The Trade Houses of the Miilark Islands control the shipping lanes linking four diverse continents across the blue vastness of the Interminable Ocean. The Houses are represented abroad by the Guilders; men and women skilled in business and burglary, salesmanship and swordplay, merchandising and musketry. Tilda Lanai has trained for years to take her place among them, but now the House she is to serve is imperiled by the sudden death of the House Lord. Scenting blood in the water, rival Houses begin to circle. The desperate search for an exiled heir takes Tilda across a war-torn continent and to the gates of the Sable City, where centuries ago dark magic almost destroyed the world. Along with a sinister sorceress, a broken-hearted samurai, and a miscreant mercenary long on charm but lousy with a crossbow, Tilda must brave the demon-infested ruins to find the heir who may yet save her House.
I’m surprised to say I haven’t read many epic fantasy books as of late, somehow I seem to have been thrown a lot of YA books my way (both in work and in reviewing), which is odd for me since YA does not tend to be a genre I normally enjoy. So it was kind of nice to find an epic fantasy book come up on the review list, I very much so have missed reading them. Well that and my husband will listen to me talk about epic fantasy books I like a lot more than YA books I like 😉
Anyways, before I started reading a lot of epic fantasy for reviews, I had this preconceived notion that a lot of the stories take place with male leads. And while there are a lot more male leads in epic versus say urban fantasy, there are still plenty of epic with a strong female lead. And this book was one of those such books. The lead in this case is Tilda, she really is kind of an awesome character. She is strong and can certainly hold her own against pretty much anyone. In fact I have to mention of all of the women characters I have read I don’t know that all of them have had the command that she does over so many weapons.
I think that in general the writer did a really good job of putting together a world and a situation that captivates the reader. The plot is quick moving and kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. I thought the the author did a really good job at world building. I think that is one of the harder parts for epic fantasy because they literally get to create a world completely from scratch, however they want to make it to fit their imagination. I think the author did a pretty good job with world building. I think the thing I enjoy most about the book though the author’s ability to mesh together elements of different genres and put together a cohesive and enjoyable read.
There is certainly a lot to be said about the book itself, but it’s kind of hard to do it without revealing a lot of spoilers. That being said the book is really a good read. I do have to mention the book is a bit on the longer side of books, so this is probably going to be a book that you get invested in as well as maybe take a couple of days to read the book. But in general I think the book is a pretty good one and anyone who likes epic fantasy but is looking for an epic fantasy with a bit of a twist, you should check out this book.