So for my first review I’ll start with a book that I just finished and really enjoyed which was The Legend of The Firefish by George Bryan Polivka. Here is the synopsis from the back of the book,
“Packer Throme longs to bring prosperity back to his poor fishing village by discovering the trade secrets of Scat Wilkins, a notorious pirate who now seeks to hunt the legendary Firefish and sell its rare meat. Packer begins his quest by stowing away aboard Scat’s ship, the Trophy Chase, bound for the open sea. Through he is armed with a hard-won mastery of the sword and the love of Panna Seline, daughter of a priest of the kingdom of Nearing Vast, many tests of his courage and his resolve will follow -beginning when the young voyager is discovered by Scat himself.”
This book mashed together pirates and fantasy with a dash of theology. Although it started a bit slow, it quickly picked up speed. It was a fascinating read, and I connected with the main character, Packer Throme. The characters felt realistic, and several of them had personal struggles that they were working through. There are several scenes that are very touching and emotional.
My Thoughts –
The book is written from a Christian perspective, but it is given in small thoughtful morsels. Basically the main character wanted to prove his father was correct and use that information to help others. For the most part Nearing Vast holds to Christian morals. The pirates are a mixed bag. Several are believers who strengthen Packer’s faith. While Scat and Talon are quite the villains.
There were a few references to hell and sending a person to hell. Also a couple instances of the use of idiots, but other than that fairly clean.
There is a fair amount of violence spread out throughout the book, but that is to be expected for a pirate novel. Of the violence mentioned, none of it was gratuitous.
First, a character is keel hauled under the ship and almost dies due to lack of oxygen. One character was considered to be a witch, but she isn’t. She saved a person by expelling water from his lungs. Same character tortured the main character both physically and mentally. It did end up being a good thing, but was descriptive.
Secondly, there were several sea battles between the pirates and the Firefish. The Firefish swallowed people who were in the water and accidentally electrocutes the main character which caused him to almost fall. Several sailors died in battle or were stabbed. Another minor character was punched in the face. We did not find out what happens to him until near the end.
Lastly, there was a sword duel between two characters. Despite the the fact that they were fighting, this scene carries a lot of weight. During the sword duel, one character gets stabbed and get a couple minor cuts.
Packer liked Panna ,and we saw the effect it had, but for the majority of the book they were separated. They kissed three times, but it was not descriptive.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. The book is geared towards adults as an adult fantasy, but I think young adults would get a lot out of this book as well.