Gallivanting across the ocean is always the way I want to spend my summer holidays, and those precious weeks before University picked up were no different. However, I never actually left the country – but instead, let Sara Raasch’s piratical fantasy take me on a mystical adventure exploring lands unknown and of course, dancing with swords.
How I really wish I’d spent my summer.
I’ve always been in love with the worlds Sara creates, and this one – thankfully – was no exception. (I’m always afraid that I’ll not enjoy a beloved author’s new book. WHAT IF IT HAPPENS?)
But as much as I loved it, I couldn’t help but feel like I was stumbling blindly down dimly lit passages, desperate for information, head dizzy as I careened my way down alleyways, stumbling over cobblestones. Like all the detail that I wanted, that I needed, was blurred out in direct vision – only ever clear when you looked at it from the sides.
In essence: nothing made sense.
From page one, you’re bombarded with locations and characters, empires and slum cities until they all are a splash of black ink on the page of your mind. It took me several chapters to realise one character (who had 2-3 different obscure nicknames), was actually, you know – the same character.
Once I’d come to that dawning realisation, things cleared up a bit more for me.
Like I’d been given a lantern to help lead the way – casting half the world in clear bright light – the rest in hazy darkness.
So, if you decide to go into this book expecting everything to come to you easily – for you to glide your way through on a gentle, pushing river: don’t. Expect the tide to be high, and the waves to crash on deck. Things will get slippery and hard to navigate, but if you’re an expert in fantasy and you have a map in hand and dedication enough to get you through the first 100 pages, you can do it.
You will do it.
And I hope you love it as much as I did by the end.