Deadmen Walking (Deadman's Cross Trilogy)
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Cover Artist: Stephen Youll
Review by Mel Jacob
Tor Books Hardcover / eBook ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765385680
Date: 09 May 2017 List Price $27.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The first of a new trilogy, Deadman's Cross, Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon provides an exciting romp of a paranormal pirate tale. The crew of the live ship Sea Witch consists of dead men who have been resurrected from Hell to protect the world against monsters crossing from another dimension.
The story begins with Captain Paden Jack facing certain death off the Florida coast in 1715. This leads to his sister's quest to find him. She encounters Captain Devyl Bane and seeks his help. Bane's long history is filled with killing and war century after century. Initially, she has no inkling of his true nature.
Marcella, a Druvian (Dryad), bound Bane to her long ago to him to stop him from pursuing and killing her sisters. He had slaughtered her people for killing his sister. She regretted that bond when he used the wood from her tree to construct the Sea Witch and she became the soul of the ship. She is also his sister-in-law. His wife Vine, Marcelina's sister, killed him, but he resurrected and eventually imprisoned her. Now she fights to gain her freedom and release the monsters to prey upon humans.
Bane and his crew were condemned to Hell to suffer for eternity for their crimes. However, because each had done one good deed, they were rescued by a mysterious being called Thorn. Thorn's bargain requires the resurrected men to destroy the invading monsters. If so, they can earn death instead of eternal punishment.
With a long history of successful fantasy series, Kenyon will have no difficulty attracting readers to her new trilogy, Deadman's Cross. Devyl Bane appears in other of Kenyon's novel but is more fully developed here. In him, she has created a larger than life fantasy action hero with a soft inner core. Supporting characters are also mostly likable and well developed. There's a heavy emphasis on family and romantic relationships. Deadmen Walking is great start to this sea going fantasy series.