Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Random House Canada
Release Date: April 8th 2014
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 have read pretty much everyone one of Kelley Armstrong's book, YA and adult, and she is one of my favourite authors (and she's Canadian, yay!), so of course I was excited for her first book in the Age of Legends series/trilogy and intrigued because it is a fantasy, which is must different than Kelley's typical paranormal/urban fantasy series. While I did really enjoy Sea of Shadows I have to say I much prefer Kelley's paranormal books that I have read in the past, it is only the first book in the series so maybe my opinion will change and it while match the ranks of the Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising trilogies. Only time will tell!
Sea of Shadows is told in third person in two points of views, twins Ashyn and Moria, both tactics are different from what I have read from Armstrong in the past. I admire her for break out of her paranormal mould, and change in form of narration I think the changes in style are part of the reason that I did not absolutely love Sea of Shadows. I do prefer to read in first person POVs, in fact all of my favourite books and written in first person.
The premise for Sea of Shadows in really unique and the world is very dark and really grabbed by attention. I will say though that the world building is quite slow and I was confused for the first third of the novel, but after, when it became clearer it was truly an amazing fantasy world. Because both twins are different, Moria is more the outgoing aggressive one, and Ashyn the quite, kind and polite one, so the change in narration was not confusing what so ever and was easy to distinguish who was telling the story at a given time.
I really enjoyed how, while being a fantasy novel, the still was a very, very slight paranormal aspect tied in as well. I also enjoyed the side characters, which are boys and could be possible love interests for the twins in later books, and Sea of Shadows are very minimal romance which is refreshing. It seems that the relationships will for at a more reasonable speed that in some other books.
The best parts of the novel by far for me would have to be the mythical creature that appear in the book, all of which I have never heard of, or seen in other books or movies. They were awesome! I also absolutely LOVED the ending, if definitely raising the rating I was going to give Sea of Shadows, and I cannot wait until next April to continue with the series to see what happens next.
Ultimately I think fans of Kelley Armstrong will enjoy Sea of Shadows even though it may not be her best book to date, reader will admire a change in genre and narration and fall in love with the amazing world that Kelley created in Sea of Shadows.