April CSFF Blog Tour, Day 1: Blaggard’s Moon

Blaggard’s Moon is a pirate adventure by George Bryan Polivka, and the prequel to his Trophy Chase Trilogy stories–The Legend of the Firefish, The Hand That Bears the Sword, and The Battle for Vast Dominion. The story is set in a world not our own, perhaps a parallel Earth, in a very similar age of “wooden ships and iron men.” Polivka’s pirates are the classic variety, not the teenage thugs with speedboats you find nowadays.

Ahem. On to the story…

Marooned on a post in the middle of a lake filled with flesh-eating fish, erstwhile pirate Smith Delaney ponders his sorry life and the strange sequence of events that led inexorably to the grisly fate that awaits him. Even if he doesn’t tumble into the water, the dreaded Onka Din Botlay, the “rippers of the bone,” will claim him at moonrise. As Delaney reminisces, we’re drawn into the recent history of Nearing Vast, where marauding pirates  roam the seas, terrorizing honest folk, and the line between legend and reality is often very thin indeed.

Much of Delaney’s tale is told via the stories of one Ham Drumbone, a pirate renaissance man who knows almost everything about Nearing Vast and entertains his crewmates each evening with tales of romance and derring-do. How much of his storytelling is truth and how much is creative embroidery, we may never be sure, but it’s all well worth the listen, I swear by my tattoo.

The cast of characters is expansive. We meet such notables as Conch Imbry, the pirate king of Nearing Vast and as evil a man as ever flew the Jolly Roger; Damrick Fellows, former Marine officer and the daring leader of Hell’s Gatemen, a vigilante force dedicated to exterminating Imbry and his ilk; and Jenta Stillmithers, the woman desired by both Imbry and Fellows, with beauty and spirit enough to inspire a roaring case of the vapors in Drumbone’s audience of ragtag buccaneers. We travel to exotic locales, with names like Mann, Mumtown, Cabeeb, and Skaelington City. We bear witness to foul treachery, heartless brutality, courage in the face of impossible odds, tide-turning ingenuity, narrow escapes, and the serving-up of just desserts. Yes, there will be blood.

The story shifts back and forth between Ham’s stories and Delaney’s current predicament. The war between Gatemen and pirates builds to a climactic battle between Imbry and Fellows, but as the last ship sinks and the smoke dissipates, the fates of Jenta, Delaney, a legendary pirate treasure, and a mysterious little girl who haunts Delaney’s dreams still hang in the balance.


I’ll have more by way of a review for ye tomorrow, shipmates, but whilst ye be coolin’ yer heels, be pleased to inspect the wares of these other fine proprietors on the CSFF Blog Tour:

George Bryan Polivka’s website for the world of Nearing Vast

Video trailer for Blaggard’s Moon

Buy the book at Amazon.com

Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Keanan Brand
Melissa Carswell
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Alex Field
Marcus Goodyear
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespack
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson

>>This review is based upon a copy of the book provided to me free of charge by the publisher, a courtesy I appreciate, but which does not guarantee my recommendation. I strive to evaluate every book I review purely on its intrinsic merits.<<

6 thoughts on “April CSFF Blog Tour, Day 1: Blaggard’s Moon

  1. Thanks, Jason. No, I haven’t read the other books, but they’re definitely on my “must read” list now. Nautical adventures aren’t usually my cup of tea, but this one grabbed me from the first sentence and didn’t let go until near the end of the story. A fun read, and a nice break from my typical fare.

  2. Fred, an outstanding summary of the story. I hope I remember to point visitors here tomorrow because you’ve given the story without giving anything away. Great job.

    I’m with you about this not being my usual cup of tea, but Polivka is such a good writer, he won me over as he did in each of the books in the trilogy. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed when you read them either, though they have their own uniqueness.


  3. (laugh) Great summary! I especially enjoyed the paragraph about the expansive cast of characters, the one ending, “Yes, there will be blood.” Good stuff.

  4. Thanks, Becky & Keanan! Thinking back, there’ve only been a couple of other pirate novels that managed to capture my attention. There’s Treasure Island, of course, but the other one was Amy’s Eyes, by Richard Kennedy. It’s ostensibly a children’s fantasy, but contains some pretty complex discussion of the nature of life, death, and self-sacrifice. It also has a sort of haunting, whimsical mood that felt very similar to Blaggard’s Moon.

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