Granted, M Kei is a tall ship seaman in his own right, and because of that his narrative could have been bone dry with all of the nautical terms used However, the man is also a poet and his flair for language shines spectacularly I didn t feel confused by all the unfamiliar terms though I will say it might be a good idea for Kei to include a glossary at the end of each book for those who might not feel the same way.
There were so many aspects of this novel to love Firstly, it s not a typical M M romance novel in fact I think it transcends that genre It s an adventure story first and foremost It s swashbuckling at its finest and the sea battles are truly epic But it s filled with all the details that make historical fiction GOOD historical fiction so grand Kei delivers the sights, sounds and yes, even stench of life aboard wooden ships of this era He also delivers some of the most well crafted characters I ve seen in fiction I especially love the multicultural aspect, which is not only accurate but very much appreciated since way too many authors seem to forget that people of color have always been a part of history What I was also surprised about was the author s depiction of Islam It was nuanced and real, much like any belief system.
Of course, what s not to like about erstwhile hero Peter Thornton, struggling with his sexuality while knowing that should his love for men be discovered it could earn him a swift court martial and a hanging For all that, Peter is still a loyal officer in Her Majesty s Navy aboard the frigate Ajax The captain of the ship, Bishop, is a first class ass and to have him get his just deserts made me want to clap or clap the bastard in irons Peter himself is a wonderful hero loyal, flawed, humorous at times and incredibly brave You feel for him and want him to find someone to love him in return Of course, the stand out character has to be the suave corsair Captain Tangle courageous, sometimes rash, arrogant but definitely a lovable rogue.
There are few books that have the power to sweep me away on a grand adventure where I can actually hear the sound of cannons laying broadsides, men given the orders to board or feel the sting of the lash against naked backs while forced to row or smell the stench of unwashed bodies The storm scenes were so well written that I almsot wanted to grab my raincoat, LOL More importantly, the characters FEEL like flesh and blood human beings in all their complexity The Sallee Rovers is that rare novel that engaged all my senses Bravo, Master Kei Bravo This book is what it promises to be an extremely detailed boat book, in the vein of Patrick O Brian or C.
S Forester, but where the main characters is gay It is absolutely that And I was absolutely enthralled reading it stayed up all night to finish it, etc I even planned to rate it 5 stars, in fact, which I almost never do, until about 75% of the way through.
But then the main character began to behave so irrationally out of character, as he had been portrayed up until then, that it really threw me completely out of the book And the ending the ending view spoiler So first Peter, for love of Captain Tangle, has gone against everything he previously said and left the British navy to become a pirate Sallee Rover And converted to Islam, for no discernible reason And followed Captain Tangle even back to his home and all Well, okay, fine, I guess if he did it for love of Captain Tangle he must really love him But then He decides that he cannot be in an adulterous relationship with Tangle, and you know, I really think that was for the best, given Peter s character But Instead of ending there, which is at least a resolution that makes sense and with a promise ofbooks, one could ve expected Peter would find someone else he could love NO Peter decides he never loved Captain Tangle at all, the man whom he abandoned career, country, and religion for, and is like, oh, hey, know any gay men you could set me up with, and Tangle is like, sure, my brother in law likes men, hey, yeah, you two should get together, and Peter s like, cool , and meets the BIL, and stars in his eyes 3 3 3 they fall in love WHAT If I d had a physical copy, I would ve thrown it in disbelief hide spoiler sometimes a book is just chaotic evil and theres nothing you can do
I ve not read an Age of Sail historical before, but I do have a deep and abiding love of Pirates of the Caribbean When I saw this had a similar theme that of charismatic pirates, uptight naval officers, fighting and other assorted high jinks on the ocean, I thought I d give it a go and see what I thought In the end this was a mixed read, for reasons I shall explain.
Peter Thorton which for some reason I kept reading as Thornton , is a relatively new Lieutenant in the British Navy He s thrilled when he s given a commission with his best friend Roger Perry, with whom he is secretly in love, on a boat carrying a Sallee diplomat to the south of France Things don t go too well for Peter, who is naturally taciturn but who also likes to use his initiative something that does not endear him to the Captain who is a stickler for rules and regulations When a rescue attempt of a sinking Spanish galley goes wrong, Peter is left stranded on the galley with a number of freed slaves which includes the handsome and charismatic Sallee privateer, Captain Tangle Peter is torn between his admiration for the Captain, and his sense of honour and duty to the King s navy.
As this book is a historical and most of the action takes place on various boats ships, there s a lot of detail of the day to day running of a ship and lengthy descriptions of what the ship looks like, how the sails are put up down, the different ranks jobs of the men who sail the ship, and various other tiny details about ship life Those of you who love boats ships, especially those from the past, are going to be absolutely delighted by the sheer amount of detail you get about life on the ocean wave If, like me, you re completely clueless about boats ships and aren t really that interested in the minutiae of ship life, then you may just find all this description a bit dull I did Not only that but I found all the ship vocabulary very confusing and simply couldn t picture in my head where the poop deck was, or what a mizzen or a jib were This meant that often I could only get the impression that something exciting was happening by the large number of baffling orders being shouted out, rather than being able to picture what was happening on deck The same was the case with the battle scenes, which are intricately orchestrated, as you can imagine when there s two ships trying to get in position to blast each other out of the water However, because I didn t have the knowledge, I couldn t imagine the scene in my head, so it was all just a lot of words with little meaning.
Fortunately, as well as all the action on deck, there s a really good personal story going on alongside the description It was this part of the book which had me hooked The character of Peter was well rounded and I liked his slight aloofness which hid an honourable man who just wanted to get on with being the best officer he could The book was at its best when Peter is interacting with the other characters Thus I felt all his frustration at his superior when Peter is punished for showing good sense instead of following orders to the letter his powerful yearning for Roger and his despair at knowing that Roger could never love him back and his confusion when faced with the dilemma of betraying his country or following a man he admires and respects I also liked the way that the British Navy is compared to thelaid back approach of the Sallee Rovers, and how that appeals to Peter Finally, I liked Captain Tangle, who is larger than life, and could see why Peter finds him so attractive.
I feel I ought to mention, for those who don t like such things, that Tangle is a married man This causes a lot of tension between Peter and Tangle during the book Personally, I thought this was resolved very satisfactorily, but I know some readers don t like infidelity in which case you may not like this book.
Overall, if you love Age of Sail books then you ll probably really like this In the end, it was the romance and the tensions between characters which was the book s biggest draw for me enough that I m looking forward to the next book.
I loaded the The Sallee Rovers on my iPad for my flight back from the West coast and, whether seat belted in or not, I was glued to my seat by the riveting story It was wonderfully entertaining and interesting The Sallee Rovers, after detailed beginning, is a fast paced story with wonderfully real characters They react naturally to the events around them and I was never thrown out of the story by any of them doing something that didn t fit what we knew about them up to that point That s not to say, however, that they didn t grow and change That was one of my favorite things about the book seeing the changes in Peter as he grew to accept himself.
The fight and battles scenes were gripping andthan once I found myself leaning forward in my seat as I read as quickly as possible to find out what happened next.
The end of the book left me wishing fortales of Peter Thorton and I was very happy to see that there are other books in the series.
I m very happy that M.
Kei was unhappy with what he was reading and decided to try his own hand at a novel
I also found the plot compelling, it was interesting with twists and turns I know the author took some liberties with history, but the changes were minor and done with a purpose since the author clearly knows the time period I liked how he included so much depth in his descriptions, even down to a plank or a button.
However, my biggest issue was with the characters and the romance The responses of the characters were frankly childish The romance fell flat, and their romantic conversations awkward And then the ending pissed me off view spoiler The whole story revolves around Tangle changing Thorton s life, views on everything life, religion, friendship, his own sexuality, etc and then at the end Thorton falls in love in one afternoon of conversation with someone else, and the story ends right there I know it is a trilogy but it just didn t work for me I guess I could understand Thorton making rash decisions since he s young and confused and just learning about himself But Tangle seemed whinny and controlling, his reactionslike a child throwing a temper tantrum than an adult hide spoiler Sorry to say this one tanked It started out very good with a compelling story and strong characters, although the way the character interactions were written was way inferior to the descriptions and the action scenes Those were excellent, so it was grating to see how clunky things got as soon as people started talking So when the book went from mostly action tointernal stuff it really lost something As interesting as the characters were, they were written without any emotional depth Their motivations and decisions were stated as facts, rather than processes the reader could share And the last 2 pages were completely WTF.
Lieutenant Peter Thorton Of The Th Century British Navy Must Struggle To Come Out Gay While Surviving Storms At Sea, Ship To Ship Battles, Duels, Kidnapping, And In His Quest For True Love And Honor The Sallee Rovers, Book One Of The Pirates Of The Narrow Seas Trilogy Is An Expertly Crafted Swashbuckler Brimming With Authentic Detail And Fully Realized Portraits Of Life At Sea, Written By A Tall Ship Sailor And Internationally Acclaimed Poet I never thought that a book in a completely different section of preference to my normal ones would ever muscle ahead of most of my favorite texts and plant itself so firmly and so highly in my list of favorite books Although I should have known, really All it takes is a good set of characters No A great set of characters Not that the rest of the book is a slouch by any means From the depths of the descriptions to the pacing of scenes, lines and paragraphs to the momentum of the book itself, the entire text was rife with richness and detail, bringing to life a world I do not know and have visited little, and I found myself intrigued, drawn in and satisfied with all the exotic delights of history, environment, culture, setting and mood But, really, what can I say, I m a whore for good character, and I loved these Loved Them From Tangle, who weilds his strength of character and personality like a weapon as if to fend off the lingering ghosts of his personal disasters to Bishop, the simmeringly hateful scourge taking shameless advantage of cultural protocol and position and, of course, Thorton I love Thorton LOVE HIM All of him is natural, and I can t help but feel a great respect for him, for being far stronger than I ever could in his position, fighting his endless war against culture, so called propriety and his own shrinking reservations and loneliness as he finds himself increasingly walled off by a masonry of his own making, unable to really stop himself without help or hope To see him begin the story and walk, a painful, bleeding pace at a time through his life only to have it all change by strange fortune, by bloody conflict, by bone grinding hard work and perserverance I can t, even, begin to describe that, although I wish I could If you haven t read this book yet, stop reading the damn screen and go get a copy Right now Git.
Hmm, an interesting story but I m not sure whether I can say I really enjoyed it It is fairly well written, though I found the pacing a bit uneven at times It certainly seems well researched with solid descriptions of the various kinds of ships, as well as the cruelty of the English navy It is the human interactions that I found less than satisfactory really, and that probably is due to personal taste Peter was not a character I am drawn to and his vacillating responses annoyed me at times Yes, his responses probably were in keeping to the times and his circumstances, but Mr Tamgle, the other main character, haddiverse reactions actions, but the whole business of being faithful or not didn t endear him to me either Finally, in the last couple of chapters, Peter becomes stronger grown up if you will, but just as I was starting to appreciate him, it is soon spoilt for me, as he decides he has met the love of his life in the space of hours Aargh So overall, a well researched and written story that just isn t my cup of tea.