Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Review - Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Sea of Shadows
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Age of Legends, book 1
Publisher: DoubleDay Canada
Pages: 406 pages
Dates read: March 30th to April 4th, 2015
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Goodreads synopsis:
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known.
Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.
 Rating: 4/5 stars

I am a huge Kelley Armstrong fan. She's the first author I ever met in person, so obviously I'll always have an attachment to her. Plus, her writing is really fan-freaking-tastic. I loved the Darkest Powers series, so when I saw that she'd written a new YA series, I immediately jumped on it. And man was I not disappointed.

Moria and Ashyn are twin sisters who also happen to be the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Their job; to protect and appease the spirits of the ancestors and of the dead. This premise was so interesting and it was well thought-out. You can that a lot of thought was put into the world-building because it was all very well explained without ever getting info-dumpy.

I loved the fantasy aspects of Sea of Shadows. The creatures, the spirits, the bond-beasts, it was all just so interesting and different. Most fantasy books settle for dragons or faeries. And while there is mention of dragons in Sea of Shadows, the death worms and thunder hawks and shadow stalkers were all such interesting creatures. I enjoyed the originality of the creatures

Secondly, the character development was great. It isn't often where you read a book about two sisters who's relationship is rock-solid. They don't fight, they love each other more than anything, and they're never at odds about anything, even if sometimes one can be jealous of the other. But it never turns catty between them. Which I really liked, especially since every one else's intentions in this book is subject to doubt. Sisters who are besties = amazing main characters.

The only thing that I found imperfect in this book is that it really is just a set-up for the trilogy. For most of the book, Ashyn and Moria are travelling to Fairview to tell of the tragedy that happened in Edgewood, so there isn't much action that happens. I didn't mind it because I like set up, and it let us get to know the world that Kelley Armstrong built before plunging us into it. I'm just hoping there'll be more action in Empire of Night, because at one point, reading 400 pages of set up can get kind of long.

Sea of Shadows is a fantasy novel by Kelley Armstrong. Obviously it's amazing. So, even if this first installement is slow-going, the Age of Legends series promises to be really amazing. I highly suggest this book.

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