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.
I’ve been hoping for this book ever since The High King’s Golden Tongue, one of my top 5 reads of 2015. I didn’t realize there would be a sequel to that magnificent book, so I could barely contain my excitement when I found out there was one (there’s even a third coming out in 2017, be still my beating heart).
Megan Derr became one of my new favorite author with High King, and her turn of a phrase, imaginative worlds, compelling and diverse characters never fail to capture my attention. This was definitely the case here. The Pirate of Fathom’s Deep tells the story of Lesto, the High Commander and best friend to the High King in the aforementioned book. He’s a surly character, and I must mention now that you need to read the first book before you dive into this one. Derr’s world-building is so wonderful and complete, that without it, you’ll feel as if you woke up in a strange world with amnesia, and don’t have any idea who is who in terms of people and places, wars that have been won and alliances that have formed and so on. It’s no hardship since it’s a fascinating tale.
Lesto had a furtive, lusty romp with pirate Shemal when he was captured a year and a half ago. Lesto was insulted when Shemal ran off right after the encounter, whereas Shemal was certain he was about to become a mere plaything to the royal Commander, which doesn’t sit well with the proud and Alpha pirate. When Lesto is kidnapped by desperate mercenaries, he’s brought to Shemal , and that’s when the adventure and swiftly-growing romance begins.
I delighted in this quick-paced tale set in the colorful world of which I was captured by in High King. The tone is different, less intense, and with more humor. While there’s some mild angst (The Big Misunderstanding), it can’t even begin to compare to the gut-wrenching events of High King. This story is also a lot steamier, with more sexy-times, as would befit two lusty, Alpha men. Plus, there’s political intrigue and battle action to carry our lovers along on their journey to an Ever After.
One final note, despite the title, the action takes place on land, not the high seas. Don’t go into it with that expectation, because you don’t want to distract yourself from this great love story set in an exciting fantasy world.