Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong-a review
RELEASE DATE: April 8, 2014
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.
REVIEW: SEA OF SHADOWS is the first instalment in Kelley Armstrong’s new YA fantasy series-Age of Legends. With the focus of the storyline on sixteen year old twin sisters Moria and Ashyn (the famed Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood) the reader is pulled into a world of death and destruction; warring empires; magic; fabled Shadow Stalkers, Death worms and Thunder hawks.
Sea of Shadows follows Ashyn on the annual trek into the Forest of the Dead to retrieve the bodies of the damned and send their spirits to the after life while Moira protects the village from those wishing to cause them harm. This is Ashyn’s first solo hunt. When the spirits focus all of their energy to destroy the village of Edgewood and everyone who lives within, Ashyn and Moria are pulled into a war between good and evil where everyone will suffer-in the end.
The premise and storyline are told from two distinct voices-Ashyn and Moria. Sea of Shadows is a novel that blends Native and Asian mythology where monsters and demons control the dreams and subconscious of the living and the dead. We are introduced to Ashyn and Moria ‘animal familiars’ who are as attuned to their human companions as they are to the environment in which they exist.
There are also two young males introduced as potential love interests for the sisters-two men who have experienced more in their short lives than any one knows.
The world building takes the reader beyond Edgewood into a forest rife with murderous beasts and zombie-like creatures. We follow Ashyn and Moria as they encounter mythological animals, once thought not to exist and a kingdom of betrayers who want nothing more than to use the young adults as pawns in a war.
The storyline is slow to develop as much of the premise focuses on the building relationship between Moria and Ashyn and the two young men who have sworn their loyalty and protection. In the end, all is for naught, when betrayal is first and foremost on everyone’s mind.
Kelley Armstrong has written an engaging and interesting tale where those who control the magic control the world. As our young heroes fight to save the lives of the people that they love, they will discover that the fight is one they may not win.
Copy supplied by the publisher through Edelweiss
Reviewed by Sandy