Saturday, November 28, 2015

Book Review: Pirate's Honor by Chris A. Jackson

Nobody crosses Torius Vin.
A pirate captain doesn't have to be a scoundrel, but when someone turns the authorities on Torius and his crew, he has to get even. Now, Torius and his loyal crew, including his girlfriend Celeste-- a serpentine navigator-- and his new first mate, plan to get even. Celeste will have to pose as a human and even seduce another man to make their plan work. Everything seems to be pointing towards a strain of Torius and Celeste's relationship, only complicated by Torius's addiction to Celeste's venom. Is their vengeance doomed to fail?
Or is there another betrayal in the works?

That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from

A pirate captain of the Inner Sea, Torius Vin makes a living raiding wealthy merchant ships with his crew of loyal buccaneers. Few things matter more to Captain Torius than ill-gotten gold—but one of those is Celeste, his beautiful snake-bodied navigator. When a crafty courtesan offers the pirate crew a chance at the heist of a lifetime, it’s time for both man and naga to hoist the black flag and lead the Stargazer’s crew to fame and fortune. But will stealing the legendary Star of Thumen chart the corsairs a course to untold riches—or send them all to a watery grave?

Torius Vin and his crew live in a fantasy world that is rich with lore. The characters have pasts, parts of which matter and some that don't matter to the narrative. The world has history, customs, cultures, races, and tons of other information that makes it full and believable. Torius and his crew are just part of a larger world, but their story is cohesive and fulfilling in itself. The world taunts at so many more stories to tell, but Jackson keeps things clean and contained, which had to be no easy feat considering all the goodies he had to choose from in the world.

My Thoughts
Pirate's Honor is a Pathfinder book, based in the world and lore of the tabletop RPG game. As a player of Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons, it felt like coming home. I have to be honest, even as a tabletop gamer, I never really found much drive to read books set in the gaming worlds. It wasn't until meeting Chris that I decided to give a game book a whirl.
I am glad I did. I was always afraid that reading gaming books would make me cringe, that it would be stunted, just a clear attempt of a writer to narrate their own game campaign. WOW, was I wrong. I should have known better.
Pirate's Honor had adventure, dialogue, well-fleshed-out characters, and was just plain a joy to read (or have read to me, as I listened through Audible). Sure, I sort of expected fights to be awkward... but I was wrong about how that would go, too. This book was ridiculously exciting, and was nothing like reading, watching, or playing Pathfinder itself. It was a novel first, a gaming world second. THAT was a winning move for me.
I love how Jackson really thinks of his readers. He's a subtle writer, giving the reader hints of insight into future events and conflicts with just enough advance notice for you to guess at what's going to happen. He encourages the reader to think, to try and figure out things, before you realize what's really happening. Sometimes, I was even right. But he manages to keep me surprised along with his characters, and that is just plain brilliant. And he gives an ending that satisfies. I am ready to dig into the next one!

Would I Recommend This Book? Absolutely! Jackson has created a competant crew and a great adventure that challenges their wits and abilities. It's a pleasure to read and just plain out fun. I give Pirate's Honor a grog-swilling 5 of 5 stars!
For more on the author, visit

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