FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours.
Series: Cutlass Series #1
Publisher: StarSeed Press (Self-Published) on April 23, 2014
Genre(s): Fantasy (YA)
Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.
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.
Pirate captain Barren Reed wants nothing more than to avenge his father’s death, but he’s no ordinary pirate. He’s the king’s nephew and a half-elf, and the man he’s hunting is his own brother. When he gets word that his brother is engaged to be married, he hatches the perfect plan to draw his brother out and get his revenge. He’ll simply kidnap his brother’s fiance, a slight that can’t be overlooked, and he’ll finally get his wish. If only it was that simple.
A half-elf herself, she’s more than a match for the ruthless pirate. She’s smart, quick-witted, and incredibly beautiful, and even as she ruins Barren’s plans over and over again, he can’t help but be fascinated by her.
The constant POV switch kept losing me, and while I love details that paint a complete picture, the detail saturation in Cutlass found me skimming to get to the worthwhile parts. Coupled with the somewhat unbelievable 18-year-old pirate that had everyone shaking in their boots and some unexplained and therefore too convenient holes in the plot, and I just couldn’t get into it.
After Quintspinner (another YA pirate novel) and Devil’s Island (a swashbucking romance), I was really looking forward to another romp with Jolly Roger, but this wasn’t it for me. The synopsis sounded great, but the story was very slow to develop in the beginning and had a few more areas that dragged along the way, and it was difficult to really relate to any one character before the POV shifted to someone else. I won’t say it’s terrible — I suspect this is one of those books that people either love or just can’t get into, but unfortunately, I fell into the latter group.