Fan Girl Review: The Red King by Rosemary O'Malley

A man abused and discarded is left to rebuild himself with naught but vengeance in his heart. A youth cruelly torn from all he knew and loved is cast adrift with no hope for the future. What will happen when Fate thrusts them together?

He is known as Ruaidhri and his extraordinary strengths and stamina are said to be born of the Devil. His ferocity is matched solely by his ruthlessness. For seven years, he has sailed his ship the Taibhse with one goal in mind: to avenge the years of torment he suffered at the hands of a depraved Danish lord. He has one final plan to succeed, but he searches yet for the implement.

His family destroyed by violence and his body enslaved to a brutal master, Andrew’s future promises only misery. He is saved from this desolate fate by a pirate captain with fiery hair and an ultimatum; help him achieve his revenge and go free, or be sent to a horrific, painful death. As Andrew struggles with the choice of slave or assassin, he finds that all is not as it seems aboard the corsair’s ship.

Pain is tempered by pleasure and loss consumed by love in the flames stoked by

…The Red King.

Warning: this is an erotic m/m romance intended for mature audiences. It contains explicit sexual situations, frank language, torture, and non-graphic descriptions of abuse of a minor. 

 Arg!! *waves sword and tweaks fake beard*

Before I begin, let me warn ye...there's both sweetness and darkness in this epic treat by Rosemary O'Malley. Declarations of love are made and licentious acts are made (even of the minor M/F variety - tis brief). There be mentions of child abuse and scenes of rape/torture/abuse, so if ye be soft of stomach, please exit via the plank! Tis not the story for ye!

Yawr har har!!!!

Rosemary O'Malley's debut novel tis an epic historical pirate tale that travels through and land on a quest for revenge. The sweet sea of love, the crashing tide of learning the depth's of oneself and murky waters of angst are all traveled with a fine tuned hand in this humble temporary pirate's opinion.

A fine tale with blood, guts, piss, vinegar, seduction, hurt, comfort, woe, damage, shit, lion sex (yes there be actual mating in the wild), battle, pillaging, true love and even a eunuch! Tis a pirate's tale split into two POV, young Scotsman Andrew, the young orphan raised by priests who's been captured and Rorik aka Rory aka Ruaidhri (pronounced Rou-ar-ree) aka the Red King!

Aye, the Irish, ginger haired young captain of the ship Taibhse is hell bent on thwarting the evil bastard Dane, Maarten, Rory's ex-master. Rory's childhood was a painful one, aye, one full or sorrow and pain. His crew helps rescues the seemingly timid, virgin Andrew who is not wordly but has a calming quality that calms people, pulls people to him. Could be a religious or a philosophical undertone, depends on who is reading this, ya savvy? I enjoy Andrew and his nuances/intricacies. A bashful, fainting flower, he is not. And he proves himself wondrously. More on him soon, aye?

I shall break down the things I enjoyed:

The story-A swashbuckler's delight

- Tis a long, well crafted one spanning sea and land, settings of Africa and Europe. I give it 4 stars some parts may seem drawn out but tis necessary for the entire portrait the author paints, ya ken?

The Red King-This ginger lover's wet dream found in a pirate

- The slave who turns into a master of his own rights, he is, he is! He's second to my #1 love of Captain Jack Sparrow. He's a mix of dark and light though his light was never recognized until he learned to see himself and his self worth through Andrew's eyes. Oh please, Ruaidhri is naughty and has tales to tell but when he falls...he falls hard and loves even harder. He defies so many things to hold onto that bit of happiness.

Even a little bit of:

I rooted for him to persevere and crush any insubordination. I was not disappointed in the Red King. He deserves the title. He has my 5 Stars.

Andrew-The little engine that could!
- Have I mentioned that though my little wolf, Andrew did not enter the story as a warrior he leaves as the bravest of the brave? I'm sure if Davy Jones himself came upon, little Andrew, he would smite with a few words and nary a weapon. He's martyr-ish but for this story it works. He gets 10 out of 5 stars!

The sacrifices made and angsty road traveled by Andrew...I love him even the more. The little non priest has teeth, he does. Grrr!!

“I am not your dove," he ground out, barely loud enough to hear. "I am a wolf.”

Do not underestimate him, arg!

The Secondary Characters J'adore a French pimp named Etienne and many more

- Etienne, the brawny, sweet giant of Malik and wordsmith that be Fleming any many others more (Privateer Ortega, brave Laurent...crewman Yousef) There was an ease with each character, I wanted to know their back story, I wanted to fight and laugh with them, live in their world.

Especially brothel owner and masterful pimp Etienne...

Aye, the mayhem he would cause would be divine and I ken he's deviousness. All secondary characters get 5 stars but Etienne, he shall get 6 or it'd be a sword to the gullet of naysayers! Argh!

Maarten -He's the villainous hostess with the mostest

- 5 stars- vile, repulsive, murdering, disgusting, evil, mad, fucking bonkers pedophile rapist and somehow I kept picturing Maarten like this, just a younger version:

(Yes, Vigo from Ghostbusters 2 as the blonde Dane villain) Do not think I don't ken the dark, mateys...I do. Maarten goes balls to the wall in the darkest of evils, tis makes him a better villain, it does.

Alas he was with us for a small time, though his grey shroud choked the first half before his appearance around 65%. He gets 5 Stars! I hate him and curse him down to Davy Jones' locker but I appreciate his evil for the purpose of the story.

Surprisingly, the story navigates itself towards the sweet promise of happieth of ever after...but there are some pain filled bumps along the way but worth it.

So how many stars to give thee, "The Red King"? Let me average out me stars...

More than 5, arg! For the purpose of this wizardry known as goodreads the highest I can gives is FIVE Stars!

So, I loved this book. Definitely in me top favorites for the year. So much so if everyone else dogs it:

All the way to me pirate lovin' soul, ya savvy?

For more information on Goodreads!


  1. I think this will start off my 2015 collection rather nicely. Sold!

    1. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!! :D Happy New Year!!