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Quintspinner: A Pirate's Quest

(Quintspinner Trilogy #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  39 reviews
As the daughter of a London physician in 1717, sixteen-year-old Tess Willoughby has seen her share of horrors and been to some of the city's shadiest quarters. But a simple trip through the chaos of a London marketplace takes a bizarre twist. Tess witnesses the murder of a renowned elderly seer and unwittingly becomes the mistress of the woman's prophetic spinner ring. ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published July 9th 2010 by iUniverse (first published July 7th 2010)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  130 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Natalie Wright
I don't normally read historical fiction, but I met the author of this book on Wattpad and was intrigued by the premise, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm so glad I did! Quintspinner was a fast-paced and well done read.
Quintspinner mixes pirates on the high seas with a touch of romance and a magical element. But if you're expecting a Disneyfied version of pirates, you'll be disappointed.
It's clear that this author did her research and she has created a world that is true to the harsh
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greenlay-dianne
I picked this book up for free on Amazon. The reason I started reading it was because I needed a Q book for my A to Z challenge. I must say that I quickly became engrossed in the story. The story is dark. It envolves kidnapping individuals (called pressed into service) in order to have enough men for the crew of the ship. This was how William and his father ended up in "His Majesty's" service. The sailors are also treated poorly with any perceived insubordination quelled by severe whippings. As ...more
Siew Ee
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book reminds me of the Bloody Jack series by Louis Meyer - both feature pirates and high sea adventures during early 18th-century London, but there the similarity ends. Not as light-hearted but equally lively and interesting, this book tells the story from mainly two perspectives - Tess’s (a daughter of a respectable physician) and William’s (a farmer’s boy who was press-ganged into service). Predictably, there’s romance but it’s well-balanced with the heavier aspects of the plot to make ...more
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a well-written entertaining adventure tale. The year is 1717 and Tess,the daughter of a Doctor in England, is birthmarked with a special sign that she has psychic gifts. An old Crone recognizes her as the one who is the next Quintspinner. As she lays dying she gives Tess a ring that magnifies her gifts. Follows a huge adventure as Tess and her family travel aboard ship to the West Indies, and are taken over by pirates. I give it 4 stars. Another free book with my Kindle subscription.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rcvd-free-copy


Upon witnessing a murder, priviledged Tess Willoughby's life takes a sudden turn for bizarre and adventuresome. As if the death of the renowned London seer isn't shocking enough, Tess is now charged with the keeping of the dead seer's prophetic spinner ring, and a dangerous chain of events begins. There's the revelation of a terrible family secret, Tess's trapping on a merchant ship, and before she knows it, she's unwittingly betrothed to the murderer himself, a man who wants nothing more than
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A tale that is darker than those I usually read, Greenlay has done exceptional research and used that to inform and enhance the underlying story of Tess’ struggle to survive in a world that was turned upside down once she discovered a family secret. Full of adventure, danger and a touch of magic, the pirates in the West Indies aren’t the lighter versions from children’s stories, but fully engaged and engrossed in their lives of desperation, depravity and raids as they live for the next raid and ...more
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
!!!Received for Free through GoodReads First Reads!!!


'Quintspinner: A Pirate's Quest' by Dianne Greenlay was an extremely riveting novel! It is set in 1717 on the streets of London. (This is about the time impressment gangs came around kidnapping men of age to serve in the navy.)
That's all I'm going to say about the book's plot line, because I don't want to give anything away (and you can read the summary above).

Dana Burgess
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
When I received "Quintspinner" from the author, Dianne Greenlay, it came well recommended: shortlisted for the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Awards; honorable mention for the Creative Arts Council 2011 Fiction Book Award and recipient of the Reader Views 2011 Reviewers Choice Award. All very well and good but I have had bad luck with highly lauded and award winning books lately so a grain of salt was warranted here. Or not.

It has been said that I devour books and rightly so. I did not devour this
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a fun and very entertaining book. It takes the reader from adventure to next, exciting adventure. The author created interesting characters that keep you interested in them and rooting for their success. We have the evil villain, the doctor, two headstrong young ladies, a farmer and his stubborn son, a wise old granny, and LOTS of Pirates! There are also several others including Gerta, whom I became especially fond of.

The plot was well thought out and I enjoyed the various
Dixiane Hallaj
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The author has done a superb job of setting the scene and imbuing the characters with the mixture of knowledge and ignorance, science and superstition that existed in the 1700’s. The realism of the background immediately pulls the reader into a known world, and makes the transition to fantasy an easy one. I loved the fact that the pirates are far from the sanitized version that I had expected from a “young adult” book. While perfectly suitable for young adults, the realism makes it a great book ...more
Kay Bolton
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
Yet another one picked up free from Kindle (I love that I can do that).

Immediately, it didn't strike me as something that I would like, but decided as I hadn't had to shell out hard cash on it, I might as well try and expand my horizons a mite this year. Especially, as my reading tally was well down on my projected target last year.

However, I would say from about the first Chapter ... it always takes a little while I find with a new author .... I was interested, and by about five chapters in I
Brenda Perlin
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quintspinner: A Pirate's Quest takes you to another place and time with beautiful descriptions that allowed me to be there to visualize the surroundings. You are delivered to this place and pulled into this suspenseful tale of woe. The writing is sharp and represents the people and time period. I found this to be an easy escape into the unknown. The suspense and the intriguing dialog kept me guessing while enjoying the unique adventure.

This is a story with a special girl that was easy to get
Theo Fenraven
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bad-editing
I was in the mood for a pirate's tale, and this one had gotten good reviews.

Normally, I "look inside" to ascertain the writing and editing is good. Didn't this time, so I have only myself to blame.

The writing is good, but the editing was not, and when all I notice are superfluous words and other stuff that shouldn't be there, I can't read it.

I put it in my DNF folder.

That's a real shame, because I have a feeling the writer had an interesting story to tell, but because the book wasn't properly
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully adventurous! I'm not usually an adventure or pirate book fan, but this was so different, soo good, I loved it! Great characters, great action and constant adventure...just something really unique in a good way.
Ready to move on to book 2...I'll let ya know what my humble opinion is on that one. It'll be hard to measure up, this one is a winner! We'll see...
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, great character development, wonderfully written, flows well, has high seas adventure, magic, romance and pirates, what more could you ask for?!! Everyone I have recommended this historical fiction book to has loved it and can't wait for the next one!
Amanda Milleson
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Would have given 5 stars except for the language and the brief near-smut scenes. Although those scenes were quite tame and very brief. So - 4 and a half :)
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked this book and looking forward to Book 2.
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I took a gamble with this one and so glad I did! Kept me on my toes and wanting more. Apparently this is a series and can't wait to read the next one
Linda Fast
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Quintspinner: A Pirate's Quest is a tale of mystery, death and perseverance. Tess and her family are leaving London England to move to the West Indies where her father will practice medicine. Shortly before their departure Tess and her sister witness a murder of an old crone who presents a spinner ring that holds power. Once on the ship Tess's father meets Edward Graham who has an interest in Tess and wishes to marry her. Their ship is travelling with another ship offering protection from ...more
Kayla De Leon
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Originally seen at The Bookish Owl

I have been going through a pirate phase lately and this phase became so intense that I read up on pirates online, reread my Pirateology book, marathoned the Pirates of the Carribean movies and lastly, requested this book on NetGalley. What can I say? The Golden Age of Piracy was a very fascinating era.

The spirit of adventure in Quintspinner is very heart stopping. The first parts of
Rae Storey
Oct 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
In the first of what appears to be a series, Dianne Greenlay’s “Quintspinner A Pirate’s Quest” is a fantastic historical-fiction adventure, with a hint of fantasy thrown in. This newbie author has created a wonderfully entertaining page turner filled with dark magical lore, murder, pirates and romance. From the first page the reader is drawn into the tapestry of destiny that is being spun; each thread a fully developed and relatable character or event that influences Tess Willoughby’s once ...more
Charline Ratcliff
May 10, 2012 rated it liked it
The year is 1717 and sixteen-year-old Tess Willoughby and her family reside in London, England and...just in case you were wondering, the London of 1717 is not what it is today. As the daughter of a trusted and well- known physician, Tess has seen her share of horrors and visited some of London's seediest neighborhoods. However, none of what Tess has experienced so far in her young life has prepared her for the shock of witnessing the murder of one of London's renowned seers. This seer is also ...more
Oct 17, 2010 rated it really liked it

Let me begin by explaining that I normally do not read historical fiction. Most of the historical fiction books that I have tried to read in the past were basically the same story told over and over again using different characters. THIS book… Quintspinner, is absolutely NOT your typical historical fiction! Combining romance, danger, history, and magic is probably not an easy thing to do well, but Diane Greenlay has created a wonderful work of art which I hope is only the beginning!

One of the
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Natalie by: Goddess Fish Promotions
I am not entirely sure what I was expecting from this book. Probably a light-hearted adventure with romance and derring-do and a splash of magic. Quintspinner was not at all what I expected. The story is dark and harsh, so cruel that it was at times painful to read, but I couldn't stop. No matter how awful it got, I had to keep reading to reassure myself that there was some hope for Tessa and Cassie and the others.

I really liked most of the main characters. Tessa was strong and interesting,
Miranda Lynn
DNF at 30%.

Some people choose to rate unfinished books all one stars, some people decide not to rate them at all because they don't think it's fair. For me, I normally will rate them one star, but might give it a two if I feel like there were some redeeming qualities/things I liked about it, or if I think it was a "it's me, not you" situation.

In this circumstance, it was most likely the latter. I really did enjoy parts of this book — I thought that the story had potential and I was really
Lynn Demsky
Nov 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read
"A secret and unauthorized trip through the chaos of a 1717 London marketplace takes a bizarre twist for 16 year old Tess. Unexpectedly witnessing the murder of a renowned Seer, Tess becomes the keeper of the old woman's legendary spinner ring and its supposed power of prophecy. Returning home, Tess bears the brunt of her father's rage when he is informed of her disobedient excursion. An ensuing altercation with her father leads Tess to the discovery of a family secret that stuns her. Even so, ...more
Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
I had been in the mood for a historical fiction book, so when this became available on Netgalley, I jumped on it. Despite being long, I was able to devour it in a day and I ended up with mixed feelings. While the overall writing and story were very captivating, I mainly struggled with the character of Tess.
It frustrates me to no end when female characters make really dumb decisions in books and movies usually for the express reason that the writer decides they have to be weak in some way. (view
Jul 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, 2011-reads
Quintspinner: A Pirate's Quest is a tale chock-full of adventure and (yes, you guessed it) pirates. The heroine--Tess--is a sixteen-year-old physician's daughter who witnesses the death of a seer. Well, she doesn't actually see who did the deed, but still. And that's when she's bestowed with a spinner ring, and told of her unique abilities.

Then her father takes a new position that requires them to move, and they set sail on the high seas. The seas are infested with pirates & sharks, there's
Gina Shoen
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very enjoyable for me. I really liked it's historical setting, and it's strong female character. The plot moved along nicely and the characters were well written. The only flaw for me was how long it took the main character to figure out what the clue was to when the rings were telling her to pay attention to them, the itch. It was extremely annoying to me that it literally took the entire book for her to figure that out. For someone as intelligent as she was, it was the one fatal ...more
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Pirating! That was enough for me to want to read this book. If you know me at all, then you know that I’m obsessed with pirates. Blame Johnny Depp and his awesomeness. However, this is not a Caribbean adventure. It is definitely a well researched story. I enjoyed the danger and historical aspects of it all more than anything. The characters are all well written and this book doesn’t hold anything back regarding the circumstances of pirating.

It’s an adventure with a little magic thrown in with
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Other books in the series

Quintspinner Trilogy (2 books)
  • Deadly Misfortune: Book Two in the Quintspinner Trilogy