Series: Age of Legends #1
Published by Harper Collins on April 8, 2014
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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.
Sea of Shadows was a book club read for me. I will admit my close-minded brain gave it two strikes against it right off the bat. It was a young adult and it was fantasy. Not what I would classify as urban fantasy, I would say it was straight fantasy. I have a hard time getting my brain around full fantasy worlds. It’s not that there is anything wrong with the way they are built, because they are certainly original and intricate. I just need something centered in this world to give my imagination some bearings to go off of.
Moria and Ashyn have grown up knowing that they are responsible for quieting the souls in the Forest of the Damned. It is a great responsibility and there are many tests done right from birth to prove that the right people are chosen. It just happens to be the first year the girls are to perform the rituals on their own. You just know that means things are going to go wrong.
After everything around them falls to pieces, they find themselves separated from each other. Each just knowing the other is alive, they gather who they can and set out to find each other. Here is where my mind gets critical. They know the other is alive because of these sort of illusions they have. I was really leery of their travel companions, but then when the monsters start appearing, it is hard to tell who is really an ally and who isn’t. Once I thought I had it all thought it out, I was shot down by some pretty big revelations.
The groups came across many different kinds of monsters, and I was kind of surprised that if they were on the same trail, how they didn’t come across the remains of the sister that was ahead of them. The monsters each group faced were different and definitely original. Up until about the last quarter, I felt like the trip was just too long and was taking up too much of the book. That lost my interest and made reading through a lot of it a slow process. Once they finally get to civilization, the story picks up and barrels to the end, which was the best part.
As I said, I’m probably biased in my opinion because of predetermined thoughts on the genre, so this book may appeal to those more open to young adult. I know my book club liked it better!