cover image Deadmen Walking

Deadmen Walking

Sherrilyn Kenyon. Tor, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8568-0

Kenyon (Born of Legend) puts the lie to the old adage “Dead men tell no tales” in the jam-packed, appealing first book of her Deadman’s Cross historical fantasy series. In 1716 Jamaica, Devyl Bane is a man of many names: “Captain” to his crew of misbegotten miscreants; “Du” to Marcelina, the woman who literally is his ship; and Don-Dueli, his given name. All of them are monikers for a damned man in charge of a dead crew who are charged with earning redemption by killing demons and protecting the innocent. Cameron Jack finds Devyl in a dockside town and begs him to help her find her brother, Paden, a missing ship’s captain who’s presumed dead; Devyl agrees, beginning an epic adventure to save Paden and keep humankind’s nightmares locked away. Marcelina’s twisted sister, Vine—who’s also Devyl’s ex-wife—is leading the charge against Devyl and his crew; to find Paden, they must find Vine’s hidden, crumbling prison and challenge her growing power. This piratical tale is very heavily front-loaded with worldbuilding information, including a panoply of pantheons, but there’s still room for swashbuckling, death, glory, and just the tiniest hint of romance. (May)