Title: The Pirate of Fathoms Deep
Author: Megan Derr
Series: Tales of the High Court #2
Genre: M/M Fantasy Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: 13th July
High Commander Lesto Arseni is the most feared man in the Harken Empire. None but the High King dares risk his wrath—and a pirate who once punched him in the middle of the imperial pavilion. A pirate who later snuck away with Lesto to an empty room, touched him in ways far more memorable. And then immediately bolted like a man who’d gotten what he wanted.
Shemal just wants to live a normal life, leave his pirating days behind him and prove that he’s respectable now. The last thing he needs is the two idiots who show up wanting his help with the noble they’ve kidnapped—the very man Shemal had been hoping to prove himself to, the man he hasn’t forgotten since Shemal punched him a year and a half ago.
Source: ARC from Less Than Three Press via NetGalley
I really enjoyed this M/M fantasy romance, with a reformed pirate trying to make himself good enough and the High Commander who is tired of taking responsibility all the time, but isn’t always the best at giving up control. They’re total opposites with regards to life and rank, but they make an excellent team. I really liked both characters and their romance. I haven’t read the first book in the series, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this.
Although, possibly reading the first book might put the first encounter between these two in a better light. Not only did Shemal punch Lesto in their first meeting, but Lesto later dragged Shemal into a side room for a tryst. Which would have been fine, except Shemal was in chains at the time, awaiting trial, and since Lesto was in a position of power over him… not the most comfortable of situations. Even though Shemal remembers it in a completely positive way, it’s still rather a grey area for me.
But that happened before this book. In this book all things are free and equal and consent is freely and enthusiastically given, so that’s all good. I really liked the world-building and the cultural differences scattered through the book, although the plot is kind of light. Connections are formed in highly convenient ways, danger comes and goes, the focus has a tendency to wander off and become all about the romance one moment, then switch to become all about the mystery. I didn’t mind, because this made for an easy, enjoyable read, but if you’re not a fan of light fantasy, take note. There’s also quite a bit of swearing and a significant amount of sex. Which may or may not be an issue for you.
Personally, I found this fun and enjoyable throughout, an excellent tonic for when the world just gets too much and you want to escape into a read where things happen, but better things are coming and it leaves you feeling good at the end.
I particularly love the Arseni family motto and pretty much everything to do with Fathoms Deep. I liked the High Court and the friendships and family bonds that Lesto has in abundance. Poor Shemal, it’s completely not what he’s used to, but I liked reading about him navigating new and difficult waters. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the next book, and in the meantime I shall have to track down The High King’s Golden Tongue and catch up on everything I’ve missed.
The Pirate of Fathoms Deep is out July 13th!
Visit Megan Derr for more details.