“If the Maiden is my prison, then it is the ocean who is my gaoler.”
He will make me a killer. Or he will have me killed. That is my destiny. Seventeen years old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles. But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake. He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean, and he is Marianne’s father. She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?
I was given this book in a Fairyloot box and I didn’t really know much about it, I read the synopsis and it definitely gave me Pirates of the Caribbean vibes so it made me want to pick it up. I don’t think i have read a fantasy that reminds me of PoC so actually I was quite excited to pick it up. The synopsis appeared quite dark and that is something that really made me interested.
I really enjoyed Bex Hogan’s writing style, I found that for a debut novel it was really mature and definitely had me hooked throughout. I absolutely love her way of word-building and I really love the world that she has built. I feel like it was really well thought out, she left no stone untouched. The complexities of it had me intrigued and I was hooked from the moment that I read it. There were so many twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat and guessing what would happen next.
I would warn that there is a lot of dark methods and a fair amount of blood and gore. There are brutal punishment techniques and this book is not for the faint hearted. I mean, this is my sort of thing so I bloody loved it. The bloodier the better. I absolutely loved the graphic detail of the gore elements, it was so detailed it really made you feel like you were involved. I flinched on certain occasions because I just felt like I was in the middle of it all.
I hated the Viper so much, like honestly despised him. He made my skin crawl every time he was mentioned, I just hated him so so much. What a vile person. I suppose he was depicted as a villain and that’s how he should have been, Bex definitely did a good job of ensuring the reader hated the villain. The hold the viper had over his crew was so mesmerising I found myself shouting at the characters so much trying to get them to see sense, it was so frustrating at times. There were so many of the crew that had the best intentions but I won’t mention any names because it is fun having to guess who is who.
I like that there was a romance in this book however it was very subtle and definitely not in anyway the focus of the plot. It did not develop in a way that took over the whole book and focus, it was very subtle and as a reader if you do not enjoy romance in this genre of book you can almost switch off to it and pretend that it isn’t there.
I really liked the twist in relation to Marian I won’t say anymore because of spoilers. Whilst I did kind of expect it, I didn’t expect the complexity to it which is what I liked the most. Overall, I enjoyed the conclusion to this book and I really need to pick up the next one to find out what happens next. I think anybody can guess the ending from the beginning of the book however the twists and turns I doubt you will be able to guess. I definitely recommend that you read this book, it had me hooked from start to finish.