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Crossbones

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Never trust a pirate. The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win. Captain. Sister. Maiden. Csilla Abado yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at he Never trust a pirate. The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win. Captain. Sister. Maiden. Csilla Abado yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at her youth and to her elder sister who has always craved Csilla’s captainship. She will risk everything to become the first pirate queen, no matter the cost. Dealer. Son. Legacy. Kane Blackwater wants to leave behind the dirty gold and shady trades he’s made to keep his father’s ship, the Iron Jewel, alive. The Trials represent a new beginning—yet rumors of a secret heir are swirling, threatening his hopes of becoming the pirate king. Stowaway. Daughter. Storm. Lorelei Penny longs for nothing more than to avenge her mother’s death. Stowing away on the Iron Jewel was supposed to get her closer to the killer, but instead she finds herself caught up in the deadly battle where loyalty and desire collide. Csilla. Kane. Lorelei. Each on a mission. The sea, however, has other plans. Dark tides are rising, and if they aren’t careful, they’ll surely drown.


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Never trust a pirate. The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win. Captain. Sister. Maiden. Csilla Abado yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at he Never trust a pirate. The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win. Captain. Sister. Maiden. Csilla Abado yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at her youth and to her elder sister who has always craved Csilla’s captainship. She will risk everything to become the first pirate queen, no matter the cost. Dealer. Son. Legacy. Kane Blackwater wants to leave behind the dirty gold and shady trades he’s made to keep his father’s ship, the Iron Jewel, alive. The Trials represent a new beginning—yet rumors of a secret heir are swirling, threatening his hopes of becoming the pirate king. Stowaway. Daughter. Storm. Lorelei Penny longs for nothing more than to avenge her mother’s death. Stowing away on the Iron Jewel was supposed to get her closer to the killer, but instead she finds herself caught up in the deadly battle where loyalty and desire collide. Csilla. Kane. Lorelei. Each on a mission. The sea, however, has other plans. Dark tides are rising, and if they aren’t careful, they’ll surely drown.

30 review for Crossbones

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    i wanted a pirate adventure and this delivered as much as a wattpad story can deliver. i think the idea of the trials is cool and enjoyed how all of the MCs (as well as some entertaining side characters) worked together to face them. i found the connection between the young pirates to be endearing, even when they are supposed to be rough and ruthless. overall, i do think this is a bit too simplistic. there really isnt any world-building considering this is a standalone and the plot is super basi i wanted a pirate adventure and this delivered as much as a wattpad story can deliver. i think the idea of the trials is cool and enjoyed how all of the MCs (as well as some entertaining side characters) worked together to face them. i found the connection between the young pirates to be endearing, even when they are supposed to be rough and ruthless. overall, i do think this is a bit too simplistic. there really isnt any world-building considering this is a standalone and the plot is super basic. but there are some pretty good foundational elements and feel like this story would be better served as a series to be able to build upon those things. but all in all, this gets the job done and provides a few hours of decent entertainment. thanks for the ARC, wattpad books. ↠ 3 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lucie V.

    I received a copy of this book via Edelweiss (thank you Wattpad Books). All thoughts and opinions are my own. ✅ Gorgeous cover ✅ Pirates ✅🆗 Pace ✅🆗 Plot 🆗 World-building 🆗 Characters 🆗❌ Romance Maybe 2.5 stars? This book has a strong start, and I was eager to see how everything would unfold. The plot is enjoyable but predictable, and many things that happened were very convenient. The story as a whole is not bad, but nothing stuck out and I feel as though a lot of it was skimmed over and vague. The pac I received a copy of this book via Edelweiss (thank you Wattpad Books). All thoughts and opinions are my own. ✅ Gorgeous cover ✅ Pirates ✅🆗 Pace ✅🆗 Plot 🆗 World-building 🆗 Characters 🆗❌ Romance Maybe 2.5 stars? This book has a strong start, and I was eager to see how everything would unfold. The plot is enjoyable but predictable, and many things that happened were very convenient. The story as a whole is not bad, but nothing stuck out and I feel as though a lot of it was skimmed over and vague. The pacing is rather quick, and we jump from one obstacle or fight to the next with little breathing room. Because of that, the alliances and friendships that are formed during the story seem rushed and hollow. Also, the world-building, characters, and relationship are all quite simple, and sadly the story’s execution suffers due to its simplicity. The plot follows pirate captains competing for the Bone Crown after the Bong King is killed. Crossbones is a fast-paced book filled with action as all Captains are scheming to get the crown, while also dealing with their personal troubles and vendettas on the sidelines. We follow the adventure of a roguish captain haunted by his father’s legacy and the betrayal of half his crew, a young woman captain trying to prove that she deserves the honor that was bestowed upon her, and the daughter of a madwoman. They all find themselves entering the Trials from which only one captain will emerge as the King of Pirates. There are three different POVs; Csilla, Kane, and Lorelei. All three of them are likable, but they are not the most developed characters. Csilla is ruthless yet has a strict honor code and cares about others (even if she does not want to show it), Kane tries not to repeat his mistakes and overall seems quite nice, and Lorelei gets thrown into the pirates' world after a captain murders her mother. The problem is that I don’t think they fit what the author wants them to be. Lorelei is thrown into the pirate world and somehow survives when she should not, Kane is supposed to be a love interest (I assume) but he is rather bland and his haunting backstory is not really interesting, and Csilla spends as much time worrying/caring about Flynn than she does actually showing her crew that she can be a strong leader. I have to say though that I enjoyed the complex relationship between Csilla and her older sister Rhoda. It was probably one of the best-developed relationships in this book, even if everything that happened between them was predictable. Overall the ideas are good and there is a lot of action, but the execution and the predictability and convenience of the plot made it hard to really get into this book and to enjoy it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alex (The Scribe Owl)

    PIRATES. SIX OF CROWS. OH MY GOSH I GOT AN ARC

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jagoda

    "Climb quick and true, or it'll be the end of you." What a ride it was! This book was fast paced and really entertaining. It follows pirates who are on the quest to find keys and win The Bone Crown. There are three POV, which was great. The plot was simple though and the characters weren't perfect. But did I had the time of my life reading it? Did I devoured it in one sitting? Did I sacrificed three hours of sleep to finish this book? Check, check, check. Also romance🧑‍🍳💋 This book maybe wasn't re "Climb quick and true, or it'll be the end of you." What a ride it was! This book was fast paced and really entertaining. It follows pirates who are on the quest to find keys and win The Bone Crown. There are three POV, which was great. The plot was simple though and the characters weren't perfect. But did I had the time of my life reading it? Did I devoured it in one sitting? Did I sacrificed three hours of sleep to finish this book? Check, check, check. Also romance🧑‍🍳💋 This book maybe wasn't really complicated, but it sure as hell is entertaining. 5/5⭐ "He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her closer, having forgotten what a hug felt like. He wished he could bottle time, if just for this small moment." Kaz Brekker is that you?👁️👄👁️ Thank you Edelweiss for providing digital advanced copy in exchange for honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    sam

    DNF @ 20% I usually don’t dnf books this early but when you know, you know I’ve tried to read this book multiple times because hello? pirates?? but I think this was a case of bad timing because I really didn’t like it all that much. might pick it up again in the future if i’m up for it but right now, uH it’s going to be a no from me. thank you to the publisher and edelweiss for the arc

  6. 4 out of 5

    Athena (OneReadingNurse)

    You guys know that I will do anything for a good pirate story.   Now that I'm aware that this is supposed to be the first in a trilogy, I'm much more confident in my 🌟🌟🌟 rating If it's going to kick off a trilogy, I would expect much more in-depth world and character building, more lore, more everything.   The characters don't need to rush from thing to thing and the author can take time to build relationships and such The characters are a good lot but they don't make great pirates.  They do say t You guys know that I will do anything for a good pirate story.   Now that I'm aware that this is supposed to be the first in a trilogy, I'm much more confident in my 🌟🌟🌟 rating If it's going to kick off a trilogy, I would expect much more in-depth world and character building, more lore, more everything.   The characters don't need to rush from thing to thing and the author can take time to build relationships and such The characters are a good lot but they don't make great pirates.  They do say time and time again that they are meant to protect their homeland more than be ruthless brigands, but they seem more like YA cinnamon rolls than pirates. Yes they have their ruthless streaks but they came together fairly easily in an alliance.  Are we just going to drop all of the terrible things that Kane has done?  What about Rove?  I want details! There was a good foundation to the world building, but I want more on the entire Incendia vs Cerulia conflict.  More lore too, the gods and goddesses are an interesting basis but it all just wasn't quite enough for me. The trials seemed a bit anticlimactic too, plus for all of the times that it was said there were only 4 map pieces and each captain would get a piece - there were 5 captains.   There were definitely positive aspects like the magic, I love when innate magic is attached to bloodlines or kingdoms.  I just felt like the whole book was skimming over the surface when, again for the start of a trilogy, there should be more depth. The Scilla vs Rhoda thing was the most real relationship in the whole book for me, what a terrible betrayal by her sister.  The other relationships seemed fluffed together quickly. I don't know how to describe it either, but I just didn't think the characters... Felt like pirates.  Rove and Kane did at least at the start, but Flynn definitely didn't.  Neither did Scilla really, I needed more time at sea to show ... pirating.  I might give it one more book but I don't know.  The ending felt more like Cinderella than pirates, and there are a ton of phenomenal pirate books out there right now Once again thank you to Bookish First and Wattpad Books for the digital ARC!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lexi

    I DNFed this one around 75%. Not because it wasn’t delightful, it was. I think this book is very interesting, but not really what I was looking for right now. Let me start by saying this is a wattpad published book that I received an ARC Of. I was really excited about it because the description is really awesome, and it’s a standalone pirate book with a little bit of a heist twist. The characters are absolutely wonderful, and the plot moves at a fantastic pace. I will probably finish it eventually I DNFed this one around 75%. Not because it wasn’t delightful, it was. I think this book is very interesting, but not really what I was looking for right now. Let me start by saying this is a wattpad published book that I received an ARC Of. I was really excited about it because the description is really awesome, and it’s a standalone pirate book with a little bit of a heist twist. The characters are absolutely wonderful, and the plot moves at a fantastic pace. I will probably finish it eventually My problem with this book is that it is a standalone, but it wants to pull the emotional intensity of a series. Characters have deep dark secrets, and really emotionally intense conversations that sometimes don’t feel earned. Well the plot pace is excellent, sometimes the characterization can feel like it’s going a little bit too fast. I can imagine reading this on wattpad And being completely starry eyed. It’s just excellent work for being such a short piece of fiction, but if we’re going to treat it as a published work it actually really should’ve been longer, which is some thing I don’t see a lot. If you like pirate stuff, multi POV, great characters, and bickering romances, I think this book will really hit the spot. The writing is a little bit juvenile but it’s easy to follow and it’s not bad at all. The author draws you into the characters almost immediately and they’re really fun to follow. Again, I probably would’ve finished this book if I was more in the mood and I didn’t have a large backlogged TBR.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Roomies' Digest

    Definitely one of my favorite books this year!! I have been searching for the perfect pirate book for YEARS, and I think I finally found it. From the first page I was sucked into this story. We start off with Csilla, one of our main POVs, who is being tried for being a pirate. As the plot progresses we see that there are three main POVs- two being pirate captains and the other a stowaway. We’ve got a pirate king, a rich setting, a unique magic sysytem, lore and trials that the three main POVs mus Definitely one of my favorite books this year!! I have been searching for the perfect pirate book for YEARS, and I think I finally found it. From the first page I was sucked into this story. We start off with Csilla, one of our main POVs, who is being tried for being a pirate. As the plot progresses we see that there are three main POVs- two being pirate captains and the other a stowaway. We’ve got a pirate king, a rich setting, a unique magic sysytem, lore and trials that the three main POVs must go through if they want to become the next pirate king. One of my favorite things about this book is that though there is magic and creatures, our story focuses mainly on normal people trying to live in this world. They have to use their skills and their brains to get what they want, and they’ll do anything (even resort to betrayal) to get there. Y’all this is everything!! I absolutely love Pirates of the Caribbean and I feel like this book gives us all of those vibes. Similar, but definitely different! I loved seriously everything about this and am so happy to have read it! ESPECIALLY the plot twists!! I highly recommend for fantasy readers, especially those who love pirates because this is one of the best pirate books I think I’ve ever read! Definitely a new favorite. Xx -Christine

  9. 4 out of 5

    ★ Jeanette Trinidad ★

    Crossbones is an interesting book about pirates. I enjoyed the aspect of the book, having the plot follow pirates competing for the Bone crown after the Bong King dies. The writing in crossbones was pretty nice and understandable. Crossbones starts out as a strong book filled with action and ended with just as much. For me, this was a fast-paced read that had helped to get me out of a reading slump. Crossbones also includes multiple perspectives; Csilla, Kane, and Lorelei. I enjoyed reading abou Crossbones is an interesting book about pirates. I enjoyed the aspect of the book, having the plot follow pirates competing for the Bone crown after the Bong King dies. The writing in crossbones was pretty nice and understandable. Crossbones starts out as a strong book filled with action and ended with just as much. For me, this was a fast-paced read that had helped to get me out of a reading slump. Crossbones also includes multiple perspectives; Csilla, Kane, and Lorelei. I enjoyed reading about the main characters in the book and I found them likable. Their lives are all equally intriguing so I doubt readers would get bored. This book has Action, Adventure, magic, pirates, and more! The reasoning for 4.25 stars. While I did enjoy this book there were just some parts I didn't enjoy or find a bit too bland. Nonetheless, I would recommend this book. Do I think you should read this book? Yes! Pick this book up with you're interested in reading about swashbuckling pirates. e-ARC provided By Netgalley and Publisher. (Thank you!) I received a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are mine. EXPECTED RELEASE DATE: October 5th, 2021 REVIEWED: 5/2/2021

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily Stewart

    I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review My review contains spoilers! Synopsis: The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win. Captain. Sister. Maiden. Csilla Abado yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at her yo I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review My review contains spoilers! Synopsis: The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win. Captain. Sister. Maiden. Csilla Abado yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at her youth and to her elder sister who has always craved Csilla’s captainship. She will risk everything to become the first pirate queen, no matter the cost. Dealer. Son. Legacy. Kane Blackwater wants to leave behind the dirty gold and shady trades he’s made to keep his father’s ship, the Iron Jewel, alive. The Trials represent a new beginning—yet rumors of a secret heir are swirling, threatening his hopes of becoming the pirate king. Stowaway. Daughter. Storm. Lorelei Penny longs for nothing more than to avenge her mother’s death. Stowing away on the Iron Jewel was supposed to get her closer to the killer, but instead she finds herself caught up in the deadly battle where loyalty and desire collide. Csilla. Kane. Lorelei. Each on a mission. The sea, however, has other plans. Dark tides are rising, and if they aren’t careful, they’ll surely drown. Real Synopsis: The previous king is dead. The competition doesn’t start until halfway through the book. Young, angsty teens climb a cliff for Bone Crown. No one risks their lives because it is against the rules. Yo-yo. Naïve. Captain? Csilla Abado does not risk everything to become the first pirate queen, in fact, she is cordial with her enemies. Brash. Contradictory. Playboy. Kane can’t decide what he wants. He’s a macho tough-guy that fucks bitches but insta-loves unbelievable character, Lorelei. Unrealistic. Weak. “Everywhere”. Lorelei’s mother conveniently dies so that she can leave her town with peace of mind. There is no conflict, only insta-love. Csilla. Kane. Lorelei. Each ridiculous in their own way. The fire, however, has other plans. Molten men are rising, but they’ll escape practically unscathed every single time. I genuinely wanted to like this book. Going into it, this book had so much going for it; pirates, fighting, bone crowns, and the absolutely stunning cover. However, the execution of the premise fell flat on its ass. This book felt like it was still in the drafting process, unpolished but with a lot of promise. As the synopsis mentions, the main focus of the plot is meant to be the Bone Trials in which a pirate can be named king of the islands if they succeed against perilous odds. Except, the odds are not perilous and the Bone Trials do not start until halfway through the book. The first half is spent info dumping—yet not giving us important details—and introducing us to the characters. Things that are important to subtly include for the reader to visualise the characters are avoided, and they remain ambiguous except for pale-skinned and blue-eyed Lorelei. It was only until 70% into the book that we are told about one aspect of Csilla’s (and Rhoda’s) physical appearance, that they have bronzed-brown skin, and by then the reader has already made their own assumptions in their head. But this information is contradicted by earlier information where Rhoda is described as “going pale”. This could be just an expression, but it is misused if she is a POC. I’d also like to mention the overuse of embellished words through unnecessary adverbs/adjectives. I know writing a book can be daunting because of the word count, but adding filler words to make your passages lengthier is amateur writing. Sometimes simple is best. There were also quite a few spelling and grammatical errors, but I am unsure if that is the book itself or the strange formatting through Kindle. I also had issues with the dialogue. It felt unnatural and cliched, some of the lines felt like they were straight out of a cheesy superhero movie. “The sound of someone clapping stopped her as she bent at the knees. “Well done,” a familiar voice rang out behind. She would recognize that smooth honey tone anywhere.” “Well, well, well,” she mused, shifting her weight onto her hop as she gazed down at him. “Tell me why I shouldn’t slit your throat, Flynn Gunnison.”” “SSSon of the Iron Jewel. “Who are you?” Kane asked. He watched the molten man carefully. I am the flame. I am the warmth of thisss world. Kane blinked. Not the answer he was looking for. “What have you done to my men?” SSStay away from Port Barlow. Do not set sail for Incendia.” “She was alone in this world. Truly and utterly alone. Then came a voice. Loreleiii.” “”Do I make myself clear?” “Aye,” the pirates replied in unison. Lockheart shook his head. “I said, do I make myself clear?” “Aye!” the pirates yelled…” The hissing and extended words were a no-go for me. Also, I should mention that the writing suffers quite a bit from telling instead of showing, especially when it comes to dialogue tags. “You stuck him good,” he told her approvingly.” “He approached Rove, fingers bent, clenching the air as he spoke a curse under his breath. “No more talking from you, Rove,” Borne said, continuing forward.” The reader can infer that he is praising her from his language, and the reader already knows he’s walking toward Rove so reiterating that he is still walking is repetitive. Moving away from the writing style, let’s dive into the characters. Csilla- We are introduced to Csilla’s character first so one may conclude that Csilla is our main character, however she hardly gets any screen time compared to Kane and Lorelei who feel as if they should be side characters. Csilla is the captain of the Scarlet Maiden, a ship she inherited from her grandmother at the age of 16. When we meet her, she has been captain of the ship for 3 years. First, if I were a pirate I would never in my life take orders from a teenager, especially Csilla who is portrayed as naïve and inexperienced compared to her elder sister. I understand this is a young adult novel, however I find it hard to believe that most of these infamous ships are run by literal children, especially when some of them are not as cutthroat as they’d like the reader to think. Csilla thinks she was betrayed by someone she loved but she still pines after him. “I shouldn’t miss him, but I do.” Personally, if a man sent my ass to the gallows I’d kill him on sight. It was really irritating because I just could not understand how she could so easily brush over the fact that he tried to have her killed. It really plays into her naivete. However, she is constantly telling the reader how she has a cold exterior because of the “walls she’s built around herself so that no one can get close”, but we never really see that. In fact, Lorelei, a girl unfamiliar to the ways of pirates, finds Csilla approachable. It’s hard to believe you’re a cutthroat badass when some peasant thinks you’re trustworthy. There was one thing I really enjoyed about Csilla’s story, though, and that was her redemption fight against her sister. It was showing the reader that she was not going to be weak and naïve anymore, she was going to take her sister seriously in the fight and prove herself to be a capable captain; which she did. I also appreciated that she did not hesitate to follow through with her sister’s wishes, however Csilla had been going on and on about family and being alone that in this instance it would have made more sense for her to refuse—at least at first. Either way, I did enjoy that scene. Kane- Oh boy. Kane. This man was such a cocky prick in the beginning. “I know women, I can predict what they want from me but I’m not gonna fall for that cuz I ain’t a SIMP.” He’s brash and his actions are contradictory. He won’t work for Rove ever again, his debt is paid off. Rove offers him a job. Kane immediately considers it. (Also, wtf is up with the constant reminder of Rove’s twitching moustache?) Kane is the captain of the Iron Jewel, passed down to him after his father died. He had an abusive childhood so him being a dick makes sense, but then he does a complete 180 when he meets a molten man. Suddenly he’s no longer going to help Rove, he’s going to protect the mysterious heir instead and sort his life out, all after one meeting with a particularly weak monster. The motherfucker just stands in some knee-deep water to escape it and splashes it until the creature fucks off. But hey, it’s a convenient way to get him to work with her. Kane meets Lorelei and is instantly simping. “She’s not like other girls, she’s so determined and strong.” He is also a young captain like Csilla but he feels like another crew member. When Lorelei is injured, he fetches bandages himself. It’s a small detail, but I doubt a captain would do so when he could order someone to bring it to him. Since he was a child, he has had the dream of becoming the next Bone King and he tells us this during his first POV, however when the trials do finally come about, he has no idea who he wants to be his partner. I found this hard to believe; if this is your dream, wouldn’t you plan it better? Lorelei- Lorelei grows up in a small harbour town with her mother who becomes estranged over the years. She bakes and sells her goods in the market to make money. Lorelei is a regular peasant girl with no personal experience with pirates. AND YET, the moment she meets Kane Blackwater she shows a skill she would have no inclination to know: pickpocketing. If she had lived in a bad part of town and struggled to make ends meet, this skill would make sense, but she lives up on a hilltop with a cosy and sheltered life so being able to pickpocket so flawlessly is unrealistic. I found most of Lorelei’s character to be this way. When Lorelei’s mother dies she can finally leave the town in peace without being hindered by guilt. This felt like a cop-out. Lorelei explains she’s always wanted to leave that small town and see the world, why couldn’t that be her motivation to sneak on board the ship? Instead, she feels compelled to avenge her mother, which she has no training whatsoever to do. AND YET, she has enough training to stab a pirate. Never picked up a sword? No worries, if you’re one of the MCs you can just learn it on the spot. Now, she didn’t pull some stellar move, but she did manage to stab his shoulder. I just think a pirate with training who has been in the game for years should be able to defend himself against a peasant girl, and the only reason she succeeded is because he didn’t have a weapon to defend himself with—or at least he isn’t shown having one. Sorry, what pirate comes to a fight without a weapon? Yeah, none. Lorelei is honestly an idiot. First, she explains she cannot take anyone on in close combat and then proceeds to grab a sword to fight. Swords are close combat weapons. And don’t even get me started on the cliff scene during the trials. This girl is sidled next to Kane and in front of two other boys AND YET she somehow escapes unnoticed. She fucks off to a beach where she meets a molten man and instead of going into the ocean like a smart person, she instead chooses to climb a cliff. Once again, she is a normal peasant girl with no training, but hey she can scale a cliff side no problem. Rock climbing is extremely difficult, you have to have enough strength to pull yourself up. Lorelei is described as skinny. Lorelei has never worked out to build muscle or done any work requiring it. She does not have the strength it would take to climb this supposedly super dangerous cliff that not even Kane can climb. I just could not connect with Lorelei at all, everything about her didn’t make sense. As Kane had put it, “He couldn’t keep this girl straight in his mind—she was everywhere.” Again, this book has a lot of promise, it is an interesting idea, but it needs work. I know I am complaining a lot, but there were aspects of the book I enjoyed. I liked the world-building in this book, it was a soft world but I don’t mind that. I like that Incendia is built up so that there is perhaps room to touch upon a brewing war in a second book (however, if this is a stand-alone then this is actually not good because it is an issue that remains unresolved). I enjoyed that the different seasons had different names, although I wished it had been explained a lot sooner. Having “Redwind” at the beginning of every chapter with no explanation was confusing because I thought it might be a location. A lot of work goes into creating a unique world, so I can definitely appreciate what the author has done with theirs. I also appreciated that the author remained consistent on comparing everything to the sea and aspects of it, “look what the tides washed in”, “fear like a blind fish”, etc. It makes it more immersive and really solidifies the island nation they live in. There were also a few lines I thought were well-written: “The noose swayed back and forth, a pendulum ticking down her last moments, and all previous confidence drained from her like blood from a fresh wound.” “... a flesh and bone statue in a vividly moving world.” “Revenge was a goblet of rich wine that she’d savor until the very last drop.” Going back to the noose quote, I really enjoyed the way the book opened. It was a scene that could pull the reader into immediate action instead of slowly diving into it. I personally prefer being thrown into some sort of conflict, so I felt that the opening was strong. To conclude, this book has promise, and perhaps some may even still enjoy it as it is now. I over analyse the books I read (which evidently has brought my enjoyment down for a lot of them), but if you are someone who just enjoys the ride, then maybe this is the book for you.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    When I read the description for this book I was hook. Who doesn’t want to read about pirates and a race for the pirate crown? I thought there was a lot of potential in this story, but I felt like the final project didn’t reach the potential. I know it is young adult and I greatly enjoy young adult, but some moments the plot felt too juvenile. I liked the main characters and there was potential in their relationships, but I felt like the characters and their relationships could have been better d When I read the description for this book I was hook. Who doesn’t want to read about pirates and a race for the pirate crown? I thought there was a lot of potential in this story, but I felt like the final project didn’t reach the potential. I know it is young adult and I greatly enjoy young adult, but some moments the plot felt too juvenile. I liked the main characters and there was potential in their relationships, but I felt like the characters and their relationships could have been better developed. I will likely read the next book (and it’s good there will be a sequel as this book did not wrap up everything in my mind) and I hope the series continues to grow not just in volumes but depth. I did like the how different the various pirate ships were and the relationships between the captains was a good start. All together this was not a bad debut with a lot of great ideas.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Full Review to come soon.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Books and Cats

    Thank you to Netgalley and Wattpad Books for providing me a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If I had to describe Crossbones by Kimberly Vale in one sentence, I would call it fairly enjoyable but ultimately forgettable. It was okay, the storyline was fine, the characters were meh, and the ending was obvious. I'm pretty lukewarm on it and it's not one that's going to stick with me for long. The Plot The king has just died without an heir, leaving the throne open to Thank you to Netgalley and Wattpad Books for providing me a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If I had to describe Crossbones by Kimberly Vale in one sentence, I would call it fairly enjoyable but ultimately forgettable. It was okay, the storyline was fine, the characters were meh, and the ending was obvious. I'm pretty lukewarm on it and it's not one that's going to stick with me for long. The Plot The king has just died without an heir, leaving the throne open to whichever pirate captain can solve a puzzle and find the crown first, for some reason. All the captains think they have it in the bag but of course various alliances and betrayals upend everything. Not to mention someone who may change the course of history if they find out who they truly are. The Good I really liked reading about pirates. I don't think I've read a pirate novel since I was a kid so that was fun. Some of the characters were a positive for me too; Csilla and Rhoda both had fantastic character arcs, even if they were both pretty expected from page 1. Flynn was ok as well. I wouldn't say any of the side characters jumped out at me but they felt varied and numerous enough that the world was believably big. The Not-So-Good Lorelei and Kane. Blah. Kane was lame and problematic and I liked Lorelei at first but ended up finding her arc way too predictable to actually enjoy. I ended up just wanting to get back to Csilla during Lorelei or Kane's chapters. The plot felt so incredibly formulaic. It was like I was reading a super generic example of how to structure a plot. Several times I expected everyone to throw their arms around each other and laugh heartily, followed by a commercial break. It was too much sometimes. The ending was also unbelievably obvious. That's fine, but I suspect this author was going for a twisty, who's gonna get the crown type thing and I guessed exactly what would happen from about chapter two. It was hard not to. The I'm-Not-Sure-If-it's-Good-or-Bad It felt like this book was about 75% dialogue. Even during action scenes there was a huge amount of dialogue. I don't know if this was a negative exactly but I thought I'd mention it. Overall, this wasn't bad, just not really for me. If you don't mind tropey (and very straight) fantasy, and want to read about pirates doing pirate things then I'd recommend giving it a try.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Crossbones was a wild adventure from start to finish. Then again, what else would you expect when you get a book full of pirates. In it, you will meet Csilla, Kane, and Lorelei. After meeting them, I started making my little predictions of what was going to happen. I'll even admit that I wasn't completely shocked when my predictions were starting to become true. Some things were just way too obvious - I'm looking at you Rov I have received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Crossbones was a wild adventure from start to finish. Then again, what else would you expect when you get a book full of pirates. In it, you will meet Csilla, Kane, and Lorelei. After meeting them, I started making my little predictions of what was going to happen. I'll even admit that I wasn't completely shocked when my predictions were starting to become true. Some things were just way too obvious - I'm looking at you Rove and Rhoda. Other than that, I did actually like the little treasure hunt and a potential heir mysteriously hiding. I also thought it was kind of unique that the pirates were teaming up to help find the pieces throughout the trial. Then again, the one group was filled with people who were basically friends and grew up together. While the other one was full of evil traitors who were going to either meet their deaths or karma soon enough. In the end, I liked how this all ended. I'm not sure if this is going to stay a standalone or not but I wouldn't mind seeing another pirate adventure with them.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Ruth (The best boyfriends are book boyfriends)

    Thank you Netgalley for this incredible Arc! Crossbones by Kimberly Vale was a wild ride from beginning to end! I loved mostly all of this story bc... PIRATES!!! This tale follows 3 Main characters throughout this adventure, Csilla, Kane and Lorelei. This bloody tale full of adventure is also full of secrets. The Bone King dies (the king of the pirates) and now trials must begin to prove who the best candidate is for the crown of Bones! However, there is a lost heir to the throne that some pirat Thank you Netgalley for this incredible Arc! Crossbones by Kimberly Vale was a wild ride from beginning to end! I loved mostly all of this story bc... PIRATES!!! This tale follows 3 Main characters throughout this adventure, Csilla, Kane and Lorelei. This bloody tale full of adventure is also full of secrets. The Bone King dies (the king of the pirates) and now trials must begin to prove who the best candidate is for the crown of Bones! However, there is a lost heir to the throne that some pirates want to find and help and others want to kill. Although I found some parts to this story predictable, I really loved the pirate vibe of the book and especially the creativity of the trials the pirates went thru. This book has a great ending and I definitely would read more if more is to come! Look for this on Oct. 5th!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    No pun intended but this has the bones of a good story but final product leaves much to be desired. “Crossbones” sees the Pirate King dead and all Captains looking to take his place on the throne while managing their own troubles on the sidelines. With a roguish man haunted by his fathers legacy, a young woman trying to handle her curse and a threat close to home and finally the daughter of a mad woman finding their way to the same island the race to the crown is a lot harder than it appears. Th No pun intended but this has the bones of a good story but final product leaves much to be desired. “Crossbones” sees the Pirate King dead and all Captains looking to take his place on the throne while managing their own troubles on the sidelines. With a roguish man haunted by his fathers legacy, a young woman trying to handle her curse and a threat close to home and finally the daughter of a mad woman finding their way to the same island the race to the crown is a lot harder than it appears. This book throws a lot at you rather quickly and with a strong start I was eager to see how the story would unfold only to find the structuring was rather flimsy. We get multiple POVs as we move through this adventure and I found that the change offered very little than this repeating of the same information we already know from the beginning. The pacing itself is rather quick where we jump from one obstacle to the next with little breathing room so the alliances/friendships/romances and betrayals feel rather hollow. The characters were fine I suppose you have your girl thrown into the world who despite all odds survives when she shouldn’t, a man who is supposed to be this love interest with a haunted past being very bland and the strongest character caring more about another boy than actually showing how strong of a leader she is which was a let down. I don’t know my first thought is this is very much a Wattpad story but like from 2008 if that makes sense in terms of the style and writing? I hope I’m in the minority and other people enjoy it but for me the trials and mythology added up to a whole lot of nothing. **special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    DNF at 80%.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Isabella

    Omg. I swear I must have watched too much OUAT, because I saw pirate and my first thought was of this . My second thought was plz take all my money Ms. Vale Omg. I swear I must have watched too much OUAT, because I saw pirate and my first thought was of this . My second thought was plz take all my money Ms. Vale

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Trombley

    Ahhhhh! So excited for this book to be a BOOK. It's SO good, guys, and I am such a sucker for pirate books!!! Ahhhhh! So excited for this book to be a BOOK. It's SO good, guys, and I am such a sucker for pirate books!!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kae

    4.5 stars! Such a fun, light hearted adventure book with lovable characters & a fun questing plot!!! The pirates of the caribbean vibes are amazing and if you enjoyed those movies at all I think you’ll enjoy this book! I’d describe this as more of a light fantasy - there is world building and lore but it’s not overwhelming to follow The pirate lore & mythology is really interesting, it’s very elemental based which is neat. Lorelei is definitely my favorite character, I just absolutely love the s 4.5 stars! Such a fun, light hearted adventure book with lovable characters & a fun questing plot!!! The pirates of the caribbean vibes are amazing and if you enjoyed those movies at all I think you’ll enjoy this book! I’d describe this as more of a light fantasy - there is world building and lore but it’s not overwhelming to follow The pirate lore & mythology is really interesting, it’s very elemental based which is neat. Lorelei is definitely my favorite character, I just absolutely love the sheltered character surprising everyone else with their strength and resilience. Kane is really fun to read about too. Gotta love an angsty, brooding, grumpy boy who really has a pure heart underneath it all.. Csilla is the kick butt heroine everyone loves in books. She’s deadly and harsh but underneath everything she has so much love for the people she cares about & she is confronted with so much. Her strength is just as prominent in her heart as it is with a sword. There's also really fun side characters that you’ll just have to read to find out about! Kane & Lorelei together is my favorite dynamic. When the no strings attached boy begins falling for the ‘innocent’ girl and then keeps trying to deny it just never gets old to read about. Plus just seeing him be left completely speechless by her multiple times throughout this story made my day (they actually serve a few fan favorite tropes but I’ll leave you with just this one for now) Also, KANE & LORELEI ON PAGE 229 THAT’S ALL!!! Csilla & Flynn have the flirty banter every fandom knows and loves with a little bit of betrayal trope thrown in for good measure. They’re also childhood friends to lovers to low-key enemies which I appreciate. Csilla & Kane’s friendship is so amusing and cute because her are two people who just deny they care about anyone yet they obviously care about each other & Kane even compares Csilla to a “scolding elder sister." Actually all the friendships in this book are excellent. Literally so excited for the rest of the trilogy!!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    2 Stars Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. Before this book, I was firmly on the fence about pirates in YA. I've read two recent pirate-y releases, and one of them I liked well enough (the pirates weren't the best part of it, but they weren't a con). The other I could have left behind, in large part because the pirates were so poorly done. So I came into this book with high hopes--hopes that it would 2 Stars Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. Before this book, I was firmly on the fence about pirates in YA. I've read two recent pirate-y releases, and one of them I liked well enough (the pirates weren't the best part of it, but they weren't a con). The other I could have left behind, in large part because the pirates were so poorly done. So I came into this book with high hopes--hopes that it would restore my faith in pirate adventures in YA. Unfortunately, it has crushed my hopes instead. Now I must say, please PLEASE no more pirates. Please. This book hurt me on a deep level. Reading it was painful, especially because it had the building blocks to be a good book. The execution just hurt. Anyway, my full book review will be available on November 5, 2021 at Gateway Reviews.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* Crossbones, by author Kimberly Vale, is the first installment in the authors Kingdom of Bones trilogy. This story revolves around (3) key characters: Csilla Abado, Kane Blackwater, and Lorelei Penny. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20... *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* Crossbones, by author Kimberly Vale, is the first installment in the authors Kingdom of Bones trilogy. This story revolves around (3) key characters: Csilla Abado, Kane Blackwater, and Lorelei Penny. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lea

    Okay, first of all...that cover! It's gorgeous, completely the reason I decided to give this book a read and I was not disappointed! It has everything a great pirate book should; swashbuckling adventure, a pirate treasure, dueling, and even some romance. Kimberly Vale wasted no time setting the mood in Crossbones, opening with one of the main characters, Csilla, being lead to the gallows to hang. From there, there's no real lull in the adventure, each chapter alternates between three POVs, Csilla Okay, first of all...that cover! It's gorgeous, completely the reason I decided to give this book a read and I was not disappointed! It has everything a great pirate book should; swashbuckling adventure, a pirate treasure, dueling, and even some romance. Kimberly Vale wasted no time setting the mood in Crossbones, opening with one of the main characters, Csilla, being lead to the gallows to hang. From there, there's no real lull in the adventure, each chapter alternates between three POVs, Csilla, Kane, and Lorelai, giving a great look into the plot as a whole. Unfortunately, the characters felt almost forced together and therein, they just automatically liked each other...I mean, they're pirate captains, where's the edge and grit? The relationship and character arcs could have been better suited to being steal-your-booty, swashbuckling pirates. I think, for a debut author, this is a fantastic first book. It's fast-paced and quite fun to read. I definitely recommend giving it a go! Huge thank you to Wattpad Books via NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and honestly review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    *Spoiler free* When I found out that this would be a book about pirates, pirates that are competing for the Bone Crown after the King Of Bones dies. Like, what a fantastic, incredible premise! It sounded like it would be right up my alley and I was incredibly eager to read it. Trigger warnings: grief, torture, blood This was a weird book for me, emotions wise. I wanted to like it. I really, really wanted to like it. And I even did like it! I found it incredibly enjoyable. But I also didn't like it *Spoiler free* When I found out that this would be a book about pirates, pirates that are competing for the Bone Crown after the King Of Bones dies. Like, what a fantastic, incredible premise! It sounded like it would be right up my alley and I was incredibly eager to read it. Trigger warnings: grief, torture, blood This was a weird book for me, emotions wise. I wanted to like it. I really, really wanted to like it. And I even did like it! I found it incredibly enjoyable. But I also didn't like it at the same time. It's a weird contrast. First off, this book is as cool as it sounds. Swashbuckling pirates competing for the crown. This book leans into the aesthetic fully, ships and morally gray choices and swords held under chins. It's gritty and has a dark edge to it. I really, really enjoyed this aspect of the book, and it is a big reason that I found it so enjoyable. The characters were another highlight; this book is very, very character driven. Though, at the same time, I feel like they were very close to be cutouts of certain tropes and personality types, rather than true, real people. On the other hand, I also felt like they were so close to be such true, real people. Nevertheless, these tropes and personality types were ones that I completely loved, so I ended up really liking the characters. There's the tortured soul of a boy who is trying to be better, a sarcastic and slightly goofy guy who looks at a girl with puppy dog eyes because he's in love with her, a girl who doesn't know how big her fate is, a girl who claws her way towards her fate, the boy who is just a dork, and the badass friend. It makes for a fantastic group, and for fantastic relationships to form! Yearning and mutual pining and this was another big reason that I found the book so enjoyable. I hate saying this, but I wasn't the biggest fan of the writing. I felt like there were certain places that just felt borderline cringey, and I think this bled over into the worldbuilding. I dunno, I think this is truly a personal thing, but the overarching plot just didn't fully work for me! I felt like the magic system could have been fleshed out more, that there were a lot of storylines trying to take place at the same time so certain world and plot aspects didn't get as developed as others, and there were times like I felt like things moved too fast and others where they moved too slow. It was a weird reading experiencing, liking a book so much in some areas, and disliking it in others! I definitely would not say I hated this book, I would even say that I really liked it! But it did have it's frustrating parts for me. However, I think other people will fall completely in love with it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Crossbones in exchange for an honest review. I'm going to be honest, I had to stop multiple times while reading this one because even though I'd already double checked in chapter one, I kept convincing myself this had to be a sequel. Crossbones narration just really wasn't for me. It's a character driven adventure which is normally what I live for, but the narration made it really difficult for me to get into any of the character relationships or m Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Crossbones in exchange for an honest review. I'm going to be honest, I had to stop multiple times while reading this one because even though I'd already double checked in chapter one, I kept convincing myself this had to be a sequel. Crossbones narration just really wasn't for me. It's a character driven adventure which is normally what I live for, but the narration made it really difficult for me to get into any of the character relationships or motivations. I get wanting to establish character early on and inevitably some level of recapping how the leads got to where they are is going to be necessary, but something about the way Vale narrated the first 3rd-ish of the book really felt like reading a "previously on" section to the point where I'm still half expecting someone to yell at me for judging this book when I haven't read the rest of the series that didn't exist. It read as if the narration thought if it treated characters as already beloved by the reader, the reader would think the same, but it didn't work for me. I want to make it clear that I don't say "I thought this was a sequel" because it was confusing, because you can definitely follow the plot, but the general tone and way everything was established felt like Vale was calling back on things the reader already knew and cared about.

  26. 4 out of 5

    diana

    Full review posted on Chasing Chapters. Rating: 2.5 of 5 “Fear was an anchor that held her firm against the tide.” I’m not gonna lie pirates and fantasy books set at sea are my kryptonite. So it’s no surprise that when I had the chance to read an ARC of Crossbones, I took it. I was intrigued by the premise of Crossbones. The idea of the Trials among competing pirate lords to win the Bone Crown sounds exciting and promising. Add in the lost heir trope which, while nothing unique, ups the intrigue fac Full review posted on Chasing Chapters. Rating: 2.5 of 5 “Fear was an anchor that held her firm against the tide.” I’m not gonna lie pirates and fantasy books set at sea are my kryptonite. So it’s no surprise that when I had the chance to read an ARC of Crossbones, I took it. I was intrigued by the premise of Crossbones. The idea of the Trials among competing pirate lords to win the Bone Crown sounds exciting and promising. Add in the lost heir trope which, while nothing unique, ups the intrigue factor in my opinion. The book has a strong beginning too that quickly pulls you into the action. Unfortunately, while the idea was definitely there the execution left a lot to be desired. The worldbuilding was extremely lacking, the writing was at times awkward and felt forced, the magic aspect was barely explored (which is unfortunate because this could have been amazing), some plot points were too conveniently and easily resolved and they ended up being anticlimactic and a letdown. And mostly? Nothing really jumped out at me for this to be a memorable read. Suffice it to say, Crossbones left me hanging. I received an ARC from the publisher to read and review. Quoted excerpt/s may change in the final print.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    *****5 Stars! “𝘙𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦, 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘢 𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘸. 𝘞𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘳--𝘸𝘦 𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘵.” First I would like to thank Wattpad Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read an arc of this book. I am honored to have been given the chance to read it and give an honest review. Crossbones is a story following three young pirates; Csilla Abado, who yearns to prove her strength to those who balked at her youth and to her older sister who felt she should have won the title of ca *****5 Stars! “𝘙𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦, 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘢 𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘸. 𝘞𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘳--𝘸𝘦 𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘵.” First I would like to thank Wattpad Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read an arc of this book. I am honored to have been given the chance to read it and give an honest review. Crossbones is a story following three young pirates; Csilla Abado, who yearns to prove her strength to those who balked at her youth and to her older sister who felt she should have won the title of captain. Kane Blackwater, a young man haunted by the shadows of his wrong doings and desperate to prove himself worthy of his father’s ship, the Iron Jewel. Lorelei Penny, a young farm girl who longs to avenge her mother’s death and is willing to do whatever it takes to get closer to the killer. As the Blood Bell tolls to mark the death of the pirate king, the trails for the Bone Crown begin. Only one can claim the throne, yet rumors of a secret heir to the throne are rising and threatening all those who wish to claim the throne for themselves. This book was a very thrilling adventure for all those with a love of pirates, not only did this story hook me at the very start and left me wanting more, the pacing was very well done and all the characters were very easy to love and root for. As I read through this book I found myself very involved with each and every character; they were all so complex in their own way and had such endearing qualities about them that you just couldn’t help but love. I enjoyed watching their relationships grow throughout the course of this story, it all felt so natural and familiar at the same time. Kane was a favorite character of mine throughout the story, not only was he fascinating and at times unpredictable, I also enjoyed being able to get in his head and learn why he is the way that he is. I loved the author’s ability to paint the picture of this character’s past, which allowed the reader to understand his ambitions and inner traumas and how they shaped not only him as a person but the way he’s able to form relationships with those around him. Csilla was another interesting character, the tension between her and her older sister was obvious from the start and I found it fascinating to understand the strife and competition between them. I felt I was able to understand both character’s reasons and points of the argument, but it was also very clear to see who was the most deserving of the title of Captain and how that affected their relationship. Lorelei was a character you couldn’t help but love from the start, not only did she have a sweet and innocent demeanor but she also had a fire inside of her and the strength to move forward despite the hardships she endured. I felt the tone of the book revolved around inner strength, the bonds of love and acceptance of oneself and all these characters truly showed it well. Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the worldbuilding; I loved how the pirates had their own way of doing things and their own ruler to see it through. It made the story all the more interesting to read and gave this world the author created a very authentic feel to it. It is most definitely a world I would have loved to pay a visit to. As a lover of any and all things pirate related, this book was an absolute delight to read! I’ve been searching for a well written and engaging pirate book for quite some time and this story completely fits the bill! This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a fun and adventurous story to lose themselves in!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    3.75/5 Stars The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win. Three worlds collide trying to prove themselves and make it out alive. First off - I really enjoyed this book. While reading I could note issues or that certain things weren't the best, but I really enjoyed reading it the entire time. The wri 3.75/5 Stars The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win. Three worlds collide trying to prove themselves and make it out alive. First off - I really enjoyed this book. While reading I could note issues or that certain things weren't the best, but I really enjoyed reading it the entire time. The writing was easy, the story was interesting, and the characters were fun. It gave me Pirates of the Caribbean vibes but in a YA fantasy way. The book does read very much like a Ya fantasy (take that as you will). I will there was more exploration of the world and the magic in it. I was confused about the magic even when the book ended. With some edits this book could have easily been 600+ pages and an amazing epic fantasy. But that's not what it was, and it accomplished what it set out to do. I will say, the trails don't start until the 50% mark, and I was a little disappointed in them. The first part of the story where the trials aren't happening yet were a lot more interesting to me than the actual trials - which is so odd for me because I love book competitions. I am so glad this was a standalone. I loved the world and would have totally read a series about it, but part of what pulled me in was seeing a standalone pirate fantasy. Overall - if you want a fun easy book with found family, pirates, trails, strong women, magic, and lots of angst this is a great pick. Thanks to Netgalley and Wattpad publishing for sending me a copy of this book in exchange or an honest review!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    Thank you Wattpad Books for sending me an eARC via netgalley for an honest review. 3.5/5 stars I thought this was a good and interesting read. The whole idea of the Trials to choose a new ruler of the pirates was intriguing, and the hints of magic added to the plot. I wish that the Trials had been included more, and that magic had been explored more as well. The characters were good, but Csilla felt really naive for a pirate captain at times. Her blind love and trust in her sister, while somewhat Thank you Wattpad Books for sending me an eARC via netgalley for an honest review. 3.5/5 stars I thought this was a good and interesting read. The whole idea of the Trials to choose a new ruler of the pirates was intriguing, and the hints of magic added to the plot. I wish that the Trials had been included more, and that magic had been explored more as well. The characters were good, but Csilla felt really naive for a pirate captain at times. Her blind love and trust in her sister, while somewhat realistic, felt forced and fake but she didn’t realize it. It was a really frustrating point, and I wish we’d had more moments between the sisters to fully explore the relationship. I also wish that Csilla hadn’t been flip-flopping so much with her emotions in general. Her character growth didn’t feel realistic given the timeframe and the way that things were handed to her to learn. Lorelei and Kane were good, and I liked the relationship between them. Lorelei was so interesting, and I wished that she’d been explored a little bit more as a character. I really liked Flynn and I wish we’d had more of him. I found that the pacing was okay, but there were some parts that seemed to move really quickly with little explanation. I think that this could have been fixed with a little bit more worldbuilding. Overall, it was a good and enjoyable read about pirates, magic, and secrets.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Lynn

    Pirates. Gods. Goddesses. Men of molten lava. A crown to win, the world to save. The journey follows four main characters- Lorelei, Csilla, Kane, and Flynn. Lorelei is the unassuming yet strong character. Csilla is a pirate to the core with a ship of women to take care of and the need to prove their worth. Kane, the brooding yet thoughtful pirate with childhood trauma. Flynn the boyish cutie that makes jokes to keep the pain at bay. There is love between some of them. Betrayal by those closest to t Pirates. Gods. Goddesses. Men of molten lava. A crown to win, the world to save. The journey follows four main characters- Lorelei, Csilla, Kane, and Flynn. Lorelei is the unassuming yet strong character. Csilla is a pirate to the core with a ship of women to take care of and the need to prove their worth. Kane, the brooding yet thoughtful pirate with childhood trauma. Flynn the boyish cutie that makes jokes to keep the pain at bay. There is love between some of them. Betrayal by those closest to them. I enjoyed this book. Admittedly the first 60% felt slow for me but once it started moving it really went fast. I guess you could say it has killer word building. The way the world was laid out wasn’t overdone, it was just right. Sometimes signers can get carried away with too many details that it begins to take away. Not this author. I enjoyed the book. The characters, as well as their growth. Thank you netgalley for the opportunity to read!

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