Thursday, February 15, 2018

Review: Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison with Giveaway

Of Sea and Stone

YA Fantasy

February 2014

Aemi lives in a village carved from stones and surrounded by sea. She wins spear-throwing competitions in disguise and earns slaps from her spoiled mistress by talking back. She hates being a slave. She survives by remembering her mother's tales of home, a paradise called Perilous.

Aemi intends to find it.

But then, black ships rise from the sea in the night. Aemi is captured and taken to Itlantis, an underwater world of cities and gardens encased in glass, dazzling technology. and a centuries-long war.

She is determined to escape, even if it means conspiring with fellow prisoner Nol, who fills her with equal parts anger and desire. Even if it means impersonating her mistress. Even if it means fleeing into the territory of the Dron, the bloodthirsty barbarians of the deep.

But when Aemi witnesses firsthand an attack by the Dron, she realizes not all is as it seems below the sea.

And Perilous might be closer than she thinks.

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Fast paced and packed with unexpected twists the whole way through, this is a tale which grabs and doesn't let go the whole way through.

Aemi is a slave in a village, which is built into the rocks along the ocean. One night, a ship rises out of the water, attacks the village and she, along with many men, is taken prisoner. Soon, her execution is ordered, but one of the attackers smuggles her off of the ship and takes her to work as an indentured servant for a wealthy man in an underwater city, which she thought only existed in myths. Her only goal is to escape, but fate isn't on her side.

This is the first book in a series and what an exciting start it is! Aemi is kind-hearted, tough in her own way, and, yet, vulnerable. It was easy to like her from the very first page and cheer for her the entire way through. Although the story starts with a simple and busy life as a slave in a small village, the world building and pacing quickly picks-up on complexity. The simple village clashes with a more modern under-sea life, which holds slight similarities with our modern world.

As soon as Aemi settles into a situation, another harsh twists comes her way. She is constantly facing new hurdles and problems. It's hard to guess what is coming next, and each new situation and trouble adds to an increasingly layered plot. Even the palette of characters is constantly changing, but the author still gives each one enough individuality and personality to keep them from coming across superficial or unnecessary. It's a rich world, and it's only the beginning, promising so much more to come in the rest of the series. After reading this first adventure, I can't wait to get my hands on the next book and see what happens to Aemi and her friends next.

And here she is. . .

 I'm the author of the Frost Chronicles, an Amazon bestselling series and source material for the adventure app game Frost by Delight Games, as well as numerous other fantasy and science fiction novels. I love putting a dash of mystery in everything I write, an ode to a childhood spent reading Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes. I can’t resist adding a good twist in the story wherever I can.

I wish I could live in a place where it’s always October, but until that’s possible, I make my home in humid Atlanta with my husband, children, and two spoiled cats.

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