When I set out to read this book I didn’t know it would qualify for the “And So It Begins” square on the CBR10 bingo card. Happily for me that is a box now checked off, as this is book one in The Tales of Valdur series.
The header of The Guns of Ivrea page on Clifford Beal’s site says, “Historical Fiction with a Twist of Lime”. Historical fiction implies to me that you are taking historical people and events and writing your own interpretation of said events. This book is not that. There are sailing ships, historical clothing/armor/weapons, aristocracy and religious orders but when it’s a made up world, with made up people, and mythical races – that’s fantasy fiction. That said, it was a fun read that filled the ten hours I was stuck on a plane between London and San Diego.
Brother Acquel is a former thief and current reluctant monk, though not yet sworn in to the priesthood. When inspecting a tomb for damage after an earthquake, his thieving instincts put him in possession of an important artifact. Unfortunately he also discovered something that will shake the very foundations of his religion and puts his life in danger.
Nicolo Danamis is not quite a Lord (though his family has been granted an estate), not quite a pirate (though pirating is allowed when it’s against Southlanders), and technically is Admiral of the King’s fleet. These are titles inherited from his father who has been missing many years now. It is a tenuous position in life but one that affords him a lot of freedom and to be Captain of his command ship, Royal Grace. However, not everyone is happy about Danamis’s station in life and his luck is about to run out.
Suppressed religious texts and a repressed older religion, political intrigue and warring city states, sea battles aboard sailing ships, near mythical mer-people, and all too obvious romances together create an enjoyable read but I’m not rushing out to add the sequel to my TBR.