Monday 3 July 2023

Book Review: Dark Water Daughter (The Winter Sea #1) by H.M. Long (Fantasy)

Title: Dark Water Daughter (The Winter Sea #1)
Author: H.M. Long
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: 11 July 2023
Pages: 400
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Mary Firth is a Stormsinger: a woman whose voice can still hurricanes and shatter armadas. Faced with servitude to pirate lord Silvanus Lirr, Mary offers her skills to his arch-rival in exchange for protection - and, more importantly, his help sending Lirr to a watery grave. But her new ally has a vendetta of his own, and Mary's dreams are dark and full of ghistings, spectral creatures who inhabit the ancient forests of her homeland and the figureheads of ships.

Samuel Rosser is a disgraced naval officer serving aboard The Hart, an infamous privateer commissioned to bring Lirr to justice. He will stop at nothing to capture Lirr, restore his good name and reclaim the only thing that stands between himself and madness: a talisman stolen by Mary.

Finally, driven into the eternal ice at the limits of their world, Mary and Samuel must choose their loyalties and battle forces older and more powerful than the pirates who would make them slaves.

Dark Water Daughter was a mixed-bag read for me. On the positive side, I loved the premise and the fantasy elements, and the world building was handled perfectly throughout. It was an intriguing fantasy tale with enough freshness to hold my interest while still hitting all the trope buttons. However, what stopped this being a top read for me was the fact that I never fully connected with the characters. I didn't come to deeply care about any of them, and the relationships felt a bit forced and, in the case of the romance, a little sudden based on the small length of time those characters had spent together on the page. That character disconnect kept me from being completely immersed in the story, despite enjoying the plot. As such, I am giving this book 3.5 stars. It was good, but I wished I could have cared more for the characters. It's definitely worth checking out though if you enjoy fantasy with a fresh twist.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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