Brutal and Fantastic! My TBR List Review of The Black Ship

December 26, 2015 My TBR List, Reviews 2


My TBR List is a meme hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading where we get some help picking out what to read next. We sit for hours looking through our TBR lists wondering when we will ever get to that one book we were dying to read when we added it 3 months ago or maybe even a year. So each month we pick 3 books from our TBRs and let everyone else vote on which one to read. We announce the book the second week and by the end of the month, we review it!

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Brutal and Fantastic! My TBR List Review of The Black ShipThe Black Ship by Diana Pharaoh Francis
Series: Crosspointe Chronicles #2
Published by Bell Bridge Books on October 7, 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 296
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Banned from the sea by a vindictive master pilot and cast out of Crosspointe's Pilot Guild, Thorn believes his life is over--until he's conscripted to serve aboard the rogue ship Eidolon, which is pitch black, a shadow in the night, and sails with an unknown purpose.

Thorn finds himself pilot to a mutinous, wreck-cursed crew, taking orders from an insane captain, and battling not only the terrifying magic of the sea, but also a traitor to whatever secret mission the Eidolon serves. The saboteur is desperate to stop the black ship from making port even if that means killing every soul aboard.

Certain his kidnapping and duty on the black ship is no coincidence, Thorn must find a way to survive long enough to get the answers he needs. Who destroyed his life? And why?

So y’all picked The Black Ship for me to read AND review in November. Oops. I read it most of it in November, but I actually finished it December 3rd. I almost made it. So I figured I’d share it with this month’s round of TBR list reviews and then try to get back on track in January. We’ll see how I do…

So The Black Ship was exactly how I’d describe pretty much every Diana Pharaoh Francis book, Brutal and Fantastic! One of the things I always tell myself before going into her books is “remember Berls, she’s going to torture her characters,” and yet, somehow, I’m ALWAYS surprised and amazed by just how brutally she does just that. The thing is, it’s not torturing them for torturing them’s sake. It’s to give her books – which are based in incredibly developed fantasy worlds – an undeniable believability. Let’s face it, nothing ruins a book more than that eye roll that comes when your character is saved YET AGAIN in the most ridiculous way. Because they’re the hero and good things happen to them in just the nick of time. Not in Diana’s books. Nope. Her characters are real. They suffer. And if they get out of something, you don’t roll your eyes. You breathe a breath of relief because they’re FINALLY going to make it. It keeps you on the edge of your seat too, because you never quite know when THAT moment where you get to breathe the breath of relief will happen. So that’s how The Black Ship unfolds in terms of what happens. I sat on the edge waiting for my character to actually not get tortured.

I do have to say, though, that it did take me a little bit to get into The Black Ship. The reason? It’s book two in a series and I was really expecting to see some of the characters I’d already grown to love – Lucy and Martin. And they don’t make much of an appearance in the book at all and when they do really show up the book is basically over. However, it is still most definitely connected to their story and you cannot read this out of order if you want to understand what’s really happening. The Black Ship is a continuation of their story – it just took me a bit to realize how.

Once I embraced the new character though – wowza! I may have loved him more than Lucy and Martin. He was stubborn as all hell, which sometimes did lead to his torturing himself, but mostly it just showed what an incredibly good person he was – despite the odds. He’s funny too, which is always a plus. And to top it off, he’s a cat lover in a world that sees cats as bad luck. As in loves his cat so much he’d pretty much die for her. Yeah. Awesome guy (and I’m a dog person).

If details about sailing – albeit in a fantasy world where things are even more treacherous – bore you, the details in The Black Ship might bore you. I found them fascinating, since we’re talking sailing in a world very much like Elizabethan or maybe Victorian England – as in dangerous – plus adding this incredible world of magical creatures to raise the stakes. It was exciting, mesmerizing, and yeah… Brutal and Fantastic. Thanks for picking it guys!

4.5 stars I loved it

Berls finally reviewed The Black Ship by @dianapfrancis! She rates it Brutal & Fantastic! 4.5/5 stars! Click To Tweet Follow on Bloglovin


About Diana Pharaoh Francis

I was raised on a cattle ranch in Northern California (outside a town called Lincoln which is now part of an enormous sprawl). I taught myself to ride a horse at the age of six, as no one had the time to teach me—they were all busy learning how to irrigate, how to cajole an angry bull into another field, how to pull a calf… Afraid of heights, and absolutely sure I was going to die, I managed to scramble up on the back of a very patient and lazy strawberry roan destrier, and plod off into the sunset.

Thereafter, I spent much of my early life on horseback, or so far buried into a book that the rest of the world ceased to exist (much to the annoyance of my family—it took several attempts to get my attention). We all had very specific jobs on the ranch and mine was horses and cattle—out rounding up at dawn. And since I rode bareback, my standing request was to wake me up 5 minutes before everyone else headed for the barn—time enough to dress and eat my Wheaties, and no sleep time wasted on saddling.

After high school, I attended college after college, racking up a BA and MA in creative writing and a Ph.D. in literature and theory. My very patient and supportive husband traipsed across the Midwest and back to Montana for me (though my husband insists that he’s been running and hiding and I just keep finding him), where I now teach at the University of Montana-Western. We also a son Q-ball, who in our humbly unbiased opinions, is the most wonderful son ever produced, and a daughter, Princess Caesar, who is the most wonderful daughter ever produced.

I have a fascination for the Victorians, weather, geology, horses, plants and mythology, I like spicy food, chocolate and cheesecake, and I have an odd sense of humor. (Or so I’ve been told. Often.) Incidentally, the Pharaoh is in fact my real name, and oddly enough, is of British origin.

Some of my current favorite sf/f writers are Ilona Andrews, Carol Berg, C.E. Murphy, Patty Briggs, Lynn Flewelling, Rachel Caine, David Coe, and Anne Bishop.


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

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