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Self-Made Scoundrel

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Dershik Cartaskin is the heir to the Cartaskin Barony, a distinguished and ambitious household in the Valley of Ten Crescents. When his father sets his sights higher than the Sword and the Seat, Dershik refuses to take on a legacy of unquestioned power, abandoning those he loves for their benefit and his personal desires. Taking on the name ‘Derk’ and a life of thievery, h Dershik Cartaskin is the heir to the Cartaskin Barony, a distinguished and ambitious household in the Valley of Ten Crescents. When his father sets his sights higher than the Sword and the Seat, Dershik refuses to take on a legacy of unquestioned power, abandoning those he loves for their benefit and his personal desires. Taking on the name ‘Derk’ and a life of thievery, he strives to transform his world. The Holy Church, a cunning streetswoman, a peculiar guide, a beautiful priestess and a secret organization; Derk must face them all and forge his own legacy within the Valley of Ten Crescents.


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Dershik Cartaskin is the heir to the Cartaskin Barony, a distinguished and ambitious household in the Valley of Ten Crescents. When his father sets his sights higher than the Sword and the Seat, Dershik refuses to take on a legacy of unquestioned power, abandoning those he loves for their benefit and his personal desires. Taking on the name ‘Derk’ and a life of thievery, h Dershik Cartaskin is the heir to the Cartaskin Barony, a distinguished and ambitious household in the Valley of Ten Crescents. When his father sets his sights higher than the Sword and the Seat, Dershik refuses to take on a legacy of unquestioned power, abandoning those he loves for their benefit and his personal desires. Taking on the name ‘Derk’ and a life of thievery, he strives to transform his world. The Holy Church, a cunning streetswoman, a peculiar guide, a beautiful priestess and a secret organization; Derk must face them all and forge his own legacy within the Valley of Ten Crescents.

30 review for Self-Made Scoundrel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maya Lantz

    I went into Self Made Scoundrel with ideas of what it would be about already in my head. Upon reading the blurb and beginning the book I realized it was not going to be a continuation of the first and I would have to wait even longer to find out what would become of Derk and Tavi. I was very excited for this book when I thought it would be an extension of the first and a bit disappointed when I found it was not. Let me not dwell on what I thought it would be and what it really was. . . This book I went into Self Made Scoundrel with ideas of what it would be about already in my head. Upon reading the blurb and beginning the book I realized it was not going to be a continuation of the first and I would have to wait even longer to find out what would become of Derk and Tavi. I was very excited for this book when I thought it would be an extension of the first and a bit disappointed when I found it was not. Let me not dwell on what I thought it would be and what it really was. . . This book does a fantastic job at further developing Derk’s character and explaining the background on how he came to be a member of the Cup and even how he acquired Tavi. In this book we learn that Derk chose his life of thievery because he finds it enjoyable and that in reality he could have had a cushy life living as a baron. Even though Derk chose a life many probably would not the author still makes it possible to feel bad for him when things go wrong, instead of saying “well you chose this life, so it’s your fault”. Overall, this is a very well written book (though it could use a second edit) and provides a lot of insight on Derk making him a character that you care about even more than the first book, or perhaps hate now that you know his history. If you’ve read the first book, I would recommend this one as it compliments it very well. This still leaves me really wanting to find out what happens after the ending of the first book!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lillith

    This is an absolutely delightful follow-up (prequel) to Thieves At Heart. It fills in more of this vivid fantasy world and paints in rogue Derk's background and motivations. What a wonderfully fascinating character! Tarwater's stories are just right for my tastes and once again, I can't wait to read more in this setting. This is an absolutely delightful follow-up (prequel) to Thieves At Heart. It fills in more of this vivid fantasy world and paints in rogue Derk's background and motivations. What a wonderfully fascinating character! Tarwater's stories are just right for my tastes and once again, I can't wait to read more in this setting.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hybridhopes

    Loved reading more about the characters from Thieves At Heart. An origin story without being boring. Fast read, good progression. Hope to read more from this author.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alysa H.

    There is something very appealing about the world of the Valley of Ten Crescents. There's also something very smart about making Derk's backstory (chronologically earlier than Tavera's story) the second book in the series. However, there isn't really sufficient worldbuilding here, presumably because the author felt that Book 1 and the prequel short did enough of the heavy lifting, and I feel like I would have little understanding of the setting beyond Generic Medievalish Land if I hadn't seen th There is something very appealing about the world of the Valley of Ten Crescents. There's also something very smart about making Derk's backstory (chronologically earlier than Tavera's story) the second book in the series. However, there isn't really sufficient worldbuilding here, presumably because the author felt that Book 1 and the prequel short did enough of the heavy lifting, and I feel like I would have little understanding of the setting beyond Generic Medievalish Land if I hadn't seen the supplemental material of a graphic novel that the author set in the same world. And Derk's backstory, while interesting in the sense that getting into the mind of someone who is in fact an asshole (but of course doesn't know it) can be interesting, is also rather slow and boring at times. It started well and finished well, but the middle of the book dragged and dragged. But my biggest problem with this book was actually the writing, or more likely the editing and/or lack thereof. There aren't tons of typos, especially for self-published work, but the grammar and sentence structure throughout made it at times painful to slog through. There are whole sections that would be better rewritten or cut for concision. There's also little good sense of the passage of time. The book starts with Derk's childhood and by the end he's... in 30? 40? Well into adulthood, but beyond that I have no idea. I don't remember if Book 1 stated Derk's age, but his own story should stand on its own, no? It took me a long time to read this, but it was at least good enough that I didn't give up.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jazz

    I got this book from Goodreads.com and was sent to me by the author. When I started reading this book, I didn't know it was a prequel. Since it is the second book in the series, I ventured to read the first book in the series first. I must say I was not drawn into the story like in some other books. There was just too much open space left between events and I hesitated continuing with the second one. But in the end, I was glad I did. First thing that I noticed is that the style of writing improve I got this book from Goodreads.com and was sent to me by the author. When I started reading this book, I didn't know it was a prequel. Since it is the second book in the series, I ventured to read the first book in the series first. I must say I was not drawn into the story like in some other books. There was just too much open space left between events and I hesitated continuing with the second one. But in the end, I was glad I did. First thing that I noticed is that the style of writing improved immensely. It was more fluid, more story driven and had dealt with character relations more. I was actually glad that it evolved around Derk and not Tavi (the main protagonist from the first book), since I didn’t feel much of a connection with her character. Derk is a mixed character. Not a good guy, but not a bad guy either. He was born into a life he did not want, to assume a role he cared none for. It is a story of a man who reinvents himself, something a lot of people today I imagine would like to do. It was possible for him to become the man he wanted, to do the things he wanted and when he wanted and we as readers follow him on this journey. And it’s a great journey, filled with adventure, romance, friendship and hardship. Although I wasn’t drawn into reading the sequel, it was a fun book to read, much more than the first one and I hope the author followed in this good direction in her third book as well.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Swensen

    Tristan Tarwater has a very particular style. Her stories tend to be very character-driven and leisurely, with a lot of time spent inside the main character's head. Epic plots and action give way to contemplation and personal revelations, and relationships unfold and develop. When I read Thieves at Heart, I found myself a little frustrated with the lack of conflict in the book. I was happy to see that Self-Made Scoundrel comes out swinging with lots of palpable conflict, right out of the gate. D Tristan Tarwater has a very particular style. Her stories tend to be very character-driven and leisurely, with a lot of time spent inside the main character's head. Epic plots and action give way to contemplation and personal revelations, and relationships unfold and develop. When I read Thieves at Heart, I found myself a little frustrated with the lack of conflict in the book. I was happy to see that Self-Made Scoundrel comes out swinging with lots of palpable conflict, right out of the gate. Derk's tragic history is revealed, complete with irreconcilable moral dilemmas, devastating secrets, and love repeatedly lost. I connected with it in a way I never could with Thieves at Heart. Looking forward to the next installment in the series. If this is any indication, the third book should be a smash.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Brawley

    it's rare that the second book of a trilogy takes place entirely before the first book, but in this case it worked. Actually I think it worked better book 1. it's rare that the second book of a trilogy takes place entirely before the first book, but in this case it worked. Actually I think it worked better book 1.

  8. 4 out of 5

    mrs Bennett

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hinahina Gray

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mia Redgrave

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jerome Comeau

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ralph Mazza

  13. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  14. 5 out of 5

    James S

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kimster

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shona Ray

  17. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Fruchey

  18. 5 out of 5

    JoshBadWriter

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  20. 4 out of 5

    Janessa Salazar

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Gormley

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  23. 5 out of 5

    Deni Imfeld

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anny Borg

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

  27. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly J Eaton

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  30. 5 out of 5

    Holly

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