Book Reviews: Cutlass (Cutlass #1) and Flintlock (Cutlass #2) by Ashley Nixon

Cutlass (Cutlass #1) by Ashley Nixon
Genre: Fantasy
Age Category: Young Adult


Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy's fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.

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Barren gazed at the crowd, sifting through the faces. While he wasn’t sure who he was looking for, he could only imagine what sort of wife William would need. A woman who was slight and meek, someone who didn’t like to stand out in the crowd, or speak up—obviously—or she would not have agreed to marry William. Then again, perhaps Barren was not giving this mystery woman enough credit. Perhaps she saw William as a way out of a situation. Either way, he felt sorry for her.

Barren heard Leaf chuckle and he looked at the Elf. “I think you have no idea who you are dealing with.”
Leaf pointed toward a circle of people. Barren’s eyes shifted there, and his breath caught. What he had expected was a fragile girl—someone slight, doll-like, and silent. This girl was not so. The first thing he took in was her strength. It radiated from her like warmth from a hearth. She stood straight with her shoulders back, an observing eye upon everyone. Then he drank in the features composing her beauty. Almond-shaped eyes gleamed with emerald irises that shone like sun on the green sea. Her smile, while charming and beautiful, had something mischievous about it. She had high cheekbones, blushed with pink and long, dark curls decorated with white flowers falling down her back and over her shoulders. Her dress, crimson in color, was unlike the others, hugging her hourglass figure like it was made on her.
Barren could not have thought up a more beautiful girl, and no one around her compared.
A smug smirk crossed Leaf’s thin lips.
“What am I supposed to do with her?” asked Barren. His thoughts were all muddled. He had forgotten why he was here, or how he had intended to attract this girl’s attention. Could he even do that?
Leaf laughed. “Oh, you silly boy, we won’t make it out of this one alive, will we?”

Barren glared at the Elf. “Don’t tell me you expected her! How could she ever agree to marry my brother?”
Leaf shrugged, still smirking. “Ask her.”

Flintlock (Cutlass #2) by Ashley Nixon
Genre: Fantasy
Age Category: Young Adult

Barren Reed hopes to protect the Orient from his tyrant uncle, but his plans to make the King’s life a living hell aren’t supported by the Elders of the pirate community. As it stands, Barren has earned the Elders’ disdain for his carelessness, and they threaten him into exile if he makes one more mistake.

Barren’s not the only one feeling the Elders’ wrath—they don’t trust Larkin either. Worse, Barren can’t comprehend Larkin’s wish to have a relationship with her father, and the secrets she’s forced to keep create a tension that may pull them apart forever.

When the Pirates of Silver Crest begin to die, bullets laced with dark magic are to blame. With more and more of these weapons infiltrating the Underground, discovering who’s behind the dissemination is no easy feat. As fear and tension mount among the people of the Orient, Barren and his crew find themselves in a race against time to stop the spread of dark magic before the world of Mariana spirals into collapse.
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About the Author:

Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren't used as much as she'd like. When she's not writing (haha, like that EVER happens!), she's probably working out or pretending she's Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she's loved everything Fantasy--resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the 'geek' tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.

You can find and contact Ashley here:
Website Blog

My Reviews
Hhmm a story about pirates you say....I have never actually read a story about Pirates before....I always like to read something new! I thought the fact that this book was about pirates made it different from anything I have ever read. However there are aspects to this story that puts this book in my favorite genre fantasy because it dealt with magic. I liked the fact that there wasn't too much magic in this story which made it more about the characters abilities to solve the problem then having a quick out. The world created was original and I truly enjoyed that. The story starts out slowly building the world and getting you connected to the characters but after the beginning the story picks up pace. Unfortunately, there were no twists or turns in this story. The story telling was straight forward and didn't really allow for you to get captivated. Those were my only two negatives about the story; it told not showed and there weren't any unforeseen twist in the plot. I really enjoyed the main characters Barren (the classic like-able male hero) and Larkin (a strong female character). Honestly because of them I read book two.

My Rating:

I thought the authors' skill set significantly improved or she fell victim to 'first book in a series' syndrome, because Flintlock was so much better than the first! The author definitely showed instead of tell in this book so you were able to fall into the story. The plot was much more developed and had a lot of unsuspecting turns that I really appreciated as the reader. The characters from the first book that kept me reading are back in this book and kicking ass! The characters grow more in this book because they have to deal with magic more. There is a lot more magic in this book then the first one and instead of creating big plot wholes in story, like magic can do, the magic helps cause drama and propel the story along. I really liked this book and feel like everyone who reads YA or fantasy will also enjoy this book! I believe that most can read the second without having to read the first but some might feel like they are missing something and might want to read them in order. I would recommend this book series to everyone!

My Rating:

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2018 Reading Challenge
T.M. has read 1 book toward her goal of 10 books.