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Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Sanderson Satisfies With Rollicking *Secret* Pirate Adventure

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

If you know anything about my taste in books, you know how unusual it is for me to read anything even close to high fantasy. (To be honest, I'm not sure I even understand what that term means!) Even though I'm really not into the genre, I have enjoyed my dips into Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere series (empire? realm? universe?). The original Mistborn novels were my first foray into the author's sphere and Tress of the Emerald Sea is my latest. I enjoyed the former, but I adored the latter. Let's just say that while fantasy still isn't my jam, if it's written by Sanderson, I've learned to at least give it a chance.


Not gonna lie, I'm not quite sure how Tress of the Emerald Sea fits into the Cosmere series (Goodreads says it's installment #28 and #1 of the Secret Projects). I just know that it works fine as a standalone. It isn't necessary to read the previous books to get what's going on in this one, although I think I read somewhere that there are some characters in this book that have appeared in other Cosmere novels.

Our titular heroine is a young woman who lives on a barren island called the Rock. Her life is a simple, but not unhappy one. She spends her days washing windows at the duke's mansion, hanging out with her best friend Charlie (who's maybe more than just a pal, despite their very different social stations), and collecting cups sailors bring from faraway lands. As much as she might dream of something more, she doesn't really expect her routine life to change in any way. Until it does. When Charlie is sent away from their island, a devastated Tress risks everything to follow him. Stowing away on a ship, she soon finds herself on a vessel with a bloodthirsty captain at its helm. To avoid walking the plank, she needs to prove her worth. Luckily for her, the most dangerous job on the boat—a Sprouter—has just become available thanks to the untimely death of the sucker who previously held the position. With little other choice, she does the best she can to perform her duties well enough to keep her head above water. 

Although she has managed to escape certain death at the hands of the cruel captain—at least for now— there are plenty of other ways for her to meet her maker on the open spore sea. With danger without and just as much (if not more) within, she must navigate her way through her very precarious situation in order to find and rescue Charlie. In the meantime, there's a deadly date with an evil Sorceress to look forward to...

As you would expect from a magical pirate adventure, Tress of the Emerald Sea is a rollicking tale full of excitement, suspense, humor, and even a little heartbreak. It's 365 pages long, but I never got bored with it. In fact, I was sad to learn that it's not the first in a series of related books featuring these characters that I've come to love (the "secret projects" books do not contain related stories, apparently).  I would absolutely read more novels featuring Tress and her friends.

Gah! I'm failing to describe exactly how enchanting and entrancing this delightful YA novel is. All I can say is: believe the hype and read it already. It's a wonderful read, very deserving of all the attention it's getting.

(Readalikes: Um, I can't really think of anything. Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, scenes of peril, and mild innuendo

To the FTC, with love: I bought a copy of Tress of the Emerald Sea with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger. Ha ha.

6 comments:

  1. I've had this one on my radar for ages having heard only good things about it. I must grab a copy to read.

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  2. This does sound like an enchanting read. And I hope you're surviving this brutal heatwave! The temps down your way are so insane. Stay cool! :D

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  3. I dip in and out of fantasy, but like ones that aren't dark or full of world building. This sounds like one I would enjoy, and being as it can be read as a standalone, I am going to add it to my shelf.

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  4. I've been wanting to read this one. I've heard a lot of good things about it. I'm glad you liked it as much as you did. :D

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  5. I loved this book, too! The only comparison I can come up with for it is the Princess Bride movie (but not the book; it's much too whimsical for me to compare it to the book). But I don't know now if that's because of how it felt when I was reading it, or if it's because of the author's note at the end...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! An A grade, that is saying something. I am also not a fantasy reader (and really, what is high fantasy?). I am so glad you enjoyed this one.

    ReplyDelete

Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

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