The first offering from author Misty Massey has my interest piqued. A dash of piracy, a pinch of magic, and some memorable characters I really became fond of made this a fun weekend read. Kestrel suffers an all too-familiar prejudice against women on boats (which the reader is made ever more cognizant of by Masseyâ€™s quote selections from Samuel Taylor Coleridgeâ€™s â€œRime of the Ancient Marinerâ€ that headline each chapter), but she keeps her magic secret, and it is both of these things which cause problems for her later. I am a huge fan of Coleridgeâ€™s poem, so it was with geekish glee that I opened the book and saw a small quote there to greet me. Some of the themes in Coleridgeâ€™s poem also present themselves, and it seems almost out of genre for something purportedly this simple and easy to recall the classics, but it does it anyway, almost to spite the readerâ€™s impressions of what Massey is writing.
Ultimately, the plot is very simple, so it is Kestrelâ€™s character development, and how she relates with the crew and the origins of her loyalties that make it a worthwhile read. Iâ€™m interested to see more of this world, because Massey drops hits that there is a much richer world out there, which Mad Kestrel only samples. I do love a good seafaring tale, so this satisfied my whims, all while recalling another recent read, Dawn Cookâ€™s Princess at Sea, where another lady sailor has the ability to control the winds. While Kestrelâ€™s story might be over, I think there are still stories out there for Massey to share â€“ maybe something about these controlling Danisobans who are mages tied to their home soil and who truck crates of earth about with them like Bram Stokerâ€™s Romanian prince. If you want some swashbuckling with a tinge of magic, pick this up and maybe we can get Massey to treat us to more of her potential!