Home > A Ship of Bones & Teeth_ A dark fantasy pirate romance

A Ship of Bones & Teeth_ A dark fantasy pirate romance
Author: Karina Halle


Content Warning



Hello dear reader! If you are thinking about reading this book, there are a few things you should know before you make the decision to.

One is that though I did a lot of research and did my best to be as accurate as possible with aspects to the the pirate life, old ships, nautical terms, etc, I may have taken a few liberties here and there for this fantasy.

Two, and this is an important one, this book is a dark romance. Let me clarify: If you are a dark romance reader, this is probably just “dark-ish” to you (so don’t get your hopes up expecting something deranged).

However, it must be said because if people pick up this book thinking it’s going to be like The Little Mermaid or Pirates of the Caribbean with a bit of PG-13 spice or healthy romance in it, they are in for a rude awakening. A Ship of Bones & Teeth is very adult and there’s a lot of sex and cursing and a romance that might be considered “unhealthy” by some. In fact, there are some things in the content that I need to particularly warn you about…

The book contains the following triggers: physical and emotional domestic abuse on page (not by the MC), suicidal ideation, death of a loved one, blood, gore, senseless violence, witchcraft, dubious consent within uneven power dynamics, hero who is very possessive, predatory and rough-handed with the heroine (he brands her with a hot iron, just saying) and their romance could possibly be labeled “toxic” (again, he is a pirate and she is a monster), explicit dirty talk, and all characters are very morally gray and flawed in general, of course there’s murder, torture, blasphemous cursing and foul language, abuse of power, and graphic sex scenes which feature spanking, ropes, bondage (in chains), being gagged, captive and captor situations, primal kink, and some might even deride this book to be “dark fantasy porn.”

I don’t want to oversell the sexual content here because it’s truly not the basis of the book, but I know many people are sensitive to gratuitous sex scenes, dark romance themes, and possessive male characters, so I have to make sure this is all spelled out clearly for them so they know exactly what they are getting into when they read this book.

SO…if any of the above annoys you or triggers you in your reading material I suggest you don’t read ASOBAT. I’m serious. Please don’t read this book. I care about your mental health and I also want you to read books you enjoy, not books that will either cause you distress or make you roll your eyes. Life is too short to read a book that you know you won’t like.

HOWEVER…if you are okay with all of the above…step on board, yo-ho! You’re about to set sail on the Nightwind.









There was no moon on the night I decided to sell my soul. The waters were as dark as octopus ink and, for the first time in a long time, I was afraid. It’s as if I finally realized not only what I was about to do, but what I had already done.

A month ago I had left my family behind without a second thought. With just my shark, Nill, as my sole companion, I turned my back on my sisters, on my father, on his kingdom, and swam toward another future. I was always reckless and impulsive, wanting more than the ordinary life in the depths of Limonos, but I’d never done something so rash and dangerous before. I’d never left home.

It’s not that I hadn’t hinted at it. How many times I’d drifted through the towering green stalks of the kelp forest with Asherah, talking about how all I wanted was to get away, or swam through the coral gardens with Larimar, wishing that my life was more than what my father set out for me. But my sisters never listened to me—I was the youngest and easily dismissed. A princess in name only, never to be queen, never to have any power of her own.

And so one day, I left. I started swimming south along the coast, leaving the sea and the kingdom behind, heading toward waters even warmer, deeper, and darker. Nill swam with me, my loyal protector since I was born, never questioning what I was doing.

Eventually I grew tired and sent Nill to the surface to see if it was safe to take a look. When he assured me it was, I rose up and broke through the swells.

A whole new world awaited me. Instead of the dry and rocky landscape that surrounded Limonos, here everything was lush and green, with parrots flying from the trees, squawking as they went. The sky wasn’t as brilliant a blue as it was at home but there was drama and danger in the big dark clouds that rolled in over the surrounding mountain peaks thick with vegetation.

And on the beach was the most beautiful man I had ever seen.

Of course, I had seen men before. Before my mother disappeared, she would often bring them down to the depths of Limonos and offer their organs to us. Asherah, the first born, would get the heart, Larimar would get the liver, and I would usually get a kidney. I had always wanted a man’s heart, but my mother said it was something I had to earn. I never got a chance to ask her how I could earn it, since my mother was hauled out of the water by sailors one night, never to be seen again.

As a Syren our first instinct is to lure men to their death. We seduced them, drowned them, and ate them, their body providing us with enough power and nutrients to last us months. They are a rare but a much-wanted delicacy. But I had never hunted for a man before, and even though my first instinct upon seeing this particular man should have been to seduce him in order to destroy him, all I wanted was just to seduce him. I was only sixteen at the time, barely an adult, and the sight of him did something to my insides. He made me feel things I had never dreamed about feeling before. I was hungry in a different, more compelling way.

I was such a damn fool.

In seconds I had fallen for him, swallowed up by lust, and this man became my obsession. I spent my days hidden behind the rocks in the shallows, spying on him while Nill circled the waters behind me. The human was traveling with a troupe of people who catered to his every whim. At night he slept in a tent on the beach, the white canvas like a ship’s sails, a parade of women disappearing inside, their raucous moans making my body ache with need and envy. During the day he lounged on the sand entertaining guests, gorging themselves on fine food. I found myself wanting to try everything they were eating, but had to settle for clams and crabs and sea cucumbers that lived in the shallow waters around me.

I didn’t understand English at the time, but I eventually realized they addressed him as “Prince Aerik.”

What I did understand was that I needed him to be mine. Something I could finally call my own. All my life I had felt so fractured and lonely, my father kind but firm and distant, my sisters the light of his life after mother disappeared. But me, I was left with Nill and that was that. No one ever glanced my way or wondered how I was. I was just the third sister taking up too much space in the sea. Even the other Syrens in the kingdom ignored me. Though I was no one within my own family, I was also too different and regal for those outside of it to befriend me.

And so I thought, foolishly, that if I could get this human, this Prince Aerik, to become mine, then I wouldn’t have to be alone. But he lived on land and would never survive more than a few minutes below the surface of the sea. He would never be a part of my world.

That’s when I knew I would have to become part of his.

As a child, I was warned about the sea witches, beings that possessed magic that let them shapeshift at will, enabling them to live both above the water and below it. Though Syrens were the ones humans feared, us Syrens feared the sea witches. They had the ability to grant us wishes, yet none of their gifts came without a price.

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