Pirate. King. Realness. One of the many delicious plot points Kerrigan Byrne brings to The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo. I have dubbed Byrne Queen of the Historical Antihero and I adore her for it. I have been a fan of the Victorian Rebels series since I read The Highwayman and fell deeply in love with Byrne’s writing. The first three books were a revelation and I recommend them to everyone. With her latest release, it looks like Byrne is back and just as good as ever.
As a warning, this book is not all sunshine and light. Byrne’s novels always start out extremely dark and brutal. I read through winces as we watch the hero broken down into the antihero he eventually becomes. I can’t say too much without revealing crucial plot points, so I’ll tread carefully in my review.
The Rook, King of the Sea, a brutal pirate has come back to claim the woman he has always been obsessed with: Lorelai. There are many layers and shocking reveals throughout the plot. Not all is as it seems and Lorelai and the Rook both have to bend in the face of their never forgotten emotions. As soon as I thought I knew where the book was heading, Byrne would take the plot a completely different way and keep me hooked. (pirate pun, I couldn’t resist!)
Lorelai was a revelation. Goodness and compassion without seeming priggish or perfect. I love the way she was portrayed. I just wanted to give the Rook a hug, something I am sure he wouldn’t have appreciated. Byrne writes the best growly, slightly (ok, more than slightly) murderous heroes!
The book had a lot of action in a short amount of time so some of the scenes and feelings felt a little rushed. All of a sudden there were a ton of revelations, trouble, treasure, my head was spinning a little bit. All the pirate craziness was fun but it was too jammed in at the end.
I hope you all read this series from the beginning! It will make The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo much richer.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo is Available August 28!