Title: The Pirate of Fathoms Deep (Tales of the High Court #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Megan Derr (Less Than Three)
Publication Date & Length: July 13, 2016
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.
Megan Derr is one of my favorite authors, and the first part of this series was one of my favorite books last year. I was delighted to see there was a sequel, and I was even more delighted when the book met all my expectations.
The biggest reason I can see for reading this series is the world in which the books are set. It’s almost a character in itself. I loved seeing more deeply into the political structures between the realms.
The second reason to read is the relationships between the characters. I loved the good-natured banter between Sarrica and Lesto. Anyone with a strong preference for men so masculine you can practically smell the sweat when you read should love them. Even though that’s not my personal preference, they are so utterly likable that I couldn’t help being swept up in their roughhousing.
There’s a lot to enjoy here–political intrigue, kidnapping, fistfights, and a love story somewhere between swoon-worthy and so hot it burns. I liked both Shemal and Lesto individually, and I liked them together. I loved that despite their insecurities, they didn’t spend the whole book hiding from each other. They worked things out and would have been content to settle down if it hadn’t been for external events.
I was thrilled to see some of my favorites from the last book (and particularly glad to see how far Allen and Sarrica had come). The only thing I missed was that I’d have liked to see more of Lord Tara (loved him in the last one) and Jac (she was my favorite). But since there looks to be more coming in this series, maybe I’ll get my wish in a future installment. Also, I’d love to have my burning question answered about Shemal saying he didn’t have the equipment to bear children, since I wasn’t clear from the first one whether male pregnancy is actually possible in this world or whether some of the characters are gender variant.
All in all, this was everything I want in a fantasy/alternate world. I loved it from start to finish, and I can’t wait to read more.
Megan is a long time resident of m/m fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies (especially all things James Bond). She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all around the internet.