The Pirates of Alnari (The Scions of War Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 309 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is a fun adventure through a detailed medieval-type world. We follow the adventures of two cousins. Fleeing some personal demons, they book passage on a ship, but get more than they bargained for when they are attacked by the infamous pirates of Alnari. We follow them as events turn from bad to worse and root for them to make it through.
The book was an entertaining page-turner, with numerous suspenseful situations and double-crosses. The world is given substantial detail, with the definite feeling that there's a lot more out there for the characters (and us) to experience. The author gives authentic details to the ships, swordplay, and other aspects of the story. I appreciated the creation of a rationale behind a continuing pirate culture, beyond just one ship gone rogue.
The characters are interesting and have quite a bit of depths, with strengths and weaknesses like real people. No character is unequivocally "good" or "bad", and the shades of gray make things more interesting and realistic.
I've read many low-priced or free Kindle books, and many, if not most, suffer from amateurish writing and poor editing. Not so in this case! The writing has maturity, and it's clear the author has spent time re-writing and polishing the prose - as any good author should. The editing has also been well done, with no typos or misplaced words or tenses to jar you out of the reading experience.
I would definitely recommend this book!
The story revolves around two young noblemen, Martyn and Arycke. The book begins with them having just participated in something horrible and violent, but the details are left hidden to the reader - this is important, because the mystery of what happened will be slowly revealed throughout the book. Needless to say, there is more than one side to the story. The two young men feel that they need to flee the country, and so travel to the nearest port city and book passage on the first ship that'll get them away. Their ship is the Selene, an Isalian navy frigate willing to take on a few passengers during her voyage. Martyn and Arycke have never taken a sea voyage before, and the experience is new and exciting - even more so, when a beautiful young woman is brought on board as another passenger, along with her ever-watchful grandfather. Arycke, who has an ever-roving eye, immediately begins pursuing the young woman, much to Martyn's annoyance.
The sea voyage quickly turns deadly serious, however, when the ship encounters a pirate vessel. Being a Navy frigate, it is the Selene's duty to deal with pirates wherever they are found. But the battle against the pirates turns into a much more brutal affair than first expected, and the Selene is badly damaged. The ship is eventually lost on a reef during a storm, and the survivors - about a hundred of the ship's crew and the passengers - are stranded along a foreign coast.
Unfortunately for the survivors, the coast they're now inhabiting is claimed by pirates. A whole city of pirates.
I don't want to give away any more of the plot. However, what progresses from this point on is a whirlwind of battles and intrigue, murder and revenge, plot and counter-plot. Characters have multiple agendas and not everyone is as they seem. The survivors of the shipwreck must struggle to avoid capture or death at the hands of different pirate factions, as well as the threat of mutiny among their own number. The pirates constantly maneuver against each other for dominance over Alnari, using any means - violence, sex, money, political influence - at their disposal.
The author holds the works of George R. R. Martin, especially his Song of Ice and Fire series, in high regard, and its influence on the book is evident by both the complex relationships among the characters, and the stark brutality of the combat sequences. The author is well-versed in swordsmanship and medieval combat, and this comes through in the many swordfights throughout the book. Limbs are sheared away, heads roll, guts spill, and blood is drawn by the bucketful. Not only are the battles violent and well-scripted, but it is clear from early on that no character is safe from the author's killing stroke.
Also evident is the author's knowledge of the Age of Sail. There are many details regarding ship navigation and operation, as well as the day to day lives of those aboard ships, and the organization of sailing navies and their military exploits. Although the setting is analogous to the 1400s and early 1500s, the maritime aspects of the book seem to carry the influence of master maritime novelist Patrick O'Brian, whose Napoleonic naval adventures are second to none. Fans of O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin novels will feel right at home in this book, despite the otherworldly setting.
Overall, The Pirates of Alnari is a strong, exciting adventure and displays the author's skill as a storyteller. While this is Dan Eldredge's first published novel, I know we'll see more works from him in the years to come, and I look forward to reading them.
And of course, pirates!
What more can a reader ask for?
My favorite element of this story is the author's character development. You will get to know a wide range of people from various points of view. And the ending is epic, worth the investment of your time and emotional energy.
Congratulations to the author for a compelling first novel. I look forward to reading many more!
Disclaimer: I know the author. However, I purchased a copy and was not asked to provide a review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I learned more about the age of sail from this novel than I ever thought I would want to know.Read more
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