Friday, September 26, 2008

The Black Ship-Diana Pharaoh Francis

The Black Ship
Diana Pharaoh Francis
Roc, Nov 2008, $7.99
ISBN: 0451462424

One of the best of the elite Pilots, few can navigate Crosspointe's magical deadly seas better than Thorn can. However, he is stunned when the Pilots' Guild bans him from his love: sailing the seas. Though he knows someone betrayed him and set him up to take a fall and that individual had to be an important person in the guild, he remains clueless as to who and why.

While despairing what to do since he lost his vocation, things get even uglier for the beleaguered Thorn; he is kidnapped and dumped on an unmarked vessel sailing the seas. He soon learns the ship Eidolon is also unregistered but concludes the captain is insane, the crew ready to mutiny and someone in the shadows is sabotaging the vessel to insure it never makes it safely to a port.

The second Crosspointe tale (see CIPHER) is a superb fantasy in which the hero’s shanghaied ocean voyage leaves the audience feeling they are on board the ship; as Diana Pharaoh Francis’ water building is incredible. The story line is fast-paced, but it is the setting along with a fully developed crew, captain and the disgraced pilot who make for a strong thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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