Quintspinner: A Pirate's Quest
by Dianne Greenlay
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.