Author Rob J. Hayes, after his successful completion of his award-winning grimdark trilogy, The Ties That Bind, now continues the saga of First Earth with several crossover characters in Where Loyalties Lie, book one of Best Laid Plans.
Everybody knows Captain Drake Morrass is out only for himself. As the fires of a dying city burn on a distant shore, Drake sees an opportunity to unite the other pirate captains under his flag and claim a crown for himself. If he is to succeed, he will need allies, and the Oracle named Keelin Stillwater, the best swordsman in the isles, as his right hand. With enemy ships sailing his waters and setting fire to his cities and the sinister Tanner Black threatening to steal the throne before Drake even has a chance to sit upon it, Drake Morass must somehow convince the other captains that his best interests are also theirs.
Where Loyalties Lie is the first book in the Best Laid Plans duology and is set in the same world as The Ties That Bind trilogy, continuing Captain Drake Morass' story where the trilogy left off.
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Decent story ruined by language
Minimize or dispense with pervasive foul language and crass sexual references and descriptions. We all know pirate life is supposed to be raw and earthy, but we don't need it described in detail. Why ruin a perfectly good voyage on a compelling story by subjecting your passengers to a deluge of unpleasant bilge water that does not enhance the journey in any way?
The conflict is unveiled in the first pages, but I liked the way that the back story was unveiled in bits by learning about the significant array of interesting characters involved in the foreground action. You always wanted to know more about those stores - like not being able to peek around a corner.
The narration was satisfactory.
I think I've already covered that.
As the first book in a series the story does a good job of holding your interest while giving enough of a peek into the back stories to leave you wanting more. That said, I will not subject myself to the disappointment of another good store ruined by "realism"