Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Red King” as Want to Read:
The Red King
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Red King

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  294 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
A man abused and discarded is left to rebuild himself with naught but vengeance in his heart. A youth cruelly torn from all he knew and loved is cast adrift with no hope for the future. What will happen when Fate thrusts them together?

He is known as Ruaidhri and his extraordinary strengths and stamina are said to be born of the Devil. His ferocity is matched solely by his
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published August 15th 2012
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Red King, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Red King

Brethren by W.A. HoffmanMatelots by W.A. HoffmanTreasure by W.A. HoffmanBlack Wade by FranzeFalse Colors by Alex Beecroft
Best Gay Pirate/Sailor book
6th out of 77 books — 144 voters
The Magpie Lord by K.J. CharlesWiddershins by Jordan L. HawkThe Gentleman and the Rogue by Bonnie DeeDowntime by Tamara AllenBound by Deception by Ava March
Best Gay Historical Romance
125th out of 554 books — 1,008 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 908)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Arg!! *waves sword and tweaks fake beard*

Before I begin, let me warn ye...there's both sweetness and darkness in this epic treat by Rosemary O'Malley. Declarations of love are made and licentious acts are made (even of the minor M/F variety - tis brief). There be mentions of child abuse and scenes of rape/torture/abuse, so if ye be soft of stomach, please exit via the plank! Tis not the story for ye!

Yawr har har!!!!

Rosemary O'Malley's debut novel tis an epic historical pirate tale that travels
Sep 07, 2012 T.J. rated it really liked it
4.5 stars and some minor spoilers.

You know when you finish a book for the first time and you are so impressed by it that you immediately want to turn around and buy everything the author's written, only to find out that this is her first novel?

Yeah. I fucking hate that.

The Red King has an awesome sense of place, is adventurous, violent and sexy. The research gone into the the life of the pirates is well done and I couldn't pick out any inaccuracies (because apparently I'm like an expert on pira
Emma Sea
Sep 14, 2012 Emma Sea rated it it was ok
I made a big mistake going in to this book: I had it in my head it was a darker book than it is. I was looking forward to non-con and dub-con galore. However, this is not that kind of book. It's instead an incredibly sweet and tender story about true love reclaiming a wounded heart. Therefore in itself it's probably a fabulous book for most readers: it just wasn't what I wanted (or was expecting) to read, and I didn't find the writing good enough to pull me in despite my false preconceptions.

I g
Kaje Harper
Sep 29, 2012 Kaje Harper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, historical, intense
4.5 stars. This book is very intense and very dark in places. There is torture and rape, slavery, and sadism. The relationship between the MC's is loving and intense, and yet even they at times exorcise their demons with sex that is rough to the point of pain. The book is well written and the setting feels very authentic. Events of the real world are only a minimal part of the book however. The setting is one of sailing ships and swords, focused down to the actions of a few individuals, so that ...more
Jason Bradley
Dec 05, 2012 Jason Bradley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, ebook, pirates, favorites
It's rough, it needs some editing but this is a book so good you can overlook all that. These characters are alive, brilliantly colorful, and believable. I loved every minute of this adventure and look forward to reading more by this author.
~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~

Couldn't put it down - stayed up late last night reading it, then up early reading.

Andrew is kidnapped off a missionary mission and ends up with Rorik - The Red King, so named because of his fiery, red hair. Virginal, innocent Andrew attracts all kinds of licentious attention. Rorik was kidnapped as a child and kept by a monster for thirteen long years until he angered Maarten who imprisoned him and he was ultimately able to escape.

For the last seven years, Rorik has planned his revenge but hi
Tiya Rosa
This was a delicious combination of chin hands and porn. Kind of like the literary equivalent of someone quoting Shakespeare to you while they take you from behind, holding your hair for leverage and roughly slamming away. You want to go "awww shucks" and "fuck yeah" all at the same time.

This was an intense, comparatively long read about Rory, his campaign for vengeance against his childhood tormentor and all around jackass, Maarten, and his salvation of and by the beautiful Andrew.

O'Malley cre
Don Bradshaw
Reviewed on Hearts On Fire...

I received this book from the author to read and review and have to say that the 723 pages was a little off putting. Turns out that this is Ms O'Malley's first novel and it was great. Ruaidhri is a pirate captain called the Red King because of his long, flowing red hair. He and his men work the north African coast taking contracts and swashbuckling their way all over. Ruaidhi has his mind and heart bent on only one thing though and
Dec 22, 2012 Syfy rated it it was amazing
The problem with these long, drawn out books is the culminating scenes are rarely payoff enough for the slow dramatic buildup.

Not the case here. At all.
For instance; Every moment leading up to the reunion between Rory, Maarten, and Andrew has reason and purpose. Soak it in, let it fill you up, then *wham* ultimate satisfaction!

Then there's the issue of gratuitous dropping of wisdom when religion is part of the package. In this case? Never gratuitous, always perfect in timing, pitch. Lots of mer
I do love a good Pirate book every once in a while and this one certainly didn't disappoint!!! I enjoyed it immensely and even shed a few tears here and there which doesn't happen very often :)

I would highly recommend it!
Oct 06, 2013 ttg rated it really liked it
A very solid historical/pirate adventure story about a pirate captain who plots revenge against a madmen who had tortured him. He intercepts a ship and rescues a young man who was being sent to the madmen as a “prize”, and he realizes that maybe he has the last piece for his plan to work. (Little does he realize how important this piece would become to him.)

I really like historical adventure stories, especially the pirate variety, so for the most part, I enjoyed this book. The MCs were engaging,
Nothing I write about this book will ever do it justice!.

An epic adventure, set in North Africa and Western Europe, and the surrounding seas, at a time when pirates were commissioned by wealthy benefactors to kidnap the innocent, plunder villages, intercept other pirates, and bring back treasures.

This is the story of the romance between a supernaturally gifted, red-haired, Irish pirate (Rory aka Ruaidhri aka the Red King), and a beautiful, monastery-raised Scotsman (Andrew aka Coinin).....and
Hard to believe this is a first novel. Full of vivid descriptions, lively action, and arrgh-- clever pirates, The Red King is a rollicking romantic nautical adventure. One pirate, bent on revenge, finds redemption in an innocent young man bound for slavery. Although full of humor and action, this novel takes a very dark turn at some points. I am impressed with the author's willingness to explore the depths of human evil, greed, and madness--even in the main characters. Both MCs are very appealin ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Plainbrownwrapper rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, read-again-maybe
Oh DAYUM, this is a terrific book. I'm tempted to go with the 5 stars....and I may do that eventually. This is a solid 4.5 without any doubt, but I may have to raise it to 5. Over all the 415 romance books I've rated so far, I've only handed out 5-star ratings to 7 books...and boy, I'm tempted to add this one to the list. I'll have to think about it awhile, and I'll have to reread this too. I'm looking forward to the reread. :-)

The Red King really wasn't what I expected it to be. And that's a go
Edina Rose
Oct 13, 2012 Edina Rose rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, angst, age-gap
Moving tale of a happy child who was made an orphan then used as a sex and pain slave. Many years later he escaped and he swore the demise of his captor, a sadistic man who sexually abuses and feasts upon the misery of young boys.

When he was close to strike that mortal blow to the old bastard, he fell in love with his own secret weapon, a young and innocent man raised by priests.

The story of their love is epic and beautiful. The age difference is irrelevant as both men bring the best out of ea
Barb ~rede-2-read~
This book was phenomenal! Using my thesaurus, I will also add: extraordinary, impressive, outstanding, incredible and exceptional.

In very simple terms, it's the story of Rory, the Red King, a man utterly set on revenge to Maarten, a greedy, self-serving, sadistic, evil man who captured Rory when he was only 10 years old and kept him as a sexual slave for 13 years. The only reason Rory didn't die is that Maarten sent him away, starved, beaten and chained in the hold of a slave ship from which Ro
Apr 19, 2013 Day-thief rated it it was ok
Lame story, lame characters, lame historical setting, lame sex. Did I mention how lame I thought this was?
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru

A man abused and discarded is left to rebuild himself with naught but vengeance in his heart. A youth cruelly torn from all he knew and loved is cast adrift with no hope for the future. What will happen when Fate thrusts them together?

He is known as Ruaidhri and his extraordinary strengths and stamina are said to be born of the Devil. His ferocity is matched solely by his ruthlessness. For seven years, he has sailed his ship the Taibhse with one goal in mind: to avenge the years of torm
Sep 19, 2012 Brainorgan rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, antihero, h-c, age-of-sail
Could not put it down, finished it in a day. This is bad, because I would like to still be reading it. It was a faithful representative of the "Captain Blood" genre and others of that ilk, all of which she mentions in her blurb. Even Kathleen Woodiwiss, for goodness sake! Rory and Andrew really get put through the wringer, everything happens to them individually and together, I'm amazed they can be happy! But just forget all that and enjoy it for what it is, a wonderful adventure-romance. The en ...more
Nov 08, 2012 Manuela rated it it was ok
Shelves: mm, age-gap, abuse
2.5 stars

Unfortunately I couldn't get into this story at all. I never connected with the characters so I found myself mostly uninterested in what happened to them and in their relationship in general. I found the first part to be too slow and a little boring. When the villain enters the picture, the pace gets faster, but I couldn't fully enjoy this part of the book either because some things just didn't ring believable to me and the villain seemed to me a little too over the top.
The part I like
DNF-ing at 60%, applying math, rounding up and marking as "read".

I get it that Rory suffered abuse and betrayal.
I get it that he was a lowly slave.
He and the author told us that many many times. So many times, in fact, that I am sick and tired of it.

I haven't seen him being a pirate, though both the author and Rory insist on it.
I haven't seen him defending the fishermen villages, though both the author and Rory insist on it. Again. I don't get it why the village he visited with Andrew is shor
2.5 Stars

This book is not for the faint of heart!

Ruaidhri ("Rory"), also known as The Red King, is a man bent on vengeance. He is determined to seek justice for the horrific ills he suffered as a youth. For the past seven years, Rory has captained the Taibhse with a fiercely loyal crew of like-minded sailors. Together, their lifes' mission is to destroy Maarten Jans de Worrt, the depraved Danish lord. Andrew is an orphan twice over. After witnessing the murders of the holy men who cared for him,
Jan 16, 2014 Karel rated it it was ok
So. I'm massively disappointed by this one. I put this off for a long time thinking it'll be so good it'll send me into depression when I'm done and leave me with the productivity of an Artic pineapple farm*.


I found the book overly descriptive to the point of tediousness. As I pointed out in my status update, every overturned rock needed a paragraph to describe the exact angle in which it reflected the sun. The book was only 350 or so pages, but it's so wordy that it easily feels like a tho
Aug 14, 2013 Mercedes rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

This is a very good book. Just short of amazing for me. After being held captive as a sex slave for 13 years Rory (31yo) is now the captain of his own ship. He also seeks revenge from his captor and torturer Maarten. As part of these he keeps intercepting Maarten's raiding ships and liberating his victims. This is how he comes to meet Andrew (18yo). Andrew is the sole survivor of a raiding on his ship which was taking him ad his brethren of monks to a new country. Rory thinks Andrew is
Beth Wirth
Jan 30, 2013 Beth Wirth rated it it was amazing
This book was so highly rated I was a bit wary getting into it. I've been burned before by books that everyone else loved, and burned badly. I was pleasantly surprised in The Red King. I found both of the main characters to be engaging, and the supporting cast and world a ton of fun. I wouldn't exactly say that I "loved" this book- I found parts of it far too frustrating for that. Instead I would call it deeply satisfying in a way that few books I read truly are. Everything that I wanted to happ ...more
Sep 08, 2012 Pjm12 rated it really liked it
Full on, intense pirate-y goodness. Read it almost in one day.

Great main characters with lots to love about both of them, in very different ways. We just need to see how these boys react with the people they come in contact with, to know these boys care about others.

Their relationship develops quickly, but because Rory has an agenda and Andrew is alone & unhappy, it doesn't seem unexpected or unreal. There was humour as well, which I really appreciate. But there was also angst and drama, so
Dec 10, 2012 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Wow. I know, what a review. Not at all my time of book but soooo very good. I felt like I was living in the times right there with them. And painful, like gut achingly painful. A pirate love story. A harsh, brutal, violent love story but a love story none the less. Oh and the smexing was fantastic. And hot and ....I don't have the right words. Just read it!
Mandy Beyers
Not for the faint of heart - but a very good story with themes of redemption, overcoming past abuses, and of course, true love conquering all! I loved this read and look forward to future works from Ms. O'Malley.
Shelby P
Jan 06, 2014 Shelby P rated it liked it
I was afraid to read this book because I thought it would be similar to Captive Prince: Volume One which I did not like. I don't like violence or abuse in my books. I want romance. Well I got that in this book. I liked Rory but I loved Andrew. He was such a well developed character.

I think one of the reasons this book worked for me is because most of the abuse happened in the past and we were told about it after the fact. Even Andrew's abuse later in the book was not too graphic and I'd come to
Jan 30, 2014 Kirsten rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kirsten by: Kukko

So, in this book we have Rory and Andrew along with a rich “supporting cast” of characters.

I’m not a history buff and I couldn’t say if any historical elements were accurate or not, but I have to admit that’s not something that matters to me overmuch. And I would put this book on the fantasy shelf before the historical shelf anyway.

It was a nice surprise and refreshing change of pace when Andrew – being the younger, smaller MC - turned out not to be the passive, submissive, fragile charact
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 31 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Protection
  • Yakuza Pride (The Way of the Yakuza #1)
  • Tribute
  • The Carnalli Complex (Carnalli Brothers, #1)
  • Out of the Woods (Tarin's World, #1)
  • Well Traveled (Gideon and Jedediah, #1)
  • A King's Ransom
  • Fog
  • Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires (Baal's Heart, #2)
  • Schadenfreude
  • Chance Assassin: A Story of Love, Luck, and Murder (Chance Assasin, #1)
  • Brute
  • Blood Red
  • The Lion and the Crow
  • Bonds of Earth
  • The Arroyo
  • At His Throat, A Promise
  • The Only Gold

Share This Book

“I am not your dove," he ground out, barely loud enough to hear. "I am a wolf.” 6 likes
“One cannot live on cock alone," Etienne called out as he left the stable. "God knows I've tried!” 6 likes
More quotes…