“This is the story of the great battle between the pirates of the world and the band of merciless men who would purge us from the seas, and make the name Hell’s Gatemen a source of terror to us all.”
Thus begins the tale of love and war told by Ham Drumbone, a pirate storyteller with a gift for dramatic detail. It is recalled by Smith Delaney as he awaits a gruesome death at the hands of ancient beasts called mermonkeys, eager to devour his bones. In the process of remembering, this simple pirate ponders in his always-earnest and often-whimsical way the mysteries of true hearts wronged, noble love gone awry, dark deeds done for the sake of gold, and the sacrifices made for love. For Ham's story is about Damrick Fellows, the great pirate hunter, who works his way ever closer to the great pirate king Conch Imbry, only to find his focus blurred by his love for the pirate's woman, Jenta Stillmithers. By the time the tale ends, Delaney must come face-to-face with himself, with his choices, with the power of love, and with a God who promises him both a hell richly earned and a grace given where none is deserved.
rating: 5 of 5 stars
Smith Delaney is a man who is awaiting his demise. This is a novel, of Delaney remembering a story in vivid detail of how things went from one place to another in the world of vast pirating and pillaging where the townsfolk saw no end of terror. Polivka weaves an intriguing tale as a master storyteller that brings images easily to the mind's eye of a reader and keeps one ceaselessly thirsting for more.
Many a book can grab me and pull with the never-ending page turning drama to a finish. This book is different. I was drawn and curious and could not unravel the tale fast enough, but the way the story was told in vivid detail and description causes one to take the tale at a leisurely pace. As a scene unfolds, it is almost necessary to full let it soak in from the words on the page to the reader's eye and then the synapses of the brain. Each section brings a mini story and intrigues a bit further.
An adventure of pirates, murder, fights, romance, true love, revenge, and justice prevail. All through out, the story is enticing and pulls a reader to one way of thinking and then changes your mind to another. Mixed in the story in a very non-nagging manner is a fabulous undertone of what is coming... Where are your actions taking you and how will they affect the outcome of your life?
It is a thrilling ride filled with the sounds of splashing waves and crying gulls with the scent of salt water to one's nose and I recommend it to many for a leisurely yet full of adventure ride. I am grateful that I was able to start my reading adventures of the Nearing Vast world through this prequel to the Trophy Chase trilogy. Now I am even more grateful that I have the first and third of the trilogy on my shelves waiting for me, and now must find a way to acquire the second novel. Then my adventure will be complete!
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The TROPHY CHASE TRILOGY
The Legend of the Firefish
Now in its second printing.
In this timeless tale of the pursuit of faith and honor, Packer Throme longs to bring prosperity back to his decaying fishing village by discovering the trade secrets of a notorious pirate who hunts the legendary Firefish for its rare meat. Armed with the love of a priest's daughter, Packer stows away on the great ship, Trophy Chase. But events quickly spin out of control, and he must choose whether, and then how, to confront the evil power he unwittingly unleashes. Packer and Panna find enormous dangers, failures, and triumphs, and their kingdom on the brink of war.
The Hand that Bears the Sword
Now also in its second printing.
The adventure continues as Packer Throme's newfound renown has thrust the young couple into the center of their nation's war effort. Packer and the Trophy Chase set sail for deep waters to try to slow an invasion by the unstoppable armada of the Kingdom of Drammun, while the Firefish stalk from below and pirates chase from behind. At home, Panna must fight the insidious evil that would destroy their homeland from within. Their struggles test them past endurance, but only increase their fame.
The Battle for Vast Dominion
Just nominated for a Christy award!
The saga concludes as Packer Throme leads his people in war. The simple fisherman's son and the daughter of a village priest now find that a surprising new power has been granted them from above, through Packer's knowledge of the Firefish. As army faces army, and navy faces navy, all are drawn inexorably to the source of all earthly power... the feeding waters of the Firefish. Here the epic struggle for dominion of the world will be settled at last, and the path that Packer has chosen will deliver him to evil. And then...?