The Sultan’s Court (Pirates & Puritans: Book 2) by R.A. Denny

Book Cover

Publisher:

Date of publication: October 14th, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction, Time Travel, Science Fiction

Series: Pirates & Puritans

The Alchemy Thief—Book 1 (review here)

The Sultan’s Court—Book 2

Purchase Links: Amazon


Goodreads Synopsis:

A vivid and powerful sequel to The Alchemy Thief. A tale of stolen secrets, kidnapping, slavery, and death.

Left behind as a slave in Morocco while Daniel journeys to the New World with the fearsome corsair Ayoub, Peri gives birth to a daughter. The drive to protect the imperiled lives of those she loves leads Peri to the court of the ruthless sultan, Moulay Ismail. In a city built on the backs of slaves, Peri’s rescue plot hangs by a thread, dependent on a dubious disguise and the man she despises. It will take all of her wit and perseverance to survive.

This spellbinding 2nd novel in the Pirates and Puritans Series takes the reader on a journey from Algonquin villages to Moroccan palaces, during the time when Morocco’s most feared leader rose to power and the American colonies sank into a bloody war named after Metacom.


First Line:

“Push!” the midwife instructed Peri, while Hennu supported the Christian slave girl’s shoulders from behind.

the sultan’s court by r.a. denny

The Sultan’s Court is book 2 in the Pirates and Puritans series. I was very excited when the author emailed me with a request to review it. I wasn’t disappointed!! I had enjoyed The Alchemy Thief and couldn’t wait to jump right into this book.

As I mentioned above, The Sultan’s Court is book 2 in the Pirates and Puritans series. I cannot stress this enough, but this book is not stand-alone. The author briefly goes over what happened in book one, but you need to read The Alchemy Thief to understand the relationships and motives. If you don’t, you will be lost and slightly confused.

The author did something that some authors don’t do enough of. She included maps of the different areas discussed in the books (present and past). Having those maps helped me a bunch while reading the book.

There were three significant points of view in The Sultan’s Court and two minor points of view. The critical points of view are Ayoub, Peri, and Daniel, with Liam and Brahim’s minor points of view. The book also goes between 1650 (ish) and the present day. The author does it seamlessly with each chapter saying who the POV is, where, and year. I had zero issues keeping the chapters straight.

The plotline for The Sultan’s Court was interesting. Instead of focusing on alchemy and time travel, it focused on Peri, Ayoub, and Daniel surviving and trying to find a niche in their new worlds. It made for a fascinating read.

There is religion in The Sultan’s Court, but it isn’t shoved down your throat, which I hate. Instead, I got to see how people from that era practiced Native American, Christianity, and Islam religions. The author also gave a small glimpse of extreme Islamists during Brahim and Liam’s POV. It was all very fascinating, and I couldn’t read enough of it.

Of all the characters in the book, I enjoyed reading Ayoub’s point of view the most. His character grew the most throughout the book. It was a gradual growth, but it showed at the end of the book. The conversation that he and Peri had before Ayoub left broke my heart. As did his realization that other people were traumatized like him but didn’t go down his extremist route. But most importantly, his behavior at the very end and his choice to help Peri and Daniel showed his real growth.

I also enjoyed reading Peri’s chapters. She was a devoted mother who gave everything to make sure that her child survived. I also understood why she did what she did when the Sultan took Mya away. As a mother with a child the same age, I would have done the same thing.

I was a little iffy about Daniel. He disappeared for a while from the book. When he was reintroduced, he was an almost different person (which I get, people change in 17 years). It seemed like he had practically forgotten Peri. He became a Mohawk and killed enough people that the tattoos formed a pattern on his face. It wasn’t until after his 2nd wife and children died that he decided to look for Peri. I go that he was tortured and then forced to marry into the tribe, but still. Then I felt terrible for him. He seemed to get the short end of the stick no matter where he went.

Liam was still a man-child who irritated me. But, I did figure out why he was being treated differently the minute they arrived where they were. Then I felt terrible because he didn’t see it until the very last minute.

Brahim, on the other hand, confused me. He came across as an extremist, but then the author did something that took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting what happened with him to happen.

There is violence in The Sultan’s Court, and some of it was a little graphic. I was a little taken aback by one scene where Peri witnessed the Sultan execute a slave, order his body dumped into a wall (and all I could think was: the smell), then a cat was brutally killed when it wanted to get down. There are other similar scenes sprinkled throughout the book. But, seeing the era it took place in, I expected it.

The end of The Sultan’s Court was terrific. I was glued to the book and couldn’t finish it fast enough. What I didn’t expect was the twist the author threw in!!! It took me by surprise, and I loved it. Now, I can’t wait for book 3 (yes, there will be a book 3!!!)

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