This review contains a vague spoiler! Keep it vague in the comments too.
Title: The Pirate Princess
Author: K. R. Martin
As a prologue writer myself, I’m a huge fan of reading into every detail. Martin’s prologue left me rather perturbed. Rage seethes throughout Renee’s core. Each meeting ignites a further desire to tear apart the world around her, and – for the most part – she’s more than justified in her fury.
Setting aside the somewhat cliche of a royal feeling trapped in an arranged marriage, Renee fences her way through a list of rule exceptions. Her rebellion doesn’t irk, but I’ve read a number of books premised just the same way. Add in a predictable and convoluted Man in the Iron Mask character piece in the first quarter, and I expected to be thoroughly disappointed.
However, Renee surprised me. She’s impatient (in a good way) and unlike many similar plots, she doesn’t wait until everything’s perfect to progress her romance. Though only a slight inversion, it brought a freshness to the overall tale which livened the book after around a third of the way. Something a bit…Princess Bride like to be honest.
Honestly though – The Pirate Princess really hits its stride about half-way through after it cuts some of its fluffier subplots into pieces, leaving readers to ponder over their corpses. They eventually catch a second wind in the final quarter, and while slightly disappointing, there’s a reason why cliches are cliches.
All in all, I loved the middle third, but the last section slid right back into the same predictability as the first. If you’re a romantic at heart, this book’s for you. For the rest of us cynics, this is one to skip.