My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was an outstanding fantasy* novel that had me turning pages late into the night. It's a continuation of the story of Father Yarvi, the prince turned adviser/minister to a ruling house in a Viking-like society of sea raiders, warriors and merchants. Yarvi plays a long game that moves many pieces on the board, including two young misfits who long to be warriors.
The novel is full of world-building and warcraft, politics and battles, but at its center is a love story of two people who complement each other in ways they never could have anticipated. It was wonderfully romantic.
There's also a kick-ass granny who'll make you re-evaluate everything you thought about old ladies and the usefulness of women past their childbearing years in a pre-industrial society.
I'm anxious now to read the next novel in the Shattered Sea, and recommend this series to readers who want a rousing good time, and writers who want to see how to craft characters who aren't cardboard cut-outs.
*though the series is really post-apocalyptic SF.
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