Genre: Historical/Fantasy, LGBT
Half faerie orphan and vagabond Julius LaRousse ekes out an adventurous life by stealing. Little does he know, when he foils the attempts of a dockside thief to rob the high born Scottish Lady with the Japanese name (in order to steal from her himself, of course) that this will lead him into almost more adventure than he can handle. Thrown together with Irish adventurer, Curran, the three stumble from one escapade to another, culminating in them being exiled from France and sent to America. Meanwhile Julius is trying, with limited success but great persistence to get into the pants of both his companions. When he does succeed, however, it only leads to more disaster.
I think you can tell from the above summary that I was underwhelmed by this. And I am very sorry that I was underwhelmed because the idea of the book ticks so many of my `ooh, must read!' buttons. Pseudo-17th Century history with added elves? Fantastic! Dark eyed sexy Irishmen? Sign me up! Tall ship on the cover, promising a bit of naval warfare? Woohoo! And these elements were all there, so it's somehow all the more grieving that I couldn't enjoy it at all.
Don't get me wrong, it is a well written and ambitious book. Loads of stuff happens, so it should not be boring. and yet I did find it boring. I suspect that it may be that the book is simply not to my taste. The main character narrates the whole thing, and even with a character I love, I find first person too intrusive and yet limiting a point of view. It makes me twitchy. Jules La Rousse, however is not a character I love. In fact I dislike him intensely, which makes sharing his POV for an entire book a bit of an ordeal. I think he's supposed to be a charming bad boy, but I found him a whining, despair-laden, cynical, selfish, dreary git. Equally, I found Keiko - the female love interest - a whining, strident yet vacillating harpy with nothing to recommend her. And Curran's accent annoyed me.
Jules was simultaneously too powerful and too wimpish for me to like. He can single handedly defeat giant sea monsters and use legendary thunder weapons! Yay! But he can't prevent a single thug from forcing him to perform oral sex on him? Why not? It seemed out of character for him not to just bite the guy's dick off.
Sigh. No, I shouldn't get started on all the things I didn't like, because it's probably unfair of me. People who enjoy darker characters; selfish, bad-boy characters, may enjoy this as it deserves to be enjoyed. I look at the standard of the writing and the complexity of the world building, and I wish I could like it as it deserves. I wish I could like it as I had wanted to. But I can't.
In a Seventeenth Century that never quite was, Julius Montclair LaRousse lives out a slightly off center fairy tale. A half-fé orphan, raised by Jesuits and turned brigand, he shares his adventures across France and into the New World as he tries to get the girl, the boy, and maybe save the French outpost in La Florida along the way.