy doing all that, the supporting characters are banning with or against each other with a viciousness that makes the bullet ant initiation for the Brazillian Satere-Mawe tribe look tame.

I hate to dwindle the plot to so little, because it's much more, but anything additional might spoil the story.  So: Van Gast chases Josie, finds Josie, loses Jose, repeats steps 1, 2 & 3, and struggles through many hardships.  With a lot more magic and drama in between.


To enjoy this book you should read Ten Ruby Trick first.

Julia Knight's writing is up to par and her phrasing is very refreshing.  I enjoyed how things "made Rillen itch in his head" and wrinkled my nose at Urgaut's "toady little smile". 

I particularly loved this line, "Holden would have a whole litter of kittens, but it might be worth it just for that."  I thought this meant that Van Gast would have to literally steal Holden - who clearly has a significant mental illness - a box of kittens. It wasn't until chapter two that I realized "have a whole litter of kittens" is the equivalent to America's "shit a load a bricks". 

For those who read Ten Ruby Trick, you'll be pleased with returning characters.  Tragic, serious Holden is here, with his timid wife Ilsa.  There's Guld and Skrymir.  Rillen, his very obese father Urgaut and the Remorian mages also make themselves a significant nuisance.  The un-bonded Remorians are crewing Van Gast's ship and most of the story takes place in Estovan, which lends the tale all its people, merchants and eerie settings.

Just to be clear, these characters really should be on the pirate-world version of the Jerry Springer Show.  There's women having sex with men to save another man's life.  One guy's trying to fix his broken marriage after having an affair and while lusting for someone else.  (Not the best way to go about it, but at least his heart's in the right place if not his d...anyway.)  One chic tries to knife another for potentially harming the very same guy she just turned over to the authorities.  A man loves one woman, then decides - no! - I want her s-i-s-t-e-r.  Oh yes, this is one highly dysfunctional, potentially incestuous family.  And it's awesome. 

Though enjoyable, the story is complicated.  I wouldn't recommend you read this casually if you want to follow the "twist" of it all.  Sometimes I felt Van Gast's schemes were too involved and distracted me from the story. 

Knight also did this excellent thing of pointing to a mysterious person as the root of all problems, and wrote the characters' movements so that we never knew who that person was until the very end.  This was great, but while making sure no characters revealed who the "it person" was, some details were lost in translation.  At one point I wasn't sure about the time of day or if the story was switching from the afternoon before to the evening after.

I liked this book.  It spent a lot of time looking back to Ten Ruby Trick and referring to events that happened there.  I wish somewhere in the begining pages or either on Knight's website it was mentioned that this was a sequel.  Because then I would have read it and, I suspicion, enjoyed The Pirate's Lady even more.

Regardless, Julia Knight deliveres a well thought-out, intricate novel with characters who made me love or hate them.  The Pirate's Lady made me care about the story and that alone marks a good book.

Comment About It

Do you enjoy reading books with intricate plot lines like The Pirate's Lady or do you prefer your stories straight forward? 

Read the book and disagree?  Great!  Tell me why! 

Learn more about Julia Knight and her upcoming titles on her website:

Read Ten Ruby Trick, the book preceding The Pirate's Lady

I'm unsure if there are more to come.  Contact Julia Knight and find out!

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this review. eARC courtesty of NetGalley.

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