I have read a few books by Karen Perkins and The Valkyrie Series: The First Fleet did not disappoint. Here follows my review.
Of Swashbucklers, Slaves and Others
I received The Valkyrie: First Fleet Box Set containing “Look Sharpe!”, “Ill Wind” and “Dead Reckoning” as a gift in exchange for an honest review, after I had the privilege of reading excerpts of Ill Wind about two years ago. This incredible collection of pirate adventure stories set in The Caribbees of 1650 will fire your imagination as you meet memorable characters such as Magdalena, Henry Sharpe, Leo Santiago and Gabriella Berryngton. Throughout the series, the author has woven an intriguing tale, connecting many of these characters in some way or the other – all masterfully told and satisfactorily concluded, despite their arch-enemies Captains Blake, Tarr and Hornigold, who stop at nothing to find more gold – whether by means of the slave-trade or ambushing well-stocked Spanish ships for their gold and other valuable wares.
Plus points: This box set is well-edited throughout, contains a 100+ chapters – just the right length, naming the character whose point of view is told in the header, as well as dates and places; a genuine map with historical and phonetic spelling of place names, based on Edmund Halley’s map of 1699 and good descriptive scene setting before any major event – not like anything I’ve read in a long while: thoroughly researched, it includes everything to do with ancient sailing ships, pirates, maps and life on the seas in 1650 – 1690.The author weaves this knowledge into a most believable, adventure tale, which had me constantly coming back to read what would be happening next!
Writing in the first person, has its challenges – I’m sure – not just to the author, but also the reader, and in this respect, I sometimes found it difficult to follow all the events and places, especially with the first story – Look Sharpe! and to differentiate who was relating their accounts, because the series is written from an individual character’s point of view. This way of writing presents many challenges to an author, but Ms Perkins handled these with a fair amount of skill. There were a few retold stories, but then again, told from different points of view, so the reader needs to keep their wits about them – almost like the pirates on the Caribbean Seas!
The plot is fast-paced – which I like – I didn’t have to fast-forward or skip a single page because I felt the plot was too slow-moving. In fact, I was quite disappointed when “Look Sharpe!” ended rather abruptly. The box set is not without its flaws, but despite these minor niggly things I mentioned, I enjoyed reading The Valkyrie Series: First Fleet (1-3) tremendously. Therefore, if you would like to be taken back to the Indies of the 1600’s with all its perils, pirates and a touch of romance, then I highly recommend this series as a value-for-money read at 650 pages.Then too, I feel it worth mentioning that the cover is perfectly suited for the contents of this box set.
Karen Perkins is the author of seven fiction titles in the Valkyrie Series of Caribbean pirate adventures and the Yorkshire Ghosts Series. All of her fiction titles have appeared at the top of bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic, including the top 50 in the UK Kindle Store. Her first Yorkshire Ghosts novel – THE HAUNTING OF THORES-CROSS – won the silver medal for European fiction in the prestigious 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards in New York, whilst her Valkyrie novel, DEAD RECKONING, was long-listed in the 2011 MSLEXIA novel competition.
Her second Yorkshire Ghosts novel – KNIGHT OF BETRAYAL – opens with the assassination of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1170, then follows the knights responsible when they flee north to Knaresborough Castle. As King Henry II and the whole of Christendom turn against them, they begin to come to terms with the enormity of what they have done, yet they cannot rest and return to Knaresborough 850 years later.
Karen’s latest book in the Yorkshire Ghosts Series, is now available for pre-order and will be released on 28th February 2017. PARLIAMENT OF ROOKS: HAUNTING BRONTË COUNTRY is set in both modern-day and Victorian Haworth – the West Yorkshire home of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. Parliament of Rooks delves into the era of ‘The Yorkshire Slavery’, and contrasts the beautiful, inspiring village of Haworth today with the slum – or rookery – it was during the industrial revolution: rife with disease, heartache, poverty, and employing child slavery in the mills.
Karen is also the proprietor of LionheART Publishing House. Established to help and support Indie authors with the practical side of publishing their books, including editing, formatting and professional cover design, Karen and her team have helped over two hundred books come to publication in the past three years.
She can be contacted by email:
and is also on Twitter:
Thank you so much for popping in. Don’t forget to FOLLOW/COMMENT and READ/REVIEW should you feel inclined. After all, Indie authors love to read your positive reviews!