Viper by Bex Hogan – REVIEW
Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.
But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.
He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.
She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?
A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Team Bkmrk.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“This boat is a prison. I am my father’s captive. He will make me a killer or he will have me killed.”
I picked this up a couple of weeks ago and was so gripped that I read it in one sitting. I love stories set at sea or about pirates so Viper was always going to be one I was eager to read as it tells the tale of a crew of assassins called the Snakes that sail the seas on behalf of their king. It’s the first in a planned trilogy and the publisher is currently running an amazing pre-order incentive for six bookmarks based on the Eastern Isles of the story (enter here). Fingers crossed we get the six Western Isles bookmarks when we pre-order book two.
“I am the Viper’s heir. But I am not my father.”
Seventeen-year-old Marianne is the main character, daughter of the Viper who captains the Snakes. Whilst the Viper is cruel and sadistic, Marianne would much rather heal than hurt, creating a very difficult father-daughter relationship, which is often abusive and certainly toxic. Marianne was an incredible character and I loved learning more about her backstory and the secrets she slowly unravels. Her relationship with crew member Bronn was engaging and believable and, since I adore a good star-crossed lovers tale, I can’t wait to see how it develops in tandem with her marriage alliance to Prince Torin (who was such a sweet character!). The political machinations driving much of the action mean it’s hard to know who to trust at times but this simply heightens the tension and leaves you turning the pages.
“The Western Sea don’t take you where you want to go, but where you need to go.”
Being set at sea allows the author the opportunity to easily travel between the six islands of the Eastern Isles, and I was fascinated by the unique geography of each island. I also can’t wait to eventually revisit the Western Isles as their magic and mystery were atmospherically evoked and left so much undiscovered. The action-packed final chapters have set events in motion for the sequel and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Viper is a well-plotted and gripping story with incredible world building and memorable characters that will leave you eager for book two.