Today, I am excited to be sharing my review of Viper by Bex Hogan with you all.
Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life – to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles – but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father. A new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas.
He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.
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 am an absolute sucker for a good pirate story, and had been intending to read Viper for quite some time, as it sounded like a really great one. Well, I finally got to read it recently, and it was everything I wanted it to be and so much more!
The story begins with Marianne, who is in the process of dissecting a dead bird when she is interrupted and summoned to the Captain’s cabin. The Captain is Marianne’s father, but he is also the Viper. What is to follow in these opening scenes in the Captain’s cabin is brutal and heartbreaking, and immediately has you hooked to this story.
The Viper is a ruthless, blood thirsty, and heartless pirate, and he is utterly terrifying. He’s certainly someone who you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of. His crew are know as the Snakes. The most dangerous pirate crew to sail the seas, who are unwaveringly loyal to their fearless leader. I was actually really intrigued by the Snakes, and desperate to know more about them, their back stories, their training, and just generally how they work.
But Marianne doesn’t want to be like the rest of the crew, she doesn’t want to be a Snake. All she wants to do is heal, not harm, and I really like her character because of this. But Marianne also seems very lonely. She isn’t allowed to have many friends amongst the crew, and she has to put up with such unspeakable things from her father, who treats her worse than anyone, but she still puts on a brave face and refuses to bend to his ways. She’s incredibly strong, and despite not wanting to hurt anyone, she knows how to handle herself if she has to, and I love that about her.
The only real relationships that Marianne seems to have aboard the ship are with Grace, and Bronn. Grace is her only friend, and the only person that she feels she can turn to. Her relationship with Bronn is much more complicated. Bronn is her father’s fiercest warrior, and from the very start it is implied that the two of them used to be close, but something has changed, and now there is only tension. It is obvious that they both care deeply for each other, but both of them are clearly fighting against it. Watching these relationships grow and change throughout the story was a lot of fun.
Marianne’s conflict with her father is the central element to this entire story, and everything else that happens either revolves around that conflict in some way, or is a direct consequence. It creates some extremely intense, edge of the seat moments. It is relentless, from beginning to end. Following Marianne as she attempts to take on her father made for such an exciting and enjoyable read, that got better and better as you went along, with twists and turns, and shocking revelations, and it all came together in an explosive climax which sets you up perfectly for the next book in the series.
I am so glad that I picked this book up, because it was absolutely fantastic from start to finish. It was action packed, exciting, and impossible to put down. It is brilliantly written, and I loved it so much that I have now bought the rest of the series and can not wait to see how the story continues. I would go as far as to say that this is my favourite book of 2022 so far.
I give Viper a very easy 5 star rating!
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