Author: Sherwood Smith
Series: Inda #2 (Court Duel prequel series)
Genre: Epic fantasy
Reason for Reading: The first one had a cliffhanger ending. I couldn't wait long.
Copyright Date: 2007
Cover: A swashbuckling young man holds a long curved sword perilously close to the rigging he leans on for balance. Black sails and a blue sky are behind him.
First line: "In Sartorias-deles' long history, only once have we seen pirates enjoy the protection of the strongest naval power in the world."
Best part: Girl pirates! Gay pirates! That's pretty much always going to be an easy sell for me.
Worst part: It was hard to have two plotlines separated by lots and lots of miles, with no direct contact between the characters of one and the characters of the other.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Eye of the Tiger"
Recommended for: Epic fantasy fans. Anyone who loved Pirates of the Caribbean. Warning: you should read Inda first.
Related Reads: Inda, first book in the series. Land of Mist and Snow by Debra Doyle and James MacDonald, another pirate book with magic, set in the civil war. The Element of Fire by Martha Wells, another complex and funny epic fantasy.
This book is too complicated for a plot summary, and I don't want to give away the events of the first volume - but you will never lose track of what's going on. Rather a testament to the author's skill, wouldn't you agree?
Normally I do not post about second series books in book review communities, especially when, like this one, you have to read the first book for it to make sense. And let me make it clear that I liked the first book in this series. Really, I did. But this blew it out of the water, pun intended. It would have been worth it to read the first book if it was a piece of trash, which it wasn't at all, just so you could get to this one. The complexity - the wit - the emotional moments. Characters at their best and worst moments. In this book, everyone gets a chance to shine. If you like fantasy and ESPECIALLY if you like pirates, this book is well worth a look. A strong B+, and I'm looking forward to the sequels.