Series: Hidden Sea Tales #1
Published by Tor Books on June 24, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Fantasy
Source: Gift, Purchased
One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles.
The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies—and a language different from any Sophie has heard.
Sophie doesn't know it yet, but she has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered… her world, where everyone seems to know who she is, and where she is forbidden to stay.
But Sophie is stubborn, and smart, and refuses to be cast adrift by people who don't know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister she has never known, and a ship captain who would rather she had never arrived, she must navigate the shoals of the highly charged politics of Stormwrack, and win the right to decide for herself whether she stays in this wondrous world . . . or is doomed to exile.
I did not expect to love Child of a Hidden Sea! The cover and the blurb on the back made it sound like mid-grade fantasy. It isn’t. It was fantastic!
Sophie Hansa is our main character and only POV. I think she was funny, interesting and smart. Her downsides are undervaluing herself and a rich kid sense of entitlement that put herself and others in peril that was unnecessary. Sophie’s story is built by the world she found herself in, and the world really takes center stage in this new series. Child of a Hidden Sea has started a wonderful story, and I cannot wait to read more. Sophie is a graduate student in some sort of biology field. She loves any outdoor sport and science. Her wonder at discovering new species on Stormwrack built a wonderful catalog of creatures I could visualize and identify with. The other question… where is Stormwrack in relation to Earth? is front and center the entire novel. The action was plenitude and realistic, the laws of magic interesting and there is still plenty of room for future development.
The inter-personal relationships were also interesting and add an interesting depth to the story. Sophie was adopted out as an infant, and her search for her birth parents is what has led her to Stormwrack. While Child of a Hidden Sea couldn’t uncover all of the truths, a tantalizing story has begun. Her love interests were also well played and I cannot wait for another taste of these attractive men.
The island nations that the world is comprises of are interesting, and the sense of national identity is high. The Verdanii, the Sylvanners and the ex-pirates from Isle of Gold are all well represented. Their costume and dialects are discussed and the political ties between all of them is front and center. I am interested in future trips to this world, and I cannot wait for book number two. Especially if it has different cover art. 😉 All in all, 5 star coveted review, and I cannot wait for more. I want to own these as I can easily see myself revisiting.