Kirkus Review of “The Jinxed Pirate”

“Two protagonists struggle against power-hungry tyrants and their own cursed natures in this sequel.

“The Graylands is a constellation of lawless towns, strewn between the Two Empires, which are waging war with each other. Katrina Lamont, an alcoholic and former Chosen One, drifts from one dismal watering hole to the next, hoping to smother memories of losing her kingdom, Vigor, 10 years ago. But the specter of Jagger Ryggs, thief and love of her life, persists. Pirate Krutch Leeroy, meanwhile, is a mild-mannered drifter cursed as a youth by a sorceress who mistook him for a great warrior. Thanks to her spellwork, the pirate’s name is whispered throughout the Graylands with fear and respect. After sleeping off yet another night of trouble that only a pirate lord can find, he awakes at a mission and meets the vivacious, adventure-starved Audra Fay. Elsewhere in the Graylands are the wealthy Synclaire siblings, Deck, Lock, and Cassie. They left Vigor when the savage Armand Tyrell took power. Can any of these personalities resist the pull of Seba, a city crawling with human—and goblin—filth run by war profiteer Sebastian Clock, who hunts for a gauntlet enchanted with dark magic? In this second trip through the Graylands, Walsh (The Ghost Princess, 2015) takes readers on the scenic route through a hellish fusion of Tolkien and HBO’s Deadwood. And despite the potential for overwrought battles among orcs, wizards, and succubi (Lily Blackthorn makes a welcome return), the author proves that character is king. Katrina’s desire to find Vigorian survivors—or any kindred spirit—is heartbreaking. Likewise, Krutch’s epiphany that ‘maybe it was time he stopped running and made his curse his power’ is as thrilling as most sword fights. That said, the action is superb (‘the fat man was split open where his neck met his right shoulder. His head curved to the side with a baffled look on his face’). Fans of the first novel should expect a more leisurely plot that widens the physical and emotional scopes of Walsh’s dusty realm.

“An action-packed, phantasmagoric tavern crawl.”

Kirkus Reviews

 

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Literary Titan Review of “The Jinxed Pirate”

Just got my first review for The Jinxed Pirate by Literary Titan Book Review:

“Adventures like these don’t come very often. Riddled with intrigue and building up a world The Jinxed Pirate by M. Walsh is a definite read. We have a delightful cast of characters from the mercenary to the tragic warrior princess with a splash of other-worldly beings as well. All of their lives and paths will come together in an excellent adventure where you might find yourself rooting for the bad-guy without realizing it. Each character is on a journey of sorts and where it leads them is anything short of ordinary. What happens when the warrior princess can’t save her people? What about the mercenary who doesn’t seem all that interested in what he’s doing? Our title character himself even seems to shift his shape depending on what his needs are. The carnal animal driven only by his desires. These all come together with fantastic story-telling and riveting action to create a beast of a tale. Continue reading

Readers’ Favorite Review of “The Ghost Princess”

Another nice review for The Ghost Princess, this time from Readers’ Favorite….

“The Ghost Princess by M. Walsh is an interesting novel that takes place in an entirely different reality. Katrina Lamont was once considered a chosen one, but is now a resident of the Graylands (a neutral area where people who don’t wish to be found reside). She might have once been a great heroine, but it left her an alcoholic drifter who is forced to hide from the demons of her past. Jacob Daredin is an evil sorcerer who might just make Katrina Lamont draw her sword once more to prevent him from fulfilling an ancient prophecy, one that would give him the power of a god.

“Make room for a new chosen one, Katrina Lamont. Katrina is not your typical heroine who is chosen for a great destiny; instead she is a drunk trying to hide from her past in the Graylands. Yet when evil comes, she steps up to the plate to face off against Jacob Daredin and his forces to keep the world safe. M. Walsh truly creates a new fantasy world in The Ghost Princess and he has created a new type of chosen one. I found that I enjoyed Katrina Lamont as a character because she is not the typical heroine. Instead, she eventually becomes a strong woman who can and will do what needs doing to keep the world safe. The Ghost Princess is best suited for adults and young adults who enjoy the fantasy genre.”

stars

Reviewed by Sefina Hawke

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Self-Published Book Award Scores & Commentary

awardEarlier this year, I entered The Ghost Princess in the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

I didn’t win, but I have received my scores and commentary from the judges:

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4 out of 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4 out of 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5 out of 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 4 out of 5
Character Appeal and Development: 4 out of 5
Voice and Writing Style: 4 out of 5
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Hungry Monster Review of “The Ghost Princess”

New review for The Ghost Princess by Hungry Monster Books Reviews:

“[Katrina Lamont] is a drunk, a vagrant, and unpleasant to say the least, but she wasn’t always this way. She was once a hero of the kind you call on to slay dragons and save kingdoms. Those days are well behind her and she’s happy to keep it that way. Her plans to drink herself into obscurity are derailed when an infamous pirate is hired to capture her, the elite guards want to arrest her, demons roam the land, and a warlock wants to sacrifice her. But people are not who they seem and [Katrina] is about to find friends in the most unlikely of characters.
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Review for “The Ghost Princess”

Unlimited Book Reviews was kind enough to review The Ghost Princess:

“This darkly humorous fantasy adventure addresses the question of what happens to those heroic Chosen Ones whose stories don’t end happily ever after.

“The Ghost Princess of the title is Katrina, who was once a heroic Princess out to regain her kingdom from the forces of darkness, but is now just a drunk trying to forget the past. Unfortunately for her, there’s a prophecy and some evil nutters want to sacrifice some girl under the full moon. So she finds herself being dragged back reluctantly into the hero-ing business as a bunch of bad guys and sort-of-bad guys converge in a way which will definitely not lead to a happy ending for anyone.

“There’s a good deal of over-the-top violence of the splashy variety from the start and throughout. I don’t like blood and gore, but the humour, good characters, and clever plot kept me reading. The writing is decent and generally well edited, although there were some annoying errors.”

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Kirkus Review of “The Ghost Princess”

“In this subversive debut fantasy, a fallen heroine is drawn into the schemes of madmen.

“Alcoholic Katrina Lamont is in the frontier town of Dictum in the untamed Graylands that separate the Two Empires. While drinking away memories of her tragic past, she’s approached by the suave Rasul Kader who needs help tracking down a mystery woman with a grand destiny. ‘I’ve had enough destiny in my life,’ she declares. Meanwhile, Capt. Deacon Marcus of the Sentry Elite has arrived in Dictum on a hunt for the stolen Dragon’s Fang dagger. He meets with Guardian Mage Elijah Warren, who informs him that a sickness is brewing in the nearby forest and he must investigate a possible breach into the Black, where evil rules. South of Dictum, in a fortress near the Dark Lands, the vile Jacob Daredin waits for his machinations to bear fruit. He possesses the Dragon’s Fang and needs only to spill royal blood during the Devil’s Moon to become all-powerful. And finally, there’s the legendary pirate Krutch Leeroy, whose agents have assaulted Katrina, pushing her to join Deacon Marcus on his quest in the Derelict Woods. Katrina, however, has no idea that she’ll soon confront the brutal, invincible Enforcer and a girl named Lily, whose fate overlaps with her own. If these ‘Travelers on a mission’ and ‘talk of quests and destiny’ make author Walsh’s debut seem like every other fantasy adventure, think again. His self-aware approach to genre blending (using not just orcs and gargoyles, but also a serial killer) provides a rigorous example of tight, engaged storytelling. The playful prose dances the line between silly and epic, like when Krutch is described as ‘a legit, real-deal pirate.’ After the complex chess-style setup, Walsh begins savagely removing pieces from the board in ways that should satisfy fans of gory creature features. It’s Katrina and her incredible past, though, that make this a must for casual and hard-core fantasy readers.

“This debut features a string of startling, satisfying twists wrapped up in mesmerizing fantasy.”

Kirkus Reviews

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