Book Review – Of Sea and Shadow by Will Wight

Of Sea and Shadow by Will Wight

Of Sea and Shadow by Will Wight

The blurb reads:

The Guild of Navigators has ruled the Aion Sea for centuries, using their fleet of mystical ships to collect trade for the Aurelian Empire.

Now the Emperor is dead.

For Calder Marten, Captain of The Testament, the Emperor’s death is not an end, but an opportunity. He and his crew seek the legendary Heart of Nakothi, an artifact that could raise a second Emperor…and earn Calder a fortune.

But they’re not the only ones who want the Heart.

The Consultant’s Guild, an ancient order of spies and assassins, will stop at nothing to keep the world in chaos. They seek to destroy the Heart, and prevent the world from uniting under a single Emperor ever again.

On the seas, a man works to restore the dying Empire.

In the shadows, a woman seeks to destroy it.

In this series the author is doing something interesting – there is a complementary companion trilogy so that each book is effectively written twice, once each from the point of view of the main characters.  This book is from Calder’s point of view and the book Of Shadow and Sea tells the simultaneous story of the same events from the point of view of Shera, who is a minor character in this book.  It’s obviously kind of a stunt, but I find myself really looking forward to reading this book’s doppelganger.

I read this book through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and I expect those books to be lower quality than ones that I’ve directly paid for.  This is generally true, but I’ve read some impressive exceptions.  In the past I’ve read The Traveler’s Gate Trilogy by this author through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and it had some very good parts let down in places by poor writing.  My impression of this book is much the same – there were parts at the beginning of the book that were a bit cringeworthy but the world building is really interesting and the interleaved flashback chapters were well done.

I have some issues with the end of the book.  It’s open-ended, which isn’t really surprising in the first book of a trilogy and didn’t annoy me much.  But on the other hand one of the things that happens at the end of the book is pretty far fetched considering the personalities the author has described being involved.