Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

I have been a Kelley Armstrong fan since I discovered Bitten(in 2003) and had to wait two anxious months for Stolen. While I am a huge and longtime fan I willing admit that I enjoy some of her books more then others.
For instance; Bitten, Stolen and No Humans Involved are my favourites from The Women of the Otherworld series. I read the first Nadia book (Exit Strategy) and have the next two but I did not enjoy it as much as the Otherworld series so I have not read two or three. I LOVE The Darkest Powers books and own Loki’s Wolves which I have not yet gotten around to reading.

Sea-of-Shadows-web
I started reading an ARC of the first book in her Age of Legends trilogy entitled Sea of Shadows due to be released in April. One of the privileges of being a book seller.
I have to say that this story enthralled me. The Grammys were on and I was watching them but I couldn’t put this book down for any length of time. I finished it early the next day and am now feeling bereft. Kelley has a tendency to do this phenomenally horrible thing to us where she draws us deeply into the story and then leaves us dangling from the cliff. That’s right all you Kelley fans, Sea of Shadows will leave you wanting more!

Sea of Shadows tells the story of twin sisters Ashyn and Moria who are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Born to perform the rites of the spirits and protect their village they converse with the Spirits. But on the annual trip into the Forest of the Dead something goes terribly wrong and the girls lives are irrevocably changed forever.

Separated during a disaster in their village and tricked into going in different directions they are forced to leave their village for the first time in their lives. The girls each set out with only their bonded Immortal pets, one with a taciturn imperial guard and the other with a condemned thief that survived the Exile. Their journey takes them across a once deserted wasteland that is now filled with monsters from old legends. They must cross the Wastelands to warn the Emperor.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book are that the legendary creatures they must fight. The journey they must travel sort of reminds me of one of my all-time favourite movies…. The Princess Bride. I am not saying the two are exactly alike just that this story has the same epic romantic quest feel and the humour as the movie does. I dare you to tell me that the rodent they meet doesn’t make you think of R.O.U.S’s.

My one issue was the vast amount of characters you are introduced to almost immediately. I got so confused that I thought the guy with the eye tattoo (Orbec) was the guard (Gavril) who ends up travelling with Moria. I might suggest that this is one of those books that needs a Table of Characters.

I give this story 5 out of 5 Reads.

If you are looking for a great Fantasy read I highly recommend this one!

The White Oak by Kim White

 

Cora and Lucas are twins living with their abusive Father and Grandfather. Cora has a knack for gardening while Lucas is a computer whiz. The title of the book comes from the giant white oak on their land which most people think is dead but Cora can feel that deep down it is indeed alive.

When Cora and Lucas were young they discovered that many caves and tunnels run under their land as well. To escape they would spend hours each day exploring and carving new routes. Whenever they would seemingly come to a dead end Cora would hear a voice telling imploring her to find him and leading her in the direction she needed to go to do so.

The White Oak is a fantasy adventure story that reminded me of that old tv show called The Odyssey. It was about a kid in a coma but in his coma he was on a quest to find something.

Something happens at the funeral of Cora and Lucas’ father that leads Cora on her own quest. First to find her brother then to get them out of the strange land they’ve found themselves in and also to discover if their really is anyone behind the voice she’s heard all these years.

Kim White has generated a technologically magical world which begs to be explored. As a reader the scene where Cora discovers how everyone’s life stories are written left me breathless and a little overwhelmed. Kim’s imagery and word play are fantastic.

The characters you meet via Cora are so interesting and the world they inhabit is so varied that I can not wait to see where the story takes me in the next two books.

If you get the opportunity I highly recommend giving The White Oak by Kim White a read.

5 out of 5 reads for originality and the fact that I can’t wait to read book 2.