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Pub Date 05 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 06 Oct 2021

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Never trust a pirate.

The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win.

Captain. Sister. Maiden.
Csilla Abado yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at her youth and to her elder sister who has always craved Csilla’s captainship. She will risk everything to become the first pirate queen, no matter the cost.

Dealer. Son. Legacy.
Kane Blackwater wants to leave behind the dirty gold and shady trades he’s made to keep his father’s ship, the Iron Jewel, alive. The Trials represent a new beginning—yet rumors of a secret heir are swirling, threatening his hopes of becoming the pirate king.

Stowaway. Daughter. Storm.
Lorelei Penny longs for nothing more than to avenge her mother’s death. Stowing away on the Iron Jewel was supposed to get her closer to the killer, but instead she finds herself caught up in the deadly battle where loyalty and desire collide.

Csilla. Kane. Lorelei. Each on a mission. The sea, however, has other plans. Dark tides are rising, and if they aren’t careful, they’ll surely drown.

Never trust a pirate.

The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can...

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ISBN 9781989365793
PRICE $17.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 203 members

Featured Reviews

The book kept my attention and the characters are easy to root for in the story. I really think tweens and teens will enjoy the dark aspects of the novel.

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CROSSBONES felt like being thrown into the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which I loved! The opening scene felt like something pulled straight from the script, which is always a great thing for a swashbuckling pirate book! The characters were likeable enough, and the relationships between them were complex. Seeing from Kane, Csilla, and Lorelai's switching POVs were well balanced and kept me interested in the characters, while also letting me breath and process each one. I loved Csilla and Rhoda's tension, as well as the action in the story. There was just enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, but not enough to make your brain tired. I liked the fast pace, it felt appropriate for the characters and plot. At times, the writing felt a little less than polished, with a few instances of repeating words and the like, but as this was an early copy, it's often the case. Overall, I though it was a solid read, and I can't wait to see what Vale does next! Thank you so much NetGalley for the early copy!

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*****5 Stars!

“𝘙𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦, 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘢 𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘸. 𝘞𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘳--𝘸𝘦 𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘵.”

First I would like to thank Wattpad Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read an arc of this book. I am honored to have been given the chance to read it and give an honest review.

Crossbones is a story following three young pirates; Csilla Abado, who yearns to prove her strength to those who balked at her youth and to her older sister who felt she should have won the title of captain. Kane Blackwater, a young man haunted by the shadows of his wrong doings and desperate to prove himself worthy of his father’s ship, the Iron Jewel. Lorelei Penny, a young farm girl who longs to avenge her mother’s death and is willing to do whatever it takes to get closer to the killer. As the Blood Bell tolls to mark the death of the pirate king, the trails for the Bone Crown begin. Only one can claim the throne, yet rumors of a secret heir to the throne are rising and threatening all those who wish to claim the throne for themselves.

This book was a very thrilling adventure for all those with a love of pirates, not only did this story hook me at the very start and left me wanting more, the pacing was very well done and all the characters were very easy to love and root for. As I read through this book I found myself very involved with each and every character; they were all so complex in their own way and had such endearing qualities about them that you just couldn’t help but love. I enjoyed watching their relationships grow throughout the course of this story, it all felt so natural and familiar at the same time.

Kane was a favorite character of mine throughout the story, not only was he fascinating and at times unpredictable, I also enjoyed being able to get in his head and learn why he is the way that he is. I loved the author’s ability to paint the picture of this character’s past, which allowed the reader to understand his ambitions and inner traumas and how they shaped not only him as a person but the way he’s able to form relationships with those around him. Csilla was another interesting character, the tension between her and her older sister was obvious from the start and I found it fascinating to understand the strife and competition between them. I felt I was able to understand both character’s reasons and points of the argument, but it was also very clear to see who was the most deserving of the title of Captain and how that affected their relationship. Lorelei was a character you couldn’t help but love from the start, not only did she have a sweet and innocent demeanor but she also had a fire inside of her and the strength to move forward despite the hardships she endured. I felt the tone of the book revolved around inner strength, the bonds of love and acceptance of oneself and all these characters truly showed it well.

Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the worldbuilding; I loved how the pirates had their own way of doing things and their own ruler to see it through. It made the story all the more interesting to read and gave this world the author created a very authentic feel to it. It is most definitely a world I would have loved to pay a visit to.

As a lover of any and all things pirate related, this book was an absolute delight to read! I’ve been searching for a well written and engaging pirate book for quite some time and this story completely fits the bill! This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a fun and adventurous story to lose themselves in!

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Thank you so much for my copy of Crossbones! This book was such an adventure and was filled with great characters! I would love a continuation to see what happens next with each of them. If you enjoy pirate reads then look no further! I can't wait to see what is next from Kimberly Vale!

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‘Be careful not to cross bones too far or they’re bound to break.’

4 stars!! Thank you so much to Wattpad Books and Netgalley for sending me an advanced readers copy of this book!!

Content warnings for Crossbones include : blood, grief and torture.

After the bone king dies without an heir, five pirate captains must compete in the trials known as Crossbones. The prize being the bone crown and making them the new king or queen of bones. There can only be one winner; but who will emerge victorious and be crowned as the ruler?

This book immediately captured me from the first three chapters, (as those are where we met our three main characters, which I’ll get on to later on in my review,) I knew immediately that this would be one of my top reads of the year. While I do feel the book was a tad predictable in some points I do feel the author ended up doing great things with said twists and ended up taking them in directions I wouldn’t have expected. I loved the overall plot and can’t wait to see how the author plans on expanding it in book 2!! The word building did have me confused at some points but it wasn’t too difficult to pick up on.

The characters:
I could literally write paragraphs and paragraphs just gushing about all of these characters, but I shall contain my excitement for October 5th when I can really truly express my love for them all.

I do also feel that characters can make or break a book; you can have a strong plot with zero plot holes but if your characters are unlikeable then it just ruins the whole book, i was anxious about going into this book as it was a three character pov and I found myself expecting to get bored with certain character/s chapters and have to skim read, this was definitely not the case. I found myself thoroughly reading every line and enjoying every characters chapter equally, each character brought something different to the story and I loved seeing the events unfold through their pov! I also loved how each character dealt with things such as their pasts and current events that are happening to them.

Csilla Abado
I absolutely loved Csilla and I loved reading her povs, I also loved her relationships with not only Kane and Lorelei but with side characters such as Flynn and Nara, she seemed to be a really good leader to the Scarlet Maiden and her relationship with Flynn was literally everything I could ask for in a book. Their relationship dynamic was one of my favourites in the book and I cant wait to see where it goes. I also feel like lots of people will relate to her relationship with Rhoda, her sister, I enjoyed reading about their current relationship as well as events that led to their sibling rivalry.

Kane Blackwater
Kanes first chapter already told me that he would become one of my favourite characters of all time. I loved his whole character arc throughout the book and I loved deep diving in to his past and seeing not only how he feels about his past; but also how his current actions are based off of things in his past. I cannot wait for everyone to finally meet him.

Lorelei Penny
I feel like i relate to Lorelei in a lot of aspects, she cares for her mother deeply and will do anything to get what she wants. Lorelei exceeded my expectations about her and I’m very glad that the author took her character in one direction while I was expecting it to go in the other direction. I loved Lorelei’s relationship with the characters and I enjoyed watching her character develop and I am very excited to see how her character continues to grow and adapt in book 2!!

The relationships
While this book was more plot focused I do feel like it had just enough romance to keep the average romance reader focused. The witty banter between some of the characters had me having to set my phone down and pace around my room, debating wether or not I wanted said characters to kiss each other or kill each other. I absolutely adored the character dynamics and cannot wait to see them develop in book 2!! I also loved the family relationships this book had such as Lorelei and her mother, Csilla and Rhoda, Kane and his father, I feel like they were explored quite well and we understood the impact that they had on the story the way things that happened with our three main characters and their families that made them who they are and helped them with hard decisions they had to make throughout the book.

Overall I feel as if Vale really created something special when writing Crossbones, I genuinely cannot wait for you all to see if and to get enchanted by this wonderful world and these wonderful characters she has created!

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Solid story with a flair to it. Don’t let the fact it’s YA turn you off. The story is mature and engrossing. This one is for you if you like a bit of fantasy, battles and smart women.

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I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley #netgalley

Pirates reimagin! What a twist. There should definitely be more adult and young adult pirate books out there. This one definitely kept you on the edge of your seat.

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You jump right in, and it takes a little bit to get a feel for what is going on but it's engaging.

I had some more specific thoughts after finishing, but traveling, work, and life in general have interfered with getting a review written in a punctual fashion. I don't recall the details of thoughts I had while reading, but what I DO have is an overall sensation of satisfaction after having finished it and I think that speaks pretty well for the quality of the story.

It definitely is a world I would be interested in revisiting in a sequel.

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Really enjoyed reading this book!

An adventure-filled journey while reading this with a great set of characters! Jumped in excitement once I found out pirates were involved in this story and I am so glad I read this!

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Pirates. Gods. Goddesses. Men of molten lava. A crown to win, the world to save. The journey follows four main characters- Lorelei, Csilla, Kane, and Flynn.

Lorelei is the unassuming yet strong character.

Csilla is a pirate to the core with a ship of women to take care of and the need to prove their worth.

Kane, the brooding yet thoughtful pirate with childhood trauma.

Flynn the boyish cutie that makes jokes to keep the pain at bay.

There is love between some of them. Betrayal by those closest to them.

I enjoyed this book. Admittedly the first 60% felt slow for me but once it started moving it really went fast. I guess you could say it has killer word building. The way the world was laid out wasn’t overdone, it was just right. Sometimes signers can get carried away with too many details that it begins to take away. Not this author. I enjoyed the book. The characters, as well as their growth.

Thank you netgalley for the opportunity to read!

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Thank you to #netGalley for letting me read an Earc of this book! Ok so Pirates, Fire Gods, Sea Gods, magic this book has a bit of everything in it. Lorelai became a character you can really get behind and root for, I also loved Kane's character. Csilla and Rhoda where an interesting pair although I had a bit of a feeling about what was in store for them. I really really loved this book and am looking forward to hopefully another one.

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This is one of my new favorite books! I loved reading it, and I loved the characters. The writing is clear and unique enough in a way that makes reading this book exciting. It was a great experience and I have already recommended it to so many of my friends. I always get attached to characters when I read new books and these characters are definitely ones that I will be thinking about for a long time. I can't wait until I can get a physical copy!

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I wasn't sure what to expect going into Crossbones, but I really liked it! The pirate vibes are immaculate and Kimberly Vale did a fantastic job with the plot and character development.

Complete with witty banter, a touch of romance, and page-turning adventure... I cannot wait for everyone to experience Crossbones this fall!

Thank you NetGalley and Wattpad books for my copy!

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This book completely surpassed my expectations. The action started right away and didn’t stop. I went into this book blind, only knowing that there were pirates somewhere in the story. I’m glad the book caught my interest and hooked me from the start.

The characters are all so unique and it was three interesting reading the same story from three different perspectives! My favorite was probably Csilla, and OMG Lorelei completely shocked me. These ladies are amazing, strong, and much better than the male pirates.

The trails were super engaging. The constant backstabbing and life threatening moments made me want to keep reading! This book is perfect if you are looking for a fast paced, semi-romance story.

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As someone who loved Bloody Jack back in the day and also the Grishaverse, this feels like a great mixture of the two. Would recommend to fans of either and those searching for adventure or those who are wanting a pirate story.

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If you like the Grishaverse and All The Stars and Teeth, then I'd definitely give this a read!

All in all this was a really great book. It's told in multiple POV, has magic, mermaids, pirates, violence, fighting... pretty solid book.

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This book made me think of Pirates of the Caribbean and Black Sails, but in a wonderful YA way.
I enjoyed the overall story and the characters, with Csilla, Kane and Flynn being my favorites. This is a multiple POV book and I think the author handled it well. The reader gets to see the unfolding events through three character's eyes which come together on THE pirate island after the Pirate King's death.
The story has it all: great characters, adventure, pirate shenenigans, rivalry, a sea battle, mysteries, some kind of supernatural elements and romance. And damn, the romance. There are two couples in this book, one where the characters broke up due to *spoiler*, the other being a wonderful slow burn... until the book comes to the end.
And that's why the book don't gets five stars from me. The ending.
Everything in this story is fine, the pace, the adventure, the friendly banter, the fights, the race for the pirate throne, the slow burn. Until the last chapters. Suddenly everything feels rushed to get to the ending. And while it's still great writing it makes it seem like parts are missing from the story. The celebration for the new Pirate Royal feels shallow, the delicious slow burn is suddenly resolved and the book ends without giving the reader that sense of wow that it had promised.
In other words, I wanted more after truly devouring the story for the great part of it. I expected more. The characters deserved more.
As it is, Crossbones is a book to enjoy, the pirates and adventure in it are everything you could wish for. It's just the ending that doesn't do it justice.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this eARC.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I was at first intrigued by the title and then i read the description and the fact that there was going to be trials to find a new pirate king/queen made me very excited, and the fact that it is by a fellow wattpader which always makes me happy. There is so much adventure and secrecy right from the get go and nothing slows down. There are so many fight scenes that i really enjoyed reading, it felt like I was fighting right by Csilla and Kade. I loved how the author portrayed Csilla's relationship with her sister and how it all came to ahead later in the book. I loved her and her crew. This book goes hand in hang with being one of my favorite pirate books alongside Daughter Of The Pirate King and the Seafire series. It had just the right amount of romance, swashbuckling and sprinkles of magic.

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Let it be known that books involved pirates, sailing or the ocean will always make my heart happy. This one started off fantastically, the different POVs as each character was fleshed out worked really well and the plot was intriguing! However, at about 75% in, it felt like everything fell a bit flat. The dialogue between characters felt strange and slightly juvenile, the characters themselves lost a little bit of the spark that made them so wonderful and it felt like the focus was more on the love interests than it was the plot. I enjoyed the ending, but that last 25% definitely felt like a Wattpad book to me.

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I LOVE pirate books and this one did not disappoint! The cover is stunning. I loved the thrilling trials. Very entertaining and exciting book.

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In Crossbones, Kimberly Vale's debut novel, the pirates of Cerulia are trained from a young age to sail and fight for their nation. The five fleets, chosen by the Bone King, harmoniously protect their island kingdom from the fire worshipping country, Incendia. But when the king dies unexpectedly, the crown is up for grabs, and each captain wants it for themselves. They enter into a fierce competition to see who will become ruler of the seas. When the pirates begin to gather, rumors swirl of a hidden heir to the throne, cruel gods long thought buried returning, and a wicked plot to steal the crown by any means necessary.

There are so many enjoyable elements in this novel. One high point is the complex relationship between Csilla and her older sister, Rhoda. They've been in competition their whole lives, and when Csilla is chosen as successor to their captain rather than Rhoda, the jealousy and tension between them begin to build to something more sinister.

Something else that bears mentioning is the underlying theme of suffering loss for the greater good. Each person has a definitive moment where they decide what they're willing to sacrifice for their ambitions. The choices they make determine the outcome not only for themselves but their loved ones and their nation.

There are moments in this novel that feel a bit too convenient, maybe a little predictable. There are a few surprising revelations, but many of the plot twists fall flat. It does take away from the story, but it certainly doesn't make it unenjoyable. Sometimes predictability can be comforting, and I think that's the case here.

Because of all the above mentioned, I give Crossbones four out of five stars. It's an entertaining storyline with heart, betrayal, found family, humor, and characters you will love and hate with equal fervor. There is a romantic subplot, but the intimate moments are only implied, with no explicit content.

If you are a fan of the Six of Crows Duology, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Hunger Games novels, Crossbones is an entertaining combination of all of them wrapped into a high-stakes adventure. I highly recommend it to readers age 12+ who love an action-packed YA fantasy novel.

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This is a fantastic debut novel! Csilla, Kane, Lorelei Have to race to find the treasure. I love these three main characters , I really got attached. The side characters really made a splash with their whit during trying times. The race to find the clues and keys was intense and entertaining. Lessons on love, loyalty, and what’s important are really felt during the story. You never really know who you can trust! There was a great mix of Gods, ruthless pirates and witches. I can’t wait to see more of the development of the world and characters as the series goes on!

Thank you to @wattpadbooks and @netgalley for my copy for honest review!

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I feel like with Wattpad authors, you get a hit or miss sometimes and this was a hit! A rollicking great pirate adventure told through multiple perspectives. I did have a bit of trouble keeping track of who was who at the beginning and I found the story a little easy to call at times which is why I didn't give it a fifth star, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought Kimberly Vale delivered a unique pirate tale that was gripping, exciting, and mesmerizing. I'm actually really excited to read what she puts out next and if it will be anything like this.
**ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

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Okay, first of all...that cover! It's gorgeous, completely the reason I decided to give this book a read and I was not disappointed! It has everything a great pirate book should; swashbuckling adventure, a pirate treasure, dueling, and even some romance.

Kimberly Vale wasted no time setting the mood in Crossbones, opening with one of the main characters, Csilla, being lead to the gallows to hang. From there, there's no real lull in the adventure, each chapter alternates between three POVs, Csilla, Kane, and Lorelai, giving a great look into the plot as a whole. Unfortunately, the characters felt almost forced together and therein, they just automatically liked each other...I mean, they're pirate captains, where's the edge and grit? The relationship and character arcs could have been better suited to being steal-your-booty, swashbuckling pirates.

I think, for a debut author, this is a fantastic first book. It's fast-paced and quite fun to read. I definitely recommend giving it a go!

Huge thank you to Wattpad Books via NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and honestly review.

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Thank you Netgalley for this incredible Arc!

Crossbones by Kimberly Vale was a wild ride from beginning to end! I loved mostly all of this story bc... PIRATES!!!

This tale follows 3 Main characters throughout this adventure, Csilla, Kane and Lorelei. This bloody tale full of adventure is also full of secrets. The Bone King dies (the king of the pirates) and now trials must begin to prove who the best candidate is for the crown of Bones! However, there is a lost heir to the throne that some pirates want to find and help and others want to kill.

Although I found some parts to this story predictable, I really loved the pirate vibe of the book and especially the creativity of the trials the pirates went thru. This book has a great ending and I definitely would read more if more is to come!

Look for this on Oct. 5th!

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I. LOVE. PIRATES. POTC has to be my most watched movie series ever, so I jumped at the chance to request this and I wasn't disappointed at all. Kimberly Vale has managed to write the swashbuckling YA adventure of my dreams. There are definitely flaws: it's a little light on the worldbuilding, and I didn't care much for Kane as either a POV, annd the romances fell kind of flat for me, but in a book with a character like Csilla Abado I can overlook some flaws. I will say I didn't expect this to have three POVs (it's been a while since I read the first book of a YA series with more than two) and it was kind of jarring at first so do be prepared for that. Really great if you like fun, popcorn-y, action-filled YA. This is a trilogy so I can't wait to read the next two installments.

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The pirate king has died which means the island nation of Cerulia will hold the Trials to determine the next recipient of the Bone Crown. Among the current pirate captains and contenders for the crown are Csilla Abado and Kane Blackwater. Csilla, the youngest and sole female captain with everything to prove and Kane, who just wants to shed the shadows of his father's reputation. Then there is Lorelei Penny, unwittingly entangled in the power struggle and the center of much controversy herself.

Csilla Abado is the embodiment of all my childhood pirate fantasies. I wish we got a little more of her romance with Finn, they had amazing chemistry together and their banter was so much fun. Kane honestly makes some pretty terrible choices but with good intentions so its hard not to like him, he has the tall, dark, and mysterious vibe to him and you can't ask for much more in a pirate captain.

This book was fast paced and action packed. This isn't a dark or particularly gruesome pirate book but there are a fair amount of fight scenes that I quite enjoyed. I loved the world and the history behind each ship and captain, if anything I just wished we got more of that back story earlier in the book. I am a sucker for reluctant teamwork trope and it was so fun to see some truly opposite pirates attempt to put aside their differences.

Thank you so much @netgalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Crossbones releases on October 5th!

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Review: 4.5 stars

For fans of Tricia Levenseller and her Daughter of the Pirate King duology, Crossbones is a wonderful YA fantasy which embraces the power of friendship and how we create our own paths to our fate.

I really loved this book! I do hope that there will be follow up books. It left off not at a cliffhanger but at a part where I really want there to be more! There is something in here for everyone! Romance, action, adventure, travel, betrayal, friends, and humor. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys and of the previously stated!

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Such a fun, light hearted adventure book with lovable characters & a fun questing plot!!!

The pirates of the caribbean vibes are amazing and if you enjoyed those movies at all I think you’ll enjoy this book!
I’d describe this as more of a light fantasy - there is world building and lore but it’s not overwhelming to follow The pirate lore & mythology is really interesting, it’s very elemental based which is neat.

Lorelei is definitely my favorite character, I just absolutely love the sheltered character surprising everyone else with their strength and resilience. Kane is really fun to read about too. Gotta love an angsty, brooding, grumpy boy who really has a pure heart underneath it all.. Csilla is the kick butt heroine everyone loves in books. She’s deadly and harsh but underneath everything she has so much love for the people she cares about & she is confronted with so much. Her strength is just as prominent in her heart as it is with a sword. There's also really fun side characters that you’ll just have to read to find out about!

Kane & Lorelei together is my favorite dynamic. When the no strings attached boy begins falling for the ‘innocent’ girl and then keeps trying to deny it just never gets old to read about. Plus just seeing him be left completely speechless by her multiple times throughout this story made my day (they actually serve a few fan favorite tropes but I’ll leave you with just this one for now) Also, KANE & LORELEI ON PAGE 229 THAT’S ALL!!! Csilla & Flynn have the flirty banter every fandom knows and loves with a little bit of betrayal trope thrown in for good measure. They’re also childhood friends to lovers to low-key enemies which I appreciate.

Csilla & Kane’s friendship is so amusing and cute because her are two people who just deny they care about anyone yet they obviously care about each other & Kane even compares Csilla to a “scolding elder sister." Actually all the friendships in this book are excellent.

The ending makes it feels like there’s a set up for a sequel and I truly hope there will be but even if not readers won’t want to miss this amazing tale!

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This was a really fun pirate adventure. It starts out with a bang with main character Csilla about to be hanged because she's a pirate. She obviously gets saved (otherwise she wouldn't be a main character) and it really takes off from there. We have 3 POVs. Csilla, captain of her ship, Kane, captain of his ship and Loreli, just a girl from a port city...or is she?
I really liked having these 3 POVs. I feel they were all necessary to tell the whole story and I looked forward to each of their parts. Csilla was kind of unsure of herself as everyone thought the ship would go to her older sister Rhoda when their grandmother passed away. She wanted to keep her crew together and loyal to her even though she wasn't the obvious pick for captian. Kane was kind of the broody, tall, dark and handsome, mysterious character with a dark past but trying to be someone different. Loreli always wanted to leave her town, but couldn't because her mother was "crazy" and talked to invisible voices. I think Loreli was my favorite character.
When the pirate king dies without any heirs, the captains of each ship compete in these trials to determine which one will be the next pirate king (or queen, but there has never been a queen). The trials start around the halfway point in the book. The lead up to the trials really sets the groundwork of which characters really want the crown, which may want to work with others, who to stay away from. It gives them all a good background. The trials themselves are fun and brutal (which sounds like a strange combination). They aren't really "trials" so much as a treasure hunt to find the 4 pieces of the key that will open the chest containing the crown.
There were twists and turns and gods and goddesses. Funny characters, scary characters. Everything that makes for a good pirate story, so if you are into pirates, definitely check this one out!

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4 stars
A fun pirate story with some really good scenes and tropes. Although I didn't fall in love with this author's writing style, I did really enjoy this story. There was a lot of world building and backstory during the first few chapters, but once I got caught up, it was quite fun. My main problem with this book was just the pacing. The adventure was well paced, but the relationships, both platonic and romantic, felt rushed. I never really felt the connection between Csilla and Flynn, and although I did really like Kane and Lorelei, their feelings developed super fast. Regardless, I really did enjoy the actual plot, and although this book wraps up nicely, if the author ever writes any sequels/spin offs, I'll probably pick them up. I'd definitely recommend this is any fans of pirate books. They're generally hard to find, and this is a good one.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I absolutely love pirates, so this book seemed perfect for me. And I mostly enjoyed it overall! While the plot and characters are really fun, the world-building wasn't as full as it could have been and I had some issues with the writing itself. If you're looking for an adventurous and swashbuckling book, though, definitely check CROSSBONES out!

(Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)

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When I first started this book, I thought that this would be a stand-alone novel. The author has recently posted that Crossbones has been extended by the publisher into a full trilogy. After reading this book, it really makes sense.

If I was rating this book as a stand-alone, it would be 3 stars. The pacing was rushed throughout a lot of the book, and there wasn't nearly enough world building for such a large plot. At times the world seemed too basic and small- I had a hard time gauging how long pirates would be at sea between destinations. They always ended up where they needed to be, when they needed to be there.

Knowing that this is a part of a trilogy, I would give this book 3.5 stars, rounding up because I do want to give this trilogy a chance. There are a lot of fun adventurous moments (Honorable pirates making a mess doing things a bit too honorably, ha!), some perfectly timed betrayals, and plenty of material to work with to make the rest of the series interesting.

I was able to enjoy a "sneak peak" of this book before reading it fully. 'Crossbones' starts strong- the main character is about to be hanged for being a pirate (she's the MC, so you can probably guess how that will go).

Thank you Netgalley and Wattpad Publishing for an advanced copy of this e-book. I received a copy of this book through Bookishfirst and have published the review on Goodreads with that link. I'm sorry for double-requesting this book- I was just a bit too excited to read it!

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Seriously though, this one is a can't miss.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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First of all… that cover?! Gorgeous, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t what attracted me to this one. Overall, there was a lot of potential here, but it fell a little flat. The MCs were likable enough, and I enjoyed the world building. The story as a whole wasn’t horrible, but the plot tended to be predictable and too simplistic; because of this it lacked any real impact.

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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC!

I blindly requested this book and I must admit I'm amazed. With a unique and fully developed world, a heart warming found family trope and deadly pirates, this is an underrated book you for sure do not want to miss. One thing I've realized is that we need more books with competitions and trials because I loved the stakes, consequences and the things peoole would do because of greed that this book offered. The characters had depth and were complex and I could easily understand why certain characters did certain things but of course that does not excuse their crimes at all. This was a very fun, light and fast-paced story that I enjoyed more than I'd like to admit. All in all, I would definitely recommend this to people who love friendships more than love stories like me.

4 stars!💖

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Absolutely a thrilling 5 star YA adventure.

The characters were relatable. I could feel what they felt and could put myself in their shoes. Well all except I’m not a pirate. Still trying to work out how to be one of those. I should start by getting a tall ship and a parrot. Maybe a peg leg too!

Let me get back to the review though because my future aspirations are not your concern here… just get this book. You want to I promise.

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The King of Bones has died. The death bell tolls signaling to all in the pirate kingdom. With no known heir, the captains all compete in the trials to see who shall wear the Bone Crown and be the next leader of their people. Whispers of an heir make their way to few of the captains and they must decide whether to take the throne for their own or offer it to an unknown.

Huge thanks to Netgalley, Wattpad books, and Kimberly Vale for an advanced copy of this book.

I know some of you are going to look at the publisher and be like🙄 but don't be a judging Judy. I really don't know why Wattpad writings have such negative connotations in the reading world. I've found some really fun reads there in the past. Also, if you read this book while it was on Wattpad then you are way ahead of a lot of us here! This is one of the most action packed books that I have read in a long time. I know books without much dialogue aren't for everyone, but Crossbones kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. The main characters, plot, and world building blended so easily together into this beautiful tale of a world at war and the hidden Gods who guide it.

Let's talk about Csilla for a moment. I had to stop to google how to pronounce the name because my brain kept pronouncing it in different ways. In case you were wondering, it's phonetically pronounced chi-ya. Her character has a weakness for those she loves and is emotional, but unlike her sister, she doesn't allow her emotions to rule her and is able to keep her head for the most part. Her character has a strength that she isn't even aware she has until the very end. Every single moment of the book is important. There isn't a single sentence that isn't reflected on at some future point within the story. I love a good action adventure story with a quest and journey to find oneself in the process. Crossbones will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. It does leave an opening for future books, but there isn't a cliffhanger. Just a possibility.

I would recommend Crossbones to anyone ages 12 and up. While the book does mention a night between two characters, it doesn't go into depth about what took place. This book is great for lovers of the Percy Jackson series. There isn't anyone I wouldn't recommend this book to as it has just about everything. Action, adventure, fantasy, romance, myths, and you can't forget pirates!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars for this Wattpad adventure!

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I absolutely love me a good pirate story, and Crossbones by Kimberly Vale did not disappoint!

Our three main characters are Csilla, a young captain of an all female crew, Kane, an even younger captain who struggled to build his crew up under the shadow of his father’s legacy, and Lorelei, an unlikely girl who lives on the coast, and whose fate is nothing anyone could have foreseen.

Their paths are crossed when the Pirate King dies and each captain of his fleet must present themselves to a trial that will determine who wears the Bone Crown…

Crossbones is a solid, fun, pirate adventure. The characters are excellent, and each ship having their own set of governing rules really gave a sense of distinction between each group. The “big twist” is fairly easy to spot early on, but the author doesn’t dwell on it too long and continues with the story regardless, so that was appreciated. There are fights, betrayals, monsters, and dramatic escapes. Crossbones is all around a very good time for a standalone YA fantasy.

The one thing I wanted more from was that pirates historically arise when there is a severe imbalance of power tied with colonialism or expansion, and I wished that the author would have dug into that a little more, because it makes for such interesting discussion and story. But then I do understand that the majority of the focus of this book was on the trials and the fight over the Bone Crown - so think more inter-pirate conflicts rather than pirates vs the nation they are up against.

Overall, if you like pirates or any sea adventures, you can’t go wrong with Crossbones!

Content‌ ‌warnings‌ ‌for‌ violence, murder, & death of a parent

*Thank‌ ‌you‌ Wattpad Books ‌and‌ ‌NetGalley‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌ARC in exchange for my honest review*

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The way this book started had me hooked. I won’t spoil anything but it reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean and also the 4th Uncharted game - which is one of my favorites.

At first I wasn’t so sure about the switching POVs but the characters grew on me. Some more than others. Csilla, Kane and Lorelei had such different lives and yet their stories entwined quite nicely. I was impressed. I’ll admit I did guess one part of the storyline pretty early on but it didn’t take away from the book. If you enjoy pirates, betrayal, secrets and morally grey characters, you just might enjoy Crossbones.

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This book was addicting from page one. I loved the different POVs and the world. The MC is a kick butt female! I loved this book and can’t wait to read more by this author.

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I could make this review really short by just screaming GO READ THIS BOOK!

But I won't.

This is a pirate lovers dream - we have pirates (obviously), magic, found family trope, family vs. family, and so much more. I really loved how this book started, though it shocked me a little bit. I didn't expect to jump right into someone's hanging, but we did, and it was intense! Csilla is tried for her crimes of being a pirate and for that, she must hang. We get Csilla's hopes that the rope will simply break her neck rather than choke her to death, which I read with wide eyes, and the hope that someone from her crew would save her. Like I said, intense!

Alternating between Csilla, Kane, and Lorelei's points of view was really nice, though occasionally inconsistent. I love multiple POVs and Csilla's strength paired with Kane's anxiety and Lorelei's quest for revenge is just such a good mix! Especially with all the moving parts going on behind the scenes. 

In terms of plot, I loved how the story progressed. But, truth be told, I wasn't a fan of one specific thing at the end. I won't spoil it because this is a spoiler free review, but let's just say it's very deus-ex-machina-esque. Which is a trope that I genuinely hate, so I wasn't a big fan of that. But everything else leading up to that moment was so well done! And the final scene of the book made the journey worth it. It was a great way to end the book. 

I can't go too in depth with favorite scenes or moments for me because it's all spoilers, but I will say that the relationships between characters, how they change and grow, was perfect, especially regarding Csilla. I loved her character growth and how she overcame her challenges, both physically and emotionally. 

Overall, read this book! If you like pirates, if you like adventure, twists and turns, and lots of humor, then you will love this book! I've already starting hounding my friends to read it because I need people to talk to about it.

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Was it the best book ever? No.
Was it fairly predictable? Yeah.

But was it also action-packed, fun and full of lovable characters and piretes? Also YES.


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Crossbones was an epic adventure on the high seas. It reminded me of a darker One Piece. The character development was outstanding, the pacing was fast, and Kimberly Vale really made her characters come to life. Crossbones is for anyone who wants adventure, love and a wild ride.

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3.75/5 Stars

The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win. Three worlds collide trying to prove themselves and make it out alive.

First off - I really enjoyed this book. While reading I could note issues or that certain things weren't the best, but I really enjoyed reading it the entire time. The writing was easy, the story was interesting, and the characters were fun. It gave me Pirates of the Caribbean vibes but in a YA fantasy way.

The book does read very much like a Ya fantasy (take that as you will). I will there was more exploration of the world and the magic in it. I was confused about the magic even when the book ended. With some edits this book could have easily been 600+ pages and an amazing epic fantasy. But that's not what it was, and it accomplished what it set out to do.

I will say, the trails don't start until the 50% mark, and I was a little disappointed in them. The first part of the story where the trials aren't happening yet were a lot more interesting to me than the actual trials - which is so odd for me because I love book competitions.

I am so glad this was a standalone. I loved the world and would have totally read a series about it, but part of what pulled me in was seeing a standalone pirate fantasy.

Overall - if you want a fun easy book with found family, pirates, trails, strong women, magic, and lots of angst this is a great pick.

Thanks to Netgalley and Wattpad publishing for sending me a copy of this book in exchange or an honest review!

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The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win. Csilla Abado yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at her youth and to her elder sister who has always craved Csilla’s captainship. Kane Blackwater wants to leave behind the dirty gold and shady trades he’s made to keep his father’s ship, the Iron Jewel, alive. Lorelei Penny longs for nothing more than to avenge her mother’s death.

I was immediately drawn into the plot of this novel, it starts with high tension and the stakes only increase from there. But I got the feeling in the first few chapters that I was starting in the middle of the story or in a sequel since many of the characters have a past and the book begins in the middle of a precarious situation. Since this book features a large cast it takes a bit longer than I’d prefer to dig into each character’s drive, but the author does a great job keeping the reader engaged until then.

The narrative alternates between three protagonists: Csilla, Kane, and Lorelei. Normally, I get frustrated by novels that alternate points of view, because it often feels like the novel could have been told in a more streamlined way with just one point of view. But that was not at all the case with this novel. Each character’s leg of the story offers a unique perspective and I enjoyed seeing them come together. I enjoyed each character’s part equally and was impressed by how well-rounded even the supporting characters were for a book with such a large cast.

The author has created an immersive world in this novel. Each scene features lush descriptions and expansive details of the role this place plays in the wider world. The rules of the pirate kingdom (or lack thereof) were interesting and a unique aspect of this setting. There is also a subtle magic system in this book that plays an essential part in the plot.

Fans of Pirates of the Caribbean and All the Stars and Teeth will love Crossbones, the debut novel of Kimberly Vale. The main characters are unique and exciting while the world is immersive. The book’s plot is engaging but does feel as if you’re starting in a sequel. I’ll be eagerly waiting for the next book in the Kingdom of Bones trilogy.

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Thank you so much to NetGalley, Wattpad Books, and the author for this book in exchange for an honest review! If you are looking for your next pirate read, this is the book for YOU!

Wow, this book was such a great and refreshing read to start off my month of spooky reads. Although this read wasn’t spooky, it contained interesting magic and it was the adventure that I’ve been waiting for! This book started off with such a shocking bang that it hooked me by the very first page. It gave me all the loveable and amazing Pirates of the Caribbean vibes from that shocking beginning, but it still went into a very unique direction that stunned meeeeee. Ugh it was so good and I wish I could read it for the first time again!

The plot was told through multiple perspectives and it told a story of the different pirate captains seeking the same thing.... The Bone Crown. This adventure was cutthroat, jaw dropping, and had me on the edge of my seat the entire read. There was tension between characters, hilarious banter, and just enough romance to keep me entertained and content. The plot also had an air of mystery with the history of this pirate world and some of the characters’ roles in it that kept this plot extremely addicting.

There were so many storylines going on and although I wish the author had stuck to one couple for this first book, I enjoyed all the characters so much! The story switched perspectives between the characters of Csilla Abado, Kane Blackwater, and Lorelei Penny, but I wish the author had also included Flynn’s point of view as well to round out all the others. It just seemed weird that we got Kane’s point of view and not Flynn’s.... I really enjoyed each characters’ story, but I wish we had received more background before the adventure took off. It seemed like the author tried to cram a LOT of information into so much action and character development as well. It was A LOT, but it wasn’t enough to gain the whole story.

Did I mention the characters were awesome because I have to again, especially the badass females of this pirate universe!

Csilla is such a conundrum because she is going through a struggle with loyalty and the urge to be the most badass captain she can be. However, she had such a depth to her character that was truly amazing to read. I also really enjoyed Lorelei because she had such a rocky start, but she came out swinging!

The ending was definitely a shock (not a cliffhanger though so don’t be scared!) and I can’t wait for the next one!

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The pirate king is dead and since there is no heir the window is open for the Trials, a competition made for the Captains of the pirate ships and they will risk everything to get that Bone Crown. Csilla Abado, captain of an all-women crew, eager to show her strength to every pirate she will defy her own limits to be the first Pirate Queen. Kane Blackwater, captain by legacy but had to do very dark things to keep the boat afloat (haha get it) and he feels this is his chance to get a clean state. Lorelai Penny, has always been told to never trust a pirate but after her mother is killed by one this has never been more true, however she has to ally herself with another pirate in order to seek revenge but doesn't know that she will be caught in the middle of a deadly battle.

This book was really entertaining, it had Pirates of the Caribbean vibes. The plot was very fast paced and had a lot of action. I feel like this could be a series because there were so many elements I wanted to know more of, the world building was ok, but I felt like the focus was on the history of the pirates and of the magic elements that came with it that were really great but I still wanted an extra UMPH. I wanted to immerse myself in that world fully but I also needed to understand it, same thing with the characters, I liked them very much, the loyalties, the friendship, the comic relief it was awesome and had a bit of their background but I wanted MORE!. (I'm so greedy, I know) Mrs.Vale are you sure you don't want to make a sequel? Anyways, I enjoyed it, I had fun, it was an easy read, I do recommend it and I would definitely read it again to get out of a slump.

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Crossbones, by author Kimberly Vale, is the first installment in the authors Kingdom of Bones trilogy. This story revolves around (3) key characters: Csilla Abado, Kane Blackwater, and Lorelei Penny. Captain of the Scarlet Maiden. Young Sister to Rhoda Abado, Csilla yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at her youth and to her elder sister who has always craved Csilla’s captainship. After being betrayed, and handed over to the hated Incendian Navy who intended to humiliate her, before hanging her, she's saved at the last moment. When the Pirate King dies suddenly, The Bone Crown Trials soon takes place. Csilla will risk everything, including making an alliance with Kane and Lorelei and Flynn Gunnison to become the first pirate queen, no matter the cost.

Dealer. Son. Legacy. Captain of the Iron Jewel. Kane Blackwater is a young man haunted by the shadows of his wrong doings and desperate to prove himself worthy of his father’s ship, the Iron Jewel. The Bone Trials represent a new beginning―yet rumors of a secret heir are swirling, threatening his hopes of becoming the pirate king. He must join an alliance of those who would likely cut his throat rather than join him in working together. Yet, with a darkness rising, and an even deadlier adversary pushing people to do bad things, Kane will need to be on his toes.

Stowaway. Daughter. Storm. Lorelei Penny longs for nothing more than to avenge her mother’s death from a Pirate Captain searching for the Rathborne heir. Stowing away on the Iron Jewel was supposed to get her closer to the killer, but instead she finds herself caught up in the deadly battle where loyalty and desire collide. And, when the truth finally comes out about who she really is, darkness, and danger will test her limits as well as Csilla, and Kane to see who will be the first to open the Bone Chest and wear the Bone Crown.

It's fair to say that Lorelei is probably the most likable character in this book. She's been sheltered by her mother all her life, and not told who she really is. When her mother ends up murdered, she vows revenge, only to get swept up in a deadly game between pirates, and a vengeful villain just itching to break free from his confines. I liked Csilla, but really saw the betrayal coming a mile away. The ending obviously leaves room for the two sequels, so it will be interesting to see how she deals with what happend during the Trials. Kane is a broody, angsty, young man, who wants to prove himself that he can do goo things and make up for the bad things he's done . His relationship with Lorelei obviously needs to be explored to see what happens next.

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Crossbones is about the power of friendship...and betrayal.

Csilla, Kane, and Lorelei each have their reasons for competing in the Trials to claim the Crown of Bones. Ruling over the pirate islands of Cerulia would bring them each newfound power and security, among other things. But darker forces are at play, aiming to drown the competitors in favor of a more ruthless leader.

Each contestant, tied to the sea, to their hopes of taking up the Crown of Bones. But none of them are prepared to face the consequences of their ambition, especially when it comes to their crews and their futures. Who are they willing to trust to achieve their goals? And more importantly, who must they forsake just to live another day?

This book hit almost all the marks for me.

In all honesty, I'm a sucker for pirates. Nautical adventures are some of my favorites, and there's nothing quite like some roguish swashbuckling. Throw in a little magic to spice things up, and I'm bound to be interested! In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to please me. At the end of the day, I have simple needs.

But really, the cherry on top is that this book centers both competition and friendship. Csilla, Kane, and Lorelei are all learning that trust is a valuable thing to have in one another, even as they each have their reasons to hold back. Csilla risks forfeiting her dreams of becoming the first Queen of Bones, while Kane risks losing that newfound friendship with the truth of his past. And Lorelei? She risks her life, time and again, for the secrets surrounding her heritage, secrets that have been kept from her for years.

I absolutely loved watching these characters decide what mattered most to them, and what mattered to the islands of Cerulia. And all this coming from pirates? The sort of scoundrel you should never trust?

It just makes me love it more. I'll take an arc about terrible people doing the right thing any time, thanks!

"Just be careful you don't cross bones too far or they're bound to break."

That said, I do wish Crossbones spent a little more time on those characters. Our POV cast is excellent, with full histories and personalities on the page, but the supporting cast suffers in turn. Characters like Rhoda, Flynn, and Nara (among others) are weak in comparison sometimes, lacking a sense of depth and dimensionality to really bring them to life. I have so many questions about them, most of which I doubt will be answered, and it is a bit frustrating.

Doubly frustrating, too, is that the origins of their friendships with the POV characters are sometimes fuzzy. Sure, we know they almost all grew up as pirates. That much is established with ease. But it's sometimes difficult to see what keeps them together. In Flynn's case, all I see is the reasons Csilla would rather be apart from him. He relies so heavily on jokes that his true intentions fall into obscurity, which makes him seem uncaring, like he's only in the Trials for his own amusement. And as for Nara, my favorite supporting character, I can't fully understand why she and Csilla are friends. There's a basic compatibility that makes sense, and their connection as pirates of the Scarlet Maiden, but what is it that makes her and Csilla close enough to be captain and first mate? That's an incredible, important level of trust to share.

If you're going to give me the power of friendship in a book, you need to be prepared to deliver on all fronts, not just between primary characters.

Anyone who likes Pirates of the Caribbean is probably going to have a good time with this.

After all, it's classic pirate adventuring! A little bit of ocean battling, a little bit of ruthless thievery, a little bit of deadly swordplay... You get the idea. Sprinkle a little magic on top, though, along with a brewing storm of truly divine proportions, and you have the first installment in the Kingdom of Bones trilogy!

Even better, though, is that Crossbones is already out on shelves. It released on October 5th, and it makes a great read for this stage of fall, where summer still lingers but there's still a chill lying ahead. ☠️

CW: violence, gore, loss of a loved one, slavery, smoking, alcoholism, child death mention

[This review will go live on Hail & Well Read at 10am EST on 10/8/21.]

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Definitely one of my favorite books this year!! I have been searching for the perfect pirate book for YEARS, and I think I finally found it.

From the first page I was sucked into this story. We start off with Csilla, one of our main POVs, who is being tried for being a pirate. As the plot progresses we see that there are three main POVs- two being pirate captains and the other a stowaway. We’ve got a pirate king, a rich setting, a unique magic sysytem, lore and trials that the three main POVs must go through if they want to become the next pirate king.

One of my favorite things about this book is that though there is magic and creatures, our story focuses mainly on normal people trying to live in this world. They have to use their skills and their brains to get what they want, and they’ll do anything (even resort to betrayal) to get there.

Y’all this is everything!! I absolutely love Pirates of the Caribbean and I feel like this book gives us all of those vibes. Similar, but definitely different! I loved seriously everything about this and am so happy to have read it! ESPECIALLY the plot twists!! I highly recommend for fantasy readers, especially those who love pirates because this is one of the best pirate books I think I’ve ever read! Definitely a new favorite.


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There is something awesome about pirate, the sea and a woman in the midst of men. I have always loved trials and this one was super fun. I just think it was written more like a series and so much was missing for this to be a standalone. There wasn't enough time for world-building and things felt too open and unanswered.

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Thank you Wattpad Books for sending me an eARC via netgalley for an honest review.
3.5/5 stars
I thought this was a good and interesting read. The whole idea of the Trials to choose a new ruler of the pirates was intriguing, and the hints of magic added to the plot. I wish that the Trials had been included more, and that magic had been explored more as well.
The characters were good, but Csilla felt really naive for a pirate captain at times. Her blind love and trust in her sister, while somewhat realistic, felt forced and fake but she didn’t realize it. It was a really frustrating point, and I wish we’d had more moments between the sisters to fully explore the relationship. I also wish that Csilla hadn’t been flip-flopping so much with her emotions in general. Her character growth didn’t feel realistic given the timeframe and the way that things were handed to her to learn.
Lorelei and Kane were good, and I liked the relationship between them. Lorelei was so interesting, and I wished that she’d been explored a little bit more as a character. I really liked Flynn and I wish we’d had more of him.
I found that the pacing was okay, but there were some parts that seemed to move really quickly with little explanation. I think that this could have been fixed with a little bit more worldbuilding.
Overall, it was a good and enjoyable read about pirates, magic, and secrets.

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The King of Bones is dead and there will be Trials to decide the next pirate King or Queen. Csilla, Kane and Lorelei are all fighting for the crown, well two of them are and one for vengeance. Who will succeed?

Starting with an almost hanging, this gets you into the pirate spirit right away. Presenting exactly the sort of details to get you excited from the start, with imaginative descriptions that bring forth the world as needed, to 'see' the action and want to know what is happening next. The author sets the right tone for this kind of story, without shackling it (pun intended) with a 'heavy' narrative. Having a great premise and a plot that 'thickens' intelligently, the pace is exactly what is needed.

Containing 3 engaging POVs, each defining its character excellently, the changes between them are steady and flowing. These are characters that you will not only like and want to root for, but it will be nearly impossible for you to pick a favorite.

Giving us witches, legends come to life, curses, treasure hunts and battles, this is as fun as you hope it will be.

As the plot seems to be tying into a bow too neat for this narrative, you cannot help but wish that the hunts for the trials were more complex and some betrayals not so obvious. Though it does lead to an unexpected finale that just feels right.

Crossbones has the spirit of adventure you hope for with a fantastical element that leaves you clamoring for more. Luckily, this is the first of a trilogy.

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Okay, so when I picked up this book, I wasn't exactly sure how I felt about pirates, but I was game to try it as I love a new YA genre and I adored Pirates of the Caribbean. Well, this fun book didn't disappoint me. It was unexpected, delightful, and the plot was a fun twist on an all ready popular troupe i.e. The Hunger Games.

The characters were super fun, despite the high seas escapades, it was easy to bond with them. I would read the second book!

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Crossbones is an interesting book about pirates. I enjoyed the aspect of the book, having the plot follow pirates competing for the Bone crown after the Bong King dies. The writing in crossbones was pretty nice and understandable. Crossbones starts out as a strong book filled with action and ended with just as much. For me, this was a fast-paced read that had helped to get me out of a reading slump. Crossbones also includes multiple perspectives; Csilla, Kane, and Lorelei. I enjoyed reading about the main characters in the book and I found them likable. Their lives are all equally intriguing so I doubt readers would get bored. This book has Action, Adventure, magic, pirates, and more! Plus the cover is just GORGEOUS!

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The book was action packed and enthralling right from the beginning. The characters were diverse. I loved the strong women, which is so rare in books.

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I read this solely for the cover, and I was not disappointed. Pirates compete in a trail for a crown to be the new King or Queen of bones? This is definitely a slow-burn book, and it takes a while to get to the genuine exciting parts, but I feel like it moved great for a YA novel. I enjoyed the four-character split and how each had the unique past that gave them theirs on the story. This is a terrific cozy-up book for the colder nights coming. It was a fun read, with a slight touch of romance and some tremendous page-turning adventure. It will be one of my top YA adventure book reads for 2021.

Thank you NetGalley and Wattpad books for this book in exchange for my honest review.

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I LOVED this book.
The pirates
The intrigue
The Hunger Games esque competition.
The cover!!!!

The story was a little simple so I would love the author to dive into the foundation they built on and tell us more about the world, and weave in a more complex plot.

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I absolutely enjoyed this book! It has 3 povs throughout but it flows so smoothly and the depth to each character is so nice. I really felt the emotions of them while reading and I really hope there's a second book. The adventures throughout the book are great and the pace of the book was nice too! Definitely a must read!

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Give me all the pirate books!! Wow I loved the different POVs that were provided and how the story just kept twisting and left me wanting much more..:in the best way possible. This was a great read!

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

First off, Kimberly Vale knows how to grab her reader's attention immediately! The first time we meet Csilla Abado, she is on her way to be hung for her crime of being a pirate. So obviously I was hooked and had to continue reading on to see if/how Csilla made it out of this debacle. This story follows Csilla, Kane, and Lorelei as they fight for the title of the Bone Crown to become King or Queen of the pirates.

Personally, I enjoyed this read. I haven't read a lot of pirate fiction, so it was different than my usual reading choice, but I was drawn into the story. Honestly, just the cover alone drew me in. But as I was reading the story, I got about half way through the digital version and knew I would want the physical copy on my shelf so I had to pre-order it.

Overall, I rated Crossbones 4 out of 5 stars. I am excited to read the rest of the books in the Trilogy as they are published!

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“I’ve taught you one of the most valuable lessons in this life.” “And what is that?” She pursed her lips, waiting for his answer. “Never trust a pirate.”

This book was really good! I’ve never read a pirate book before and I have never wanted to. This book made me want to find all the pirate novels and just start reading. The beginning and middle were filled with so much action and relationship building and the end was just a little disappointing and felt rushed. How we, I loved all the different relationship dynamics in the book. You had family conflict and pirate crew conflict. There were secret relationships and romances. You’d expect a pirate book to lack a lot of emotion which is what kept me from reading them but the emotion really added to the storyline without being distracting.

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Actual rating: 3.5

Crossbones is a YA fantasy told in three points of view, including pirate captains and a girl who is much more than she seems. When the pirate king dies unexpectedly, captains of various pirate ships, and their first mates must compete for the Bone Crown, which will elevate their status to royalty among pirates.

Crossbones was a fun read, but it wasn't perfect. The pirates (and the amazing first chapter) drew me in, but as I read I was also drawn in by the dynamic characters and the intriguing plot. The magic system seemed interesting, but was slightly underdeveloped. I didn't always feel like I truly understood the "rules" or the inner workings of the magic Crossbones features. Now that I know that this series will be a trilogy, I expect the magic system will be explained more as the series goes on. My only other issue with the book was that the action scenes felt rushed at times.

Besides those slight issues, this book was able to surprise me and it also ended in a way that made me want to see what was next for these characters.

Crossbones is a very enticing and exciting first book in a series. If pirates, a treasure hunt, and a great group of characters with complex relationships intrigues you, I would definitely recommend checking this out.

I'm looking forward to exploring this world more in the next installment!

*I received an e-ARC copy of Crossbones on NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I saw this gorgeous cover I knew I needed to read this book. Then I found out it was about pirates…. SOLD!! This book basically had everything, friends, friends to lovers, hate to love, villains, magic, pirates, a quest, a good moral to the story, fighting, adventure just an all around good story. My only issue was there were a lot of characters but they were well done and I didn’t have to try to figure out who was who they were all very memorable.

I’m not sure if this is a standalone or a series but I’d continue on with it. I’d definitely read more by this author. I’d also recommend this book.

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☆☆☆☆ /5
(english review below)

Le résumé annonçait un périple sur les océans. Et quel périple.
J’aime énormément les romans qui parlent de piraterie et la mise en scène cette étrange compétition pour la Couronne d’Os m’a captivée.
Ne faites jamais confiance à un pirate.

La cloche de sang sonne, marquant la mort du roi des pirates et le début des épreuves, une compétition à couper le souffle où la récompense est la couronne d'os. Un seul concurrent peut revendiquer le trône convoité de l'île ; chacun jouera sa vie et son intégrité physique pour gagner.

Capitaine. Sœur. Jeune fille.
Csilla Abado aspire à prouver sa force à sa sœur aînée qui a toujours rêvé d'être capitaine et aux pirates chevronnés qui rechignent à sa jeunesse. Elle risquera tout pour devenir la première reine pirate, coûte que coûte.

Marchand. Fils. Héritage.
Kane Blackwater veut laisser derrière lui l'or sale et les métiers louches qu'il a faits pour garder le navire de son père, l'Iron Jewel, en vie. Les épreuves représentent un nouveau départ, mais les rumeurs d'un héritier secret tourbillonnent, menaçant ses espoirs de devenir le roi des pirates.

Passager clandestin. Fille. Tempête.
Lorelei Penny n'aspire qu'à venger la mort de sa mère. Se cacher sur l'Iron Jewel était censé la rapprocher du tueur, mais au lieu de cela, elle se retrouve prise dans la bataille mortelle où la loyauté et le désir se heurtent.

Csilla. Kane. Lorelei. Chacun en mission. La mer, cependant, a d'autres projets. Les marées noires montent, et s’ils ne font pas attention, ils vont sûrement se noyer.
J’ai beaucoup apprécié découvrir chacun des personnages de cette histoire. On suit plusieurs points de vue. Csilla, Kane et Lorelei sont des pirates qui m’ont touché et parfois énervé durant leurs aventures. Ils ont chacun leurs raisons de participer à cette compétition (s’affirmer en tant que femme dans un monde d’hommes, prendre un nouveau départ, se venger…) et c’était si intéressant d’en connaître plus sur eux. D’en connaître plus sur leur personnalité, sur leur passé, leur état d’esprit durant l’intrigue… J’ai trouvé que la psychologie des personnages étaient bien faites.
La compétition pour la Couronne d’Os et devenir roi/reine des pirates est bien pensée. J’aime beaucoup cette idée qui ajoute une touche plutôt unique à l’histoire et qui nous tient en haleine car elle impose une ambiance lourde de tension dans le roman.
C’est un premier tome qui est assez introductif car il nous présente l’univers et les personnages que j’ai appréciés. Cela dit, j’ai peut-être manqué d’informations concernant l’univers que l’autrice a créé. J’ai trouvé qu’il avait un bon potentiel parce qu’on ne parlait pas simplement que de piraterie, mais j’ai eu de la difficulté à imaginer dans quelle contexte l’intrigue se déroulait.
Pour autant, l’histoire était entraînante, pleine d’action, stressante par moment, et je suis curieuse de connaître la suite.


The summary announced a journey on the oceans. And what a journey.
I really like books that talk about piracy and the staging of this strange competition for the Bone Crown captivated me.
Never trust a pirate.

The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win.

Captain. Sister. Maiden.
Csilla Abado yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at her youth and to her elder sister who has always craved Csilla’s captainship. She will risk everything to become the first pirate queen, no matter the cost.

Dealer. Son. Legacy.
Kane Blackwater wants to leave behind the dirty gold and shady trades he’s made to keep his father’s ship, the Iron Jewel, alive. The Trials represent a new beginning—yet rumors of a secret heir are swirling, threatening his hopes of becoming the pirate king.

Stowaway. Daughter. Storm.
Lorelei Penny longs for nothing more than to avenge her mother’s death. Stowing away on the Iron Jewel was supposed to get her closer to the killer, but instead she finds herself caught up in the deadly battle where loyalty and desire collide.

Csilla. Kane. Lorelei. Each on a mission. The sea, however, has other plans. Dark tides are rising, and if they aren’t careful, they’ll surely drown.
I really enjoyed discovering each of the characters in this story. We follow several points of view. Csilla, Kane and Lorelei are pirates who touched me and sometimes annoyed me during their adventures. They each have their reasons for participating in this competition (to assert themselves as a woman in a world of men, to make a new start, to get revenge…) and it was so interesting to know more about them. To know more about their personality, their past, their state of mind during the plot… I found that the psychology of the characters was well done.
The competition for the Bone Crown and for becoming Pirate King/Queen is well thought out. I really like this idea which adds a rather unique touch to the story and which keeps us in suspense because it imposes an atmosphere heavy with tension during the reading.
This is a first book that is quite introductory because it presents the universe and the characters that I liked. That said, I may have missed information about the universe that the author has created. I thought it had good potential because we weren't just talking about piracy, but I had a hard time imagining the context in which the plot was unfolding.
However, the story was catchy, full of action, stressful at times, and I am curious to know the rest.

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I love love love pirate books and this one did not disappoint! It was fast pace, easy quick read, and I found it very interesting. There is something in here for everyone. Romance, action, adventure, travel, betrayal, friends, and humor!

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