I love fantasy and I love anti-heroes. The idea of an outlaw forced into a situation he doesn’t want to be involved (example: Han Solo) is a definite point of interest for me. Unfortunately, Turner’s Baus the Bold didn’t inspire me. He’s a rogue, a thief, and not a nice guy under any circumstances. Baus is also the cause for his own misfortune and any attempt at overcoming his King Douche crown is thwarted by his own personal desires. The character experiences no real growth in the story.
When it comes to other characters, I enjoyed the swarmy, dastardly crew of the Last Laugh ship. My real interest lie in the one character not given much air time, Valere. Somehow this halfway decent guy throws his lot in with Baus and according to the anti-hero, Valere and Baus had a previous misadventure in the first book of this series.
As to the rest, I found barbarians and pirates with little intellect using words too big for their vocabulary. This threw me off as ‘intransigence’ and ‘incongruous’ and an assorted motley crew of descriptors filled the pages. I will say it created an interesting read, but at times too much description made the sentences bloated and more lengthy then needed.
Finally, with fantasy novels comes world building and I have to say the Turner did world build. The world itself was enormous, and I found it a struggle sometime to keep up with all the character names, places, and histories. But I did enjoy the creativity level with the weaponry, ships and the fighting sequences.
Overall, I think this book could’ve used some stiff editing, plot tightening, and a little less descriptive prose. I will say that Turner has a knack for writing pirates and the nitty gritty. There was some bold writing for sure, and while this really wasn’t a fit for me (I’m really picky with my fantasy) other fantasy lovers may be enamored with this story.