Ten Ruby Trick by Julia Knight:
The Particulars: Fantasy Romance, Carina Press, available as e-book
The Grade: B+
The Source: Kobo.
Privateer Van Gast thrills in capturing treasure; delights in pulling off elaborate scams; and has an outrageous reputation with the ladies. But there is only one woman for him: fellow privateer Josieseductive, brave and unpredictable. He’s hoping to make their relationship permanent, until he raids the wrong ship. Now slavers are stalking him, his crew is verging on mutiny and Josie has disappeared.
When she reappears with a new mark wanting Van Gast’s help running the ten ruby trick con, he senses trouble. It seems like Josie has joined up with mage-bound slavers to turn him over to their Master. Van Gast is about to take he biggest risk of all and find out the true meaning of trust and betrayal.
This book languished unread, until Carina Press offered the sequel at a discount this summer. And I decided to read this one first. I am glad I read it, and yes, I snapped up the sequel as well.
The world was detailed, and felt very believable. I loved the nuances in this book. From the Pirates, and their sense of honor, to the crystal covered mages and the harsh hands of their rule.
The characters were both strong, yet at the same time they were deliciously flawed. I loved Josie for her courage, and Van Gast for his determination to figure out what was wrong. The other pirates were charming, but they weren’t perfect. They had temper, and they showed it.
The plot was fast paced, and filled with twists. What I liked was that the twists were the result of Van Gast’s actions. And while the Mages gave me the creeps, I loved the fact that the villain’s motivation made sense.
The only thing I wished was different, was that I missed Josie’s POV. The whole story was told for Van Gast’s or Holden’s POV which was both refreshing, and felt a bit odd.