Corsairs & Cutlasses: 10 Swashbuckling SFF Books

Art by sachso74

I have been hearing a lot of chatter about people wanting to read more fiction that includes or even revolves around Pirates and in general seafaring voyages. I love doing lists like this and I really enjoy this type of book myself, so I thought I’d look up and share some of these types of books with you so we can all add some (hopefully) wonderful books to our (definitely) neverending TBRs. So here. we. go!

The Bone Ships (The Tide Child #1) by RJ Barker

A brilliantly imagined saga of honor, glory, and warfare, The Bone Ships is the epic launch of a new fantasy from David Gemmell Award-nominated RJ Barker.

Two nations at war. A prize beyond compare.

For generations, the Hundred Isles have built their ships from the bones of ancient dragons to fight an endless war.

The dragons disappeared, but the battles for supremacy persisted.

Now the first dragon in centuries has been spotted in far-off waters, and both sides see a chance to shift the balance of power in their favour. Because whoever catches it will win not only glory, but the war.

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentlemen Bastards #2) by Scott Lynch

I left the synopsis out for this one because it contains possible spoilers for the Gentlemen Bastards series. There is a link to the Goodreads page though if you would like to add it to your TBR!

These Rebel Waves (Steam Raiders #1) by Sara Raasch

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace. 

Where Loyalties Lie (Best Laid Plans Duology #1) by Rob J Hayes

Everybody knows Captain Drake Morass is only out for himself.

As the fires of a dying city burn on a distant shore, Drake sees an opportunity to unite the other pirate Captains under his flag and claim a crown for himself. If he is to succeed, he will need allies and the Oracle named Keelin Stillwater, the best swordsman in the isles, as his right hand.

With enemy ships sailing his waters and setting fire to his cities, and the sinister Tanner Black threatening to steal the throne before Drake even has a chance to sit upon it, Drake Morass must somehow convince the other Captains that his best interests are also theirs.

Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers #1) by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

In an evocative and fast-paced adventure on the high seas and on a faraway island, an orphan boy named Peter and his mysterious new friend, Molly, overcome bands of pirates and thieves in their quest to keep a fantastical secret safe and save the world from evil. Best-selling authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have turned back the clock to reveal the wonderful story that precedes J. M. Barrie’s beloved Peter PanPeter and the Starcatchers is brimming with richly developed characters, from the scary but somehow familiar Black Stache and ferocious Mister Grin to the sweet but sophisticated Molly and fearless Peter. Page after page of riveting adventures take readers of all ages on a voyage from a filthy, crime-ridden port in old England across the turbulent sea. Aboard the Neverland is a trunk that hold the “greatest treasure on earth” —but is it gold, jewels, or something far more mysterious and dangerous?

Roiling waves and raging storms; skullduggery and pirate treachery provide the backdrop for battles at sea. Bone-crushing breakers eventually land our characters on Mollusk Island—where the action really heats up.

This impossible-to-put-down tale leads readers on an unforgettable journey—fraught with danger yet filled with mystical and magical moments.

The Assassin’s Curse (The Assassin’s Curse #1) by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn’t really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together.

Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay #1) by Chris Wooding

Frey is the captain of the Ketty Jay, leader of a small and highly dysfunctional band of layabouts. An inveterate womaniser and rogue, he and his gang make a living on the wrong side of the law, avoiding the heavily armed flying frigates of the Coalition Navy. With their trio of ragged fighter craft, they run contraband, rob airships and generally make a nuisance of themselves. So a hot tip on a cargo freighter loaded with valuables seems like a great prospect for an easy heist and a fast buck. Until the heist goes wrong, and the freighter explodes. Suddenly Frey isn’t just a nuisance anymore – he’s public enemy number one, with the Coalition Navy on his tail and contractors hired to take him down. But Frey knows something they don’t. That freighter was rigged to blow, and Frey has been framed to take the fall. If he wants to prove it, he’s going to have to catch the real culprit. He must face liars and lovers, dogfights and gunfights, Dukes and daemons. It’s going to take all his criminal talents to prove he’s not the criminal they think he is…

Revenger (Revenger #1) by Alastair Reynolds

The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives.

And there are vast fortunes to be made, if you know where to find them.

Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It’s their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds which have been hidden away, booby-trapped, surrounded by layers of protection—and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely-remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous.

Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore’s crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular.

Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future—a tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism and of vengeance.

Flying Dutch by Tom Holt

It’s amazing the problems drinking can get you into. One little swig from the wrong bottle and you go from being an ordinary Dutch sea-captain to an unhappy immortal, drifting around the world with your similarly immortal crew, suffering from peculiary whiffy side effects. Worst of all, Richard Wagner writes an opera about you.

Little does Cornelius Vanderdecker, the Flying Dutchman, suspect that a chance encounter in an English pub might just lead to the end of his cursed life, one way or another.

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders #1) by Robin Hobb

Wizardwood, a sentient wood. The most precious commodity in the world. Like many other legendary wares, it comes only from the Rain River Wilds.

But how can one trade with the Rain Wilders, when only a liveship fashioned from wizardwood can negotiate the perilous waters of the Rain River? Rare and valuable a liveship will quicken only when three members, from successive generations, have died on board. The liveship Vivacia is about to undergo her quickening as Althea Vestrit’s father is carried on deck in his death-throes. Althea waits for the ship that she loves more than anything else in the world to awaken. Only to discover that the Vivacia has been signed away in her father’s will to her brutal brother-in-law, Kyle Haven…

Others plot to win or steal a liveship. The Paragon, known by many as the Pariah, went mad, turned turtle, and drowned his crew. Now he lies blind, lonely, and broken on a deserted beach. But greedy men have designs to restore him, to sail the waters of the Rain Wild River once more.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. alburke47 says:

    Stop…adding…to..my…TBR…😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David S says:

      It is what I do. I read and I destroy people’s TBRs 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. JJ says:

    Some great picks! Loved the ones I’ve read and looking forward to the ones I haven’t. I liked the pirate parts of The Aeronaut’s Windlass too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David S says:

      Oh I didn’t know that book had pirate parts! I actually own the hardcover of that one lol. So it’s definitely on the TBR!

      Like

  3. ScarletBea says:

    Hi, please note that Lynch’s “Red seas under red skies” is book 2 of the Gentleman Bastards series, not book 1.

    Like

    1. David S says:

      Oh shoot you’re right! Lol

      Like

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