Reunited once more, the crew of Baal's Heart must make the long and treacherous journey south to the towering spires of the Devil's Isles. The path through the mountain range is fraught with peril; mayhem and tragedy plague the pirate ship, but what the men find beyond the spires is the most shocking of all.
In this sequel to the acclaimed Caged, the pirates are dragged into a dangerous new world by Captain Baltsaros's all-consuming obsession. In the midst of terror and chaos, Jon learns that the captain and first mate have been keeping secrets from him. But will the truth tear them apart?
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Extraordinary performance, compelling story
Michael Ferraiuolo's gift of infusing each character with a unique voice ramped an already compelling tale to another level. This is a strongly character-driven story of betrayal and redemption amidst the backdrop of a mind-bending fantasy landscape that is both familiar and alien.
Jon is still my favorite character: his growth amidst the breaking down of his moral center, tapping into latent sadistic tendencies that strongly conflict with Jon's world view, sets up a powerful Sturm und Drang that drives the plot and provides the glue holding the disparate personalities together.
In a word: incredible. His ability to switch seamlessly between and among all the characters' voices is truly awesome. This is far more than just a "reading"... it is performance art.
When Jon is finally confronted with the ultimate moral choice toward the end of the book, his reality fractures and releases the man he will become. All truly excellent books have that one defining moment: for me, it was that scene with Jon.
If you love alternate universe, historical fantasy tales of adventure that are character-driven, intensely sensual and morally conflicted, then the Baal's Heart series is just what you are looking for.
- Beach Bum Books