Book Review - Sea and Sand

When I read Air and Ash by Alex Lidell, the first book in the ‘Tides’ series I was drawn in by comparisons to one of my favourite authors, Tamora Pierce. You’ll notice from my review (which can be found here) that I felt it lived up to that promise. I loved Ash as a feisty but realistically flawed character and you could tell there was a great story building.

Since then I have read the next two books in the series. War and Wind which was released June 2017 and recently released Sea and Sand.

And in this review, I want to impress upon you not just how much this book would appeal to readers of Tamora Pierce, Rachel E Carter and Maria V Snyder, but also how this series can hold it’s own and be worth reading without any comparison.

I have been completely enthralled with the adventures of Nile Ash. In book two she and the rest of the Aurora crew deal with the murderous intent of Captain Rima in the aftermath of the earthquake. The characters are engaging, the story as fast-paced as the first book and I could not put it down - the vivid imagery of life at sea stayed with me even after I stepped away from my Kindle.

I often find myself disappointed by the second book in a series, when looked at as a whole it is often a weaker tale than the rest. Not so with War and Wind - I loved every single moment of excitement, frustration and surprise.

With a bit of a wait between the second and third books I re-read both Air and Ash and War and Wind before receiving a copy Sea and Sand for review.

And wow! The story, though set a few months after the ending of book two continue on at breakneck pace. I enjoyed the introduction of a new character perspective - Kyra. I was concerned at first that she was only introduced as a potential love interest for another character but her personality is different to Nile in many ways and I'm intrigued at how she will develop as we get to know her better.

I did not see the huge plot twists coming. So much so that I gasped loudly at points, something that my husband finds really weird..

As with the first two, I felt that Sea and Sand finished too soon. It may be standard practice to end on a cliff-hanger and ensure the reader is desperate for more but in this book the story didn't feel like it had reached a suitable end, more of an interval. It has left me feeling slightly frustrated alongside the familiar yearning of just wanting to read more.

The swashbuckling setting of the Tides series is a concept which helps it stand confidently on it's own merits. The Ashing Navy is a society of it's own with a different set of norms and values to the landlocked books I am used to and I find myself desperate for every detail of life at sea, every hint of magic and each romantic suggestion.

I can't wait to find out what happens in the next instalment - torn between wanting all my questions answered and wanting a fifth book to round it all off!

If you're looking for an easy read with plenty of adventure and magic then this is a series for you!

*I was sent a copy of 'Sea and Sand' to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

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