A swashbuckling adventure following privateer Ross Tremayne introduces Jacey Bedford's magical alternate history Rowankind series.
It's 1800. Mad King George is on the British throne, and Bonaparte is hammering at the door. Magic is strictly controlled by the Mysterium, but despite severe penalties, not all magic users have registered.
Ross Tremayne, widowed, cross-dressing privateer captain and unregistered witch, likes her life on the high seas, accompanied by a boatload of swashbuckling pirates and the possessive ghost of her late husband, Will. When she pays a bitter deathbed visit to her long-estranged mother she inherits a half brother she didn't know about and a task she doesn't want: open the magical winterwood box and right an ancient wrong—if she can.
Enter Corwen. He's handsome, sexy, clever, and capable, and Ross doesn't really like him; neither does Will's ghost. Can he be trusted? Whose side is he on?
Unable to chart a course to her future until she's unraveled the mysteries of the past, she has to evade a ruthless government agent who fights magic with darker magic, torture, and murder; and brave the hitherto hidden Fae. Only then can she hope to open the magical winterwood box and right her ancestor's wrongdoing. Unfortunately, success may prove fatal to both Ross and her new brother, and disastrous for the country. By righting a wrong, is Ross going to unleash a terrible evil? Is her enemy the real hero and Ross the villain?
Swashbuckling adventure collides with mystical mayhem on land and at sea in this rousing historical fantasy series launch set in a magic-infused England in 1800. Rossalinde Tremayne has done well for herself as a privateer in Mad King George's service, using her abilities as a witch and the ever-present ghost of her long-dead husband (whose reputation and identity she's borrowed) to claim other ships for profit and the Crown. Her estranged mother's dying request is for Rossalinde to take a mysterious box, drawing her into a deadly mystery. In order to harness the power within the box, she has to unravel the secrets of a family she never knew existed, all while eluding those who want her dead. When her quest takes her into the hidden land of the Fae, she'll be forced to make a choice that could alter the fate of an empire. Bedford (Crossways) adeptly weaves together romance, action, and fantastical elements, all set against a richly realized series of far-flung locations. Conflict both nautical and emotional keeps things exciting.
First time reading Jacey Bedford. Loved the imagery and story telling. Looking forward to more!