Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.
Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.
But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.
Pirate - The Anti-Hero
Let’s talk about the anti-hero. He’s obviously not typical hero material. He’s probably a little corrupt, his morals are questionable, he’s probably done some bad things in the name of something that’s equally bad. He’s not the knight in shining armor, but he’s also not completely the villain—though sometimes you wonder cause he can be selfish. Despite all this, you probably find yourself drawn to the anti-hero—maybe cause you relate to his imperfection more than you relate to Mr. Hero’s perfection?
From the moment I began writing about pirates, I knew Barren Reed was not your typical hero. He’s seen some pretty awful things that messed with him, and he became obsessed with revenge. He lives on the sea, so he’s pretty rough and tumble—and he’s got scars that go deeper than the flesh. And because he’s a pirate, there was certain criteria I wasn’t willing to leave out when it came to his occupation. Things like...stealing—which is petty in comparison to murder.
Balancing the badness of an anti-hero with their goodness is perhaps the hardest aspect when cultivating the anti-hero. I love my characters but they are pirates, and I don’t remember ever treating pirates as wholly good guys. In my head, they can’t be—they’re pirates. They are outlaws, after all, I couldn’t possibly have a character on my hands who had not killed someone, or one who hadn’t stolen. His morals had to be questionable.
This did not mean Barren weren’t heroic.
It didn’t mean he couldn’t have a good heart.
It didn’t mean he couldn’t regret what he did.
Barren’s heartache for the loss of his father is great, but so is his regret for hurting innocent people. He’s reminded of that regret daily after he kidnaps Larkin. He also has times when he tries to convince himself he’s a good person. It’s as if he’s refusing to succumb to the that villain side.
What keeps him from succumbing to that villain side? Well, Barren’s morals. A part of balancing the good and the bad of the anti-hero is ensuring that they have something to stand for, something they are absolutely without a doubt loyal to. And this thing must be good.
These are the few things Barren is loyal to: his heart, the Code of Silver Crest and Freedom. They are almost one in the same because Barren’s identity is wrapped up so tightly in these things. They make him good. They show he’s fighting for something other than himself.
Anti-heroes touch good and evil—but in the end, they’re really all gray matter. I’ve never believed good and evil were purely black and white. After all, what is good and what is bad all depends on the side you’ve taken.
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Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren’t used as much as she’d like. When she’s not writing, she’s hard at work on her Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Technology, working out, or pretending she’s Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she’s loved everything Fantasy–resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the ‘geek’ tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.