Book Review: The Pirate of Fathoms Deep (Tales of the High Court Book 2) by Megan Derr

A year and a half ago, Lesto was punched in the imperial pavilion by Shemal, a pirate criminal; but unable to deny the chemistry between them, they snuck away to an empty room later that day where they did far more inappropriate things before Shemal immediately ran off, and neither has been able to forget the other since. When Lesto gets kidnapped and dropped on Shemal's doorstep, both men are shocked, but it might be just the chance they need to find out what's really between them.

Book Review: The Pirate of Fathoms Deep (Tales of the High Court Book 2) by Megan Derr | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, high fantasy, lgbtqia, m/m
Title: The Pirate of Fathoms Deep
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 206
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced my review.*

Just like the first book, this one was so much fun and gave me such happy feelings. Seriously, the characters were just so likeable and funny, and I loved the friendly and familial relationships just as much as the romantic ones.

The biggest difference between this and the first book though (other than the main characters) was that this was not a slow-burn romance at all. Lesto and Shemal already had feelings for each other when the book started, and they sorted out the worst of their miscommunication within the first 20%. The rest of the book was mostly everyone teasing the crap out of Lesto—the great High Commander who hadn’t had a lover in a long time—for being smitten and some plot stuff causing problems from outside the relationship. There was some angst from Shemal, worry that Lesto wouldn’t want him, and it got to be a little drawn out when it was still going on in the final third of the book, but I enjoyed the story enough that I didn’t really mind. I felt bad for Shemal that he would still feel that way. I suppose feelings don’t always make sense and, if someone has been hurt or put down or made to feel a certain way in the past, it can be hard to overcome that even if a situation seems so obvious to outsiders.

And oh! This is maybe a very mild spoiler for the first book if you haven’t read it, but I liked that the main character was missing an eye. Not that I want characters to be injured, but you know what I mean. I would’ve liked to see a little more about it, like maybe even just something about how fighting is more difficult or different since his depth perception would be different now, but it wasn’t magically cured, and he wasn’t treated as anything less than whole because of it, so I’ll call this a win for disability rep.

One more thing I liked and have noticed in both books so far is that not only is the society completely accepting of same-sex relationship as being a run-of-the-mill thing, the gender stereotypes are also less rigid. For example, the men wear a lot of the type of the jewelry that would be considered feminine in modern, Western society.

So overall, I think this one wasn’t quite as good as the first book for me since it was a little more romantically mushy and didn’t seem like that much actually happened, but I liked the characters and enjoyed the book nonetheless!


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  1. verushka

    I can totally get behind romantically mushy and enjoyable if it’s like this! The miscommunication trope I have to be in the mood for sometimes, but thankfully that’s sorted quickly in this one.

  2. Lola

    Glad to hear you enjoyed this book. That sounds kinda nice for a chance to hae the miscommunication cleared up so soon. The romances in this series sound very well done. That’s neat the missing eye disability was handled so well. Great review!

  3. Julie @ Happily Ever Chapter

    You had me at “pirate criminal” lol. I can’t say no to pirates. I’ve only read one Megan Derr book so far but I’ve been wanting to give more a try. This one will definitely be going on my TBR list now. I want to read more books that leave me with the happy feeling you are talking about. lol! There are so many SUPER angsty books out right now that leave me with a little book hangover. lol. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I have to admit there wasn’t actually any pirating going on in this book, but pirates are definitely interesting! So far I’ve really enjoyed all of her books that I’ve read! And this series is perfect if you want that happy feeling 🙂

  4. Maureen Bakker

    I haven’t read this book or the first book. But it sounds really fun. I haven’t been able to enjoy fantasy all that much lately, but I do love the sounds of this one. How fun that is has also romance in it. Sounds very promising!
    Great review Kristen!

  5. Danya @ Fine Print

    This series sounds sooo good, Kristen! The epitome of “summertime fantasy reading,” ya know? Fun, funny, dismantles homophobia in fantastical societies AND it has good disability rep? Perfect happy reading. It’s also good to know that the MCs sort out their romantic miscommunication in the first section of the story — so unusual for a romance plot line!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s a series that’s a lot of fun! I guess it is the perfect summertime kinda fantasy. And yeah, it’s definitely unusual for the characters in romance to actually talk and sort things out early!

  6. Greg

    Nice cover on this one, I think you’re showcased it before? I’ve definitely seen it and for some reason I almost got a steampunkish kinda vibe, but I guess looking closer I’m not sure why? lol either way it sounds pretty good. I love that line in the blurb about the “two idiots” 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah I did use this particular cover for a cover characteristics about mountains, I believe lol. Good memory! But nope, no steampunk. Maybe those little star things at the top kinda looked like gears? It was a really fun book though!

  7. Geybie's Book Blog

    Awesome review, Kristen. Sounds SO good, I’m not familiar with epic/high fantasy butI’m planning to give it a try. I hope you can give me your recommendations of this genre. ?

  8. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    This book sounds good! I mean, I love me a good old slowburn but the fact that the romance in this seemed to be fun, even if there was some angst going on. I like the fact that same-sex relationships are so accepted and there is more fluidity when it comes to gender. I always wonder why fantasy reads end up having societies so similar to our own. It’s good when things are changed as it gives you a new perspective.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah I prefer slow burn, but this book was still just a lot of fun! And it is nice sometimes to see differences like same sex relationships being accepted. Like you said, why are fantasy worlds always so similar to our own?