East and Eight is the second installment of the Lore Trilogy by the young and ingenious author, C.T. Douglas.
The first book, A Pirate's Charm, introduced the main characters and set the stage for this page-turner, pirate adventure. The story begins in 1780 in the island of Barbados where gemseeker Molly Bishops is pursued by members of the dangerous vampire cult, The Black Coats.
After escaping her would-be captors, she forms an alliance with the infamous Captain Thomas Crowe, who allows Molly to join his pirate crew. During their voyages, she begins to understand Crowe's unusual crew, the prophetic riddles of an old fortuneteller, and her essential role in the fulfillment of those prophecies.
East and Eight presages and continues the epic. The narrative begins in Barbados in 1775, with young Thomas a crewman for the ruthless pirate Captain Lapuente, notorious for buying and keeping werewolves captive and controlling them with magic. Even as a young pirate, Thomas was a free spirit and a witty entrepreneur. He helps Oi'alli, the chieftess of the Oi'tan tribe, to recover the stolen Uyl Talisman from Capt. Lapuente. As a result of this successful recovery, Thomas regains his freedom and Oi'alli allows him to keep the powerful talisman for five years.
Once freed, Thomas takes over Capt. Lapuentes's ship and crew and installs himself as captain. He develops a reputation as a tough, fair, and slick business man. When Oi'alli comes to collect the talisman from Thomas, he refuses to give it back as previously agreed. After an intense argument, she curses Thomas with a Doppelganger demon whose actions eventually force Thomas to travel to the island of Wallachia to be exorcised by a Helvetti priest.
Before traveling to Wallachia, Thomas and Molly make a short stop in England. There, Molly's repressed powers as a sorceress are fully unleashed when she is engaged in a fiery fight for her life. Those newly discovered faculties will be essential for the salvation of Thomas and the success of their mission. During their journey to seek the assistance of the Helvetti priest, Thomas meets Geoffrey Mylus, a magi scribe whose knowledge and understanding of magic will be extremely beneficial to Thomas and those traveling with him in confronting some future ordeals. At this point, Geoffrey is formally introduced as the trilogy narrator.
As the story unfolds, Thomas and Molly must form alliances with former adversaries to defeat a treacherous foe known as the Eight, a mysterious group persecuting the vampire and werewolf cults in the name of preserving humanity. The author skillfully shares key information about some of the Eight members, their locations, and hints at other suspected members. Will the Eight be able to reach their goal of global power? Will the cults be able to survive their power and political influence on the world of humans?
East and Eight exceeded my expectations. Once again the author binds together new characters, situations, and places in a spider web of suspense and unpredictable revelations that kept me spellbound until the resolution of all conflicts. Join Capt. Crowe, Molly, Geoffrey, and the others on this cliffhanger of an adventure!
I highly recommend this saga for teens, older readers, and for anybody who enjoys a fascinating tale with all the elements of a NY Bestseller converted into a blockbuster movie!