Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book Review #88: Quintspinner: A Pirate's Quest by Dianne Greenlay

Quintspinner: A Pirate's Quest
by Dianne Greenlay
Genre: Historical / Fantasy / Pirates
Ages: 17 and up
I received a copy of this book through Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

As the daughter of a London physician in 1717, sixteen-year-old Tess Willoughby has seen her share of horrors and been to some of the city's shadiest quarters. But a simple trip through the chaos of a London marketplace takes a bizarre twist. Tess witnesses the murder of a renowned elderly seer and unwittingly becomes the mistress of the woman's prophetic spinner ring. Even worse, Tess's panic-stricken trip home leads her to discover a secret family history that shocks Tess to her core. Unable to give up the bejeweled ring, Tess must embark on a treacherous voyage to the pirate-infested waters of the West Indies. Trapped on a merchant ship and unwillingly betrothed to the murderer who covets the power of her ring, Tess finds strength and comfort in the company of a handsome sailor, even though this growing temptation will most certainly jeopardize their lives. Even stranger, she soon realizes that even though her fiancé is ruthless, he alone can secure her safety throughout their perilous journey. Thrust into a world she doesn't understand to fulfill a role she is only beginning to grasp, Tess questions everything she has believed up to now. Her only hope of saving those she loves is to accept her destiny. And yet, the strange influence of her spinner ring could change everything ... Full of high seas action, dangerous magic, and a dash of romance, Quintspinner is a swashbuckling adventure that twists and turns with the fury of a hurricane.

My Review:
I am not entirely sure what I was expecting from this book. Probably a light-hearted adventure with romance and derring-do and a splash of magic. Quintspinner was not at all what I expected. The story is dark and harsh, so cruel that it was at times painful to read, but I couldn't stop. No matter how awful it got, I had to keep reading to reassure myself that there was some hope for Tessa and Cassie and the others.

I really liked most of the main characters. Tessa was strong and interesting, William was likable and heroic. And Cassie, poor Cassie. I came to care for her the most, and I could truly respect how she stayed strong despite everything that happened to her. There was one thing that she did (can't tell you what, major spoiler) that disappointed me, but I could sympathize anyway.

Edward Graham was very intriguing. He started as a villain, and then perhaps he wasn't so bad, and then he was a villain again. It was difficult, even towards the end, to tell what his true intentions were and I am not entirely satisfied with the author's explanation of his motives. Perhaps in book 2...

No matter how much I liked the characters and the storyline, there were a few points that just grossed me out or made me shudder. The pirates in this book were in no way the "gentlemen pirates" that one finds in Errol Flynn movies. There was gore, cruelty, rape, torture and even cannibalism. While this makes them perhaps more realistic, it also makes the story more disturbing.

This book was a mixed bag for me. I liked the characters and story, but there were many elements that I disliked. Will I recommend it to all and sundry? Probably not. Will I read book 2 when it comes out? Probably yes.

Content Ratings: Profanity, Sexuality and Violence
1 (mild) through 10 (extreme).

I rate it a 4.10 for mid-level swearing.

I give it a 6.10 for lots of references and a vague scene of rape.

I rate it an 8.10 for murder, gore, battle, flogging, branding and brief cannibalism.

                      Lieder Madchen

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