I’m going to try and continue my practice of reviewing without revealing major plot details in this review. I first heard of Chris A. Jackson when he sate on several writer panels I attended at Gencon 2015. He was a genuinely warm, friendly man, so I resolved to read something of his. He also spoke of his love of sailing, pirates and nautical motiffs in his fiction. As someone who hopes to eventually publish a fantasy pirate story, this made him even more interesting to me. So I picked up the kindle version of Scimitar Moon, the first of several novels featuring Cynthia Flaxal. The action and tension started right off the bat, as well as a pervasive sense of humor. Even though I had hunches about where various plot points where headed, the execution of them left me satisfied, and in some cases surprised as I had guessed incorrectly. Captain Bloodwind was fleshed out much more than I expected, gifted with more layers and motivations than your standard mustache twirling pirate captain, and I was left with a desire to read the sequels, as well as sample more of Chris’s other works.
Throughout the book, Chris’s professed sailing expertise was shown again and again, but without descending into arcane cant and gibberish, and I found myself taking notes for future use, especially regarding the naval combat and naval chase scenes. I am hoping that the hints of the wider world that are mentioned in the first book are expanded on in the sequels, and curious to what antagonists we will see to compete with the dire shadow of Captain Bloodwind and his arcane “associate”.