Sailing the two seas fantasy style, or my review of Cutlass

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23555863Cutlass (Cutlass #1)

By Ashley Nixon

Publisher: StarSeed Press

Publication Date: November 13th, 2014

Format: Kindle eBook


Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.

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4 star rating


Cutlass was wonderful. It had action and revenge-driven pirates and a light romance and disguised pirates and nasty nobles and misunderstood pirates. Barren is a revenge driven pirate captain with a loyal crew who all terrorize the coastal city of Maris together as one big happy family. Until, that is, Barren gets the idea that the best way possible to finally get what he wants, a face off with his brother on his own turf (or waves, rather), is to kidnap his fiancée. Which he promptly does. Except that the fiancée? She is not what he expected at all.

Barren and Larkin embark on a journey to find a very special stone that can give people of a certain bloodline enormous power. This bloodline just happens to be Barren’s, and the rest of his family is after this stone as well. So it is a race to recover the stone and destroy it before others can get their hands on it, while dealing with betrayals, searching for clues, and Barren and Larkin learning they are not so different after all so they should stop arguing and just kiss each other.

Barren and Larkin were wonderful, each were sassy and snarky and could hold their own in a sword fight. But, they also connected and learned to love each other. My only issue was that while this love was stated by others who observed their relationship, I never really saw it. I saw mutual attraction and liking going on, but nothing I would call as strong as love until the characters started feeling all these emotions once they started kissing each other. While I think the author was going for a show not tell thing with the budding love story, I don’t think there was enough showing to cover all the telling that was included.

The world, was so unique. Going into the book, I thought that it would take place in what would be this world’s Orient, or Asia. However, I quickly caught on that this was not the case. This is a whole new world that just happens to share a name with a location in our world. Regardless of the fact that I had gotten myself all super excited about a pirate book that takes place in Asia, the book’s world was still interesting with the inclusion of elves, dwarves, and magic. My one regret is not seeing any of the mysterious Octent, the sister sea to the well travelled and primary locale of the book, the Orient.

The plot will drag you in, with intrigue abounding and twists coming to light as it unfolds. The number of back stabbings going on in this book, both literally and figuratively, keep the plot going at full speed with constant changes in scenery and evolving revelations.

Cutlass was a fun read and I really want to read the sequel. If you want a quick read involving pirates, a light romance, and a little magic, this is one book you will love.


emily name

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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.

FTC Advisory: This book was provided for free from Xpresso Reads in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary or product incentives were given to influence our opinions.



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