Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Release date: April 8th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 286
Source: Edelweiss

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.

I adore Kelley Armstrong's previous YA series, so I was really excited when this one popped up. Sea of Shadows is even better than I expected, with its intriguing premise and great characters. Though this book didn't end in a cliffhanger, I'm desperate for the next one.

Sea of Shadows follows Moria and Ashyn, the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. They each have duties to carry out, but when something goes wrong at Ashyn's Seeking, the entire village is in danger. The sisters find their village in chaos, with several dead. Ashyn and Moria need to find each other, but creatures of myth begin appearing as obstacles in their paths. As the girls traverse the land with their respective companions, they encounter dangers of many kinds, but it's nothing compared to what they find when they reach the Imperial Court.

We get a dual point of view, from Ashyn and Moria. But they're not alternating chapters like I usually see - we get a few chapters from one girl, and then a few from another. I think this is way more effective, because we get to go into depth for each situation, and it doesn't addle your brain. Kelley's style of writing is amazing as usual, and she really has a knack for paranormal. Her imagination is impressive, with all of these different stories and settings in the book.

The two sisters are very different - Ashyn is the quieter one, more passive than aggressive. She thinks before she speaks or does anything. Moria is the rash, impulsive one. She's blunt, and says exactly what she thinks. I liked Moria better, because she intrigued me more and her narration was more interesting to me. But both sisters are awesome characters - kind, strong and determined. So I really loved reading from their perspectives. Keepers and Seekers are supposed to have animal companions, called bond-beasts. The Keeper gets a wildcat and the Seeker gets a hound. Moria and Ashyn's bond-beasts, Daigo and Tova, are magnificent and I loved seeing the relationship between them. The girls care deeply for their beasts, who are always with them, and I now totally want one too.

There are two other main characters in the book - Ronan and Gavril. Ronan is a thief who's been exiled to the Forest of the Dead, but he escapes and accompanies Ashyn on her journey to find Moria. Gavril is a guard in the village, and he's quite the enigma. But he's always watching out for Moria, so it makes sense that he travels with her. Ronan's more open, so we find out quite a bit about him. There isn't really much romance in the book at all, but whatever there was, it was between Ronan and Ashyn. Gavril doesn't really show his emotions, though it's certain that there's something between him and Moria. I'm really hoping they act on it in the next book!

Though the pacing isn't really fast, I enjoyed it. Some people mentioned it was slow in the beginning, but I didn't think so. I loved knowing how the premise came about and the stories people tell. This book felt more like a lead-up into the next one, which I assume is where everything will actually happen. But there's plenty in this one as well, along with a few surprises.

Kelley Armstrong has done it again with this new series, and I'm sure the sequels will turn out to be just as amazing as Sea of Shadows. There's so much material introduced in this world, and I hope we get to explore most of it throughout the series.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited to read this book. I love Kelley Armstrong! I haven't read too many reviews of this book yet, so I don't know much about it. It sounds like a typical Armstrong book.

    Thanks for sharing, Richa. :)


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