Review: The Sea of Shadows - Kelley Armstrong
Kelley Armstrong is an author whose books I read and loved so I was definitely excited for The Sea of Shadows. But when the pre-release reviews started coming in I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive. But once I started this YA fantasy novel there was no doubt that Armstrong still has "it".
The elements of suspense, mythology, action and romance make The Sea of Shadows one hell of a page turner. The novel opens in the village of Edgewood, home to Ashyn and Moira. The twin sisters play the role of the Seeker and Keeper who protect the village from the Forest of the Dead. The sisters and their animal companions are revered because of the role they play in protecting Edgewood.
The story is told from the alternating POVs of Ashyn and Moira. Both the twins have a distinct voice - Moira's crass and feisty personality and Ashyn's quiet strength and sensitiveness added color to the narration. The love interests, Gavril and Ronan drew me into the stories with their enigma and it was delightful to watch them fall in love with the twins. The banter between Gavril and Moira had me smiling and brought such much needed humor to this otherwise grim story.
Armstrong does not hold back with the description of all the blood and gore that comes with writing an action packed fantasy novel so The Sea of Shadows is not for the faint-hearted. And for readers who have an appetite for fantasy and mythology, there are plenty of mythological creatures, mercenaries, bandits and sorcery to keep you on your toes. I have to admit that at the beginning I found the pacing to be far too slow however, as the story progresses it picks up and pulls me reader in. The political intrigue, death, betrayal and the secrets between the characters will propel the reader through the pages.
Something that I loved seeing is the relationship between the twins. Despite their very pronounced differences, the twins have each others back and their ability to understand each other was admirable. I'd definitely love to see more of this kind of sibling relationship in YA.
Thankfully there was no information dumping instead the set up of the world is revealed slowly through out the book. However, I felt that the world building in The Sea of Shadows was weaker when compared to Kelley Armstrong's previous works.
Given that this is the first time that Armstrong is dabbling in high fantasy, I have to say that The Sea of Shadows is a solid start. The Sea of Shadows had me hooked and there is so much potential for this trilogy so I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel.
Over to you
Have you read The Sea of Shadows?
Have you read any of Kelley Armstrong's adult or other young adult books?
Are there any epic fantasy books that YOU think I'd enjoy?