HMS Lanternfish is the second in C S Boyack’s marvellous pirating adventure, I read this last year, which helped complete my Mount TBR Challenge. Then, as I was desperate to read on, I completed the series with Wreck of the Lanternfish as the first book of 2023. So that’s a win for the 2023 Finishing the Series Challenge, too!
HMS Lanternfish (The Lanternfish #2)
by C S Boyack
The Lanternfish crew completed their original mission, but got exposed to a more global problem. An entire continent is at war, headed up by a head-strong young king with dreams of power, and pushed from behind by a mysterious religious order known as the Fulminites.
Rather than let their country fall under the iron boot of conquest, James and his crew set sail once more to see what kind of muscle Lanternfish can lend to the war effort. Acting precariously under an unofficial charter as a privateer, even his allies aren’t always his friends.
HMS Lanternfish explores new worlds on its way to war, and drifts considerably off course. It features an international crew of characters, and for fans of the first book, the root monsters are back, too. Tall ships, a few con games, martial arts, and everything you loved about the original book is all returning.
Hoist the colors and wheel out the guns. Lanternfish is taking to the high seas once more. (goodreads)
Once I was back behind the wheel of the ship and remembered who was who, I found this book extremely difficult to put down.
C S Boyack has a brilliant way of words, both descriptive and action. The strange creatures of the glorious islands (hot and cold) the crew encounter. The appalling brawls they get into, and the strategic fights when almost outnumbered. It all flows from his pen with a fluidity matched only by the sea.
HMS Lanternfish is the second book of the trilogy. While the adventure stands alone I think it would be a shame to read it on its own. I mean, why ration your enjoyment?
I only stopped because of the end of the year, which gave me the opportunity to shamelessly manipulate my reading challenge results!
Wreck of the Lanternfish (The Lanternfish #3)
by C S Boyack
James Cuttler created a peaceful spot for he and his wife to settle down. Far from the war that ravages their homeland, far from the reputation he earned as the notorious Captain Bloodwater, and far from responsibility.
A royal Prelonian houseguest is a constant reminder of what’s at stake half a world away, of the friends he put ashore to fight the war. He lives in a dream world that’s temporary, at best. It’s only a matter of time before his guest is identified and the black assassins come for her.
He mortgages his precious vineyard to pay for repairs to his ship. If nothing else, Lanternfish will be one of the most powerful ships in the war. He’ll need to avoid those on his own side who would hang him for piracy.
Serang is half a world away, leading her army of mercenary swordsmen toward the Fulminites. Mistrusted by both sides of the war, she appears as a third combatant on the battlefield. She may eliminate the mysterious order, only to succumb to the demons of her own tragic past.
Strap on your swords and hoist the colors one more time as the thrilling Lanternfish Trilogy comes to an end. (goodreads)
In some ways it was not as exciting as previous instalments, in others, even more so. Serang is involved in countless battles, but with an eye on heritage, too. James has a ridiculous plan which pays off, but after that he has to get involved in the politics of solving the problem. Others who have had bit-parts come into their own as major influencers. The Fu dogs make their final appearance. The root monsters make their final appearance after several wonderful escapades (I cried).
I’m not sure that CS Boyack left any thread unraveled. This was a masterpiece of writing craft*, to tie up such a complex world in such a brilliant way. I loved this series and will miss its world and all who inhabit it.
But it was a great start to 2023!Book Review | HMS Lanternfish plus Wreck of the Lanternfish – series finale 'a masterpiece of writing craft' #fantasy #pirates #adventure #warcraft #5stars #lanternfish @virgilante Click To Tweet
*Despite a few homonyms still appearing 🙁 I think I’d volunteer to type-edit this for him if he asked.