Where Loyalties Lie (Best Laid Plans #1) by Rob J. Hayes

Where Loyalties Lie is a swashbuckling fantasy in the style of Sebastien De Castell featuring scum-hero pirates, uncouth women and men and plenty of whores, rum and bad ale.

The writing style is the most striking thing about the book. It is written in a smooth, flowing, even carefree manner that allows for a lot of irregularities and freestyling. While it is a fun writing style, the best part is the concision. There are no dull moments of lengthy descriptions of places and dressing; those are replaced with witty, sarcastic, humorous and altogether more exciting bits.

The story is one of mixed loyalties. When a lone, influential pirate embarks on the nigh impossible mission of uniting all of the other bloodthirsty pirates in the Seven Isles against a bigger threat, the matter becomes less a question of survival and more a question of loyalty. When you put up naturally disloyal humans up against a threat they cannot ignore, the result will be to unite against all odds or die. But whether this unity is true unity remains yet to be seen, as mistrust, bad blood and former sins rise up from the ashes of the past to threaten the burgeoning alliance…

The plot is not complex. Instead, the volatile nature of the characters makes it very hard to predict. It makes for a suspense-filled read.

A fine new read from a brave author. 

Book 2 review here.

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