April 14, 2019

#BookReview for The Deepest Blue (Tales of Renthia) by @sarahbethdurst @HarperVoyagerUS

Synopsis: The natural magic of the classic The Island of the Blue Dolphinsmeets the danger and courage of The Hunger Games in this dazzling, intricate stand-alone fantasy novel set in award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst’s beloved world of Renthia.

Life is precious and precarious on the islands of Belene. Besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits, the people of the islands seek joy where they can. Mayara, one of the island’s fearless oyster divers, has found happiness in love. But on the day of her wedding to the artist Kelo, a spirit-driven storm hits the island with deadly force.

To save her loved ones, Mayara reveals a dangerous secret: she has the power to control the spirits. When the storm ends, she is taken into custody by the queen’s soldiers and imprisoned with other women like her.

They vary in age and social status, but to many they are heroes who will aide the country or witches that will sacrifice themselves trying. No matter who they are, the women are sent to a terrifying place—an island filled with bloodthirsty nature spirits, and left without food, water, shelter, or any tools except their own instincts and magic. Whoever survives the Island of Testing will be declared heirs to the queen. But no matter if she wins or loses, Mayara knows that the life she dreamed of is gone.

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About the Author:  
Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of sixteen fantasy books for adults, teens, and kids, including The Queens of Renthia series, Drink Slay Love, and The Stone Girl’s Story. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat. For more information, visit her at sarahbethdurst.com.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: When I started this book I thought, OMG YES were going to get a brand new story and this time we won't be in the glade etc. Like we were in the other three books. Where it was all about becoming queen.  This was going to be about these two newly married people being on the run!! 

Sadly, that didn't happen and were back on an island this time against these women's wishes.  I have to say how the world of Belene felt very Hunger Gamesish.  I actually just now looked at book synapses and yes this is VERY much like the Hunger Games. But instead of other tributes that these women are defending from its the spirits.  

This story follows a bunch of characters from the main character Mayara and her trying to survive to get back to her husband, her husband trying to find a way to get her off the island, and the Queen trying to find a way out of her situation.  I did enjoy that we had a character from the original series.  I do not remember who she was in the other series so if someone knows and can remind me that would be great.  It's been a while since I read it.  

The number one thing I loved about this story was the pacing.  I liked that it was a stand alone and that although the author could come back and add more to this story she doesn't have to. This is a fully formed story on its own.  The story starts we get all the information that we need to know and then it gets going.  Nothing was stagnate and it flowed very well.  Even when it was just Mayara surviving on the island and she was going through caves this story was still going and it was great! 

The world building was amazing I loved all the islands and the construction and use of old skeletons as homes and roads etc.  The diving aspect was great as well.  I felt like the author did a wonderful job with the ideals and just everything.  This world of Belene came alive on the page and it really made me want to go to the beach.  The characters were the same way.  I loved how strong Mayara was as well as her husband Kelo.  The rest of the cast from the Queen to the other Spirit Sisters were all there and no one was lacking.  

The spirits of the Deep Blue themselves were awesome even though we don't really get to spend a lot of time with them.  I do hope we get to see what occurred in the end of this book in a new one set with them.  Highlight for Spoiler*At the end of the story Mayara tells the spirits of the Deep Blue that they could go out to the vast oceans and build.  It would be awesome to get a story that deals with that.*Highlight for Spoiler 

*Do you need to read the other series to read this one?  
No you don't really need to read the other series to know what is going on with this one.  The author gives you everything you need to know in this title to read it on its own.  The only things you will miss without reading the other series is the way things are done on the mainland of Renthia.  As they use schools to train their Heirs vs. sending them to a death island.  As well as how the Queen of Belene is treated vs. how the Queen of Renthia is.  And then there is that one character from the original series that for the life of me I don't remember who she was.   But other than those things no you do not have to read the other series.  

Go Into This One Knowing: Danger, Sisters, Magic, Romance 

“Fans will be eager to reenter Renthia and discover another queen.” (Booklist (starred review))

“This intriguing dive into the powers that attempt to control Renthia yields an action-packed fantasy.” (Library Journal)

I loved the first Renthia trilogy, didn't want it to end. I was so happy to know that a return was already planned, though to another part of the world, and I was totally on board. I mean, Garnah was going on ahead, so there was no doubt whatever was going to happen was going to be interesting.

And it's a great book! I really loved it and am already putting it the hands of friends.

Sarah, any time you want to go back to Renthia, count me in! (Amber D) 

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FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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