The Sea Beggars or Les gueux de mer

Les gueux de mer

Well just finished book 2 of Paul Kearney’s Sea Beggars series and what fun. So to get you up to speed. Sea Beggars is a series written by Paul Kearney. It contains two books so far: Mark of Ran (bk 1) and This Forsaken Earth (bk2). This is action adventure, nautical fiction and fantasy all rolled up into one nice beach ready or metro commutable package. Forrester and O’Brian fans this one is especially for you. So we have the main character, Rol Cortishane, who is truly a piece of work and who has a lot “maturing” to do. Over the course of the two books he does change, mature, in a believable manner and the sequence of events that shape him are well descibed. No miraculous changes here, Rol gains a gradual understanding of his own faults and strengths through experiencing some pretty grim stuff and occasionally the darkness does glimmer with a bit joy. Other points in this series favor are; that important characters die, yes this is good. Kearney doesn’t keep the same people appearing over and over again. Kearney writes about what is at times heroic seamanship in an engaging and understandable way, at least for us landlubbers that is. I think those of you that like Forrester and O’Brian will find these sections excellent if at times a bit short and that brings us to the final strength: Characters. Kearney does a great balancing act between character development and action. Not always easy in fantasy where the author has to describe a whole new world and the peoples in it. This can lead to some fantasy writing being mostly description and short on characters. Not here as Kearney chooses to set his characters and story in a world not far from our own. Less description is required and increases the believability of his world. So with world building out of the way Kearney concentrates on his characters. They are full of range of human strengths, weaknesses, desires and needs. Even if they aren’t always human. Cheers and Happy Reading.

HMS Surprise

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