Author: Cari Z.
Genre: High Fantasy
Rating: Five Petals
On the Author's Website:
Love can change a soul. But can it save one life?Colm Weathercliff is a simple fisherman with an uncanny—some might saypreternatural—knack for his trade. He thought leaving his small village to take his father’s ashes to the capital city of Caithmor for a proper burial would be the grandest adventure of his life.At first, all his hopes seem to be fulfilled. He finds a home where he’s accepted without question, the freedom to use his talent to its fullest effect, and love with Nichol, a man with a longing for the sea as powerful as Colm’s.But Caithmor holds as many dangers as it does attractions. Colm’s greatest secret turns out to be a dark revelation that gets him and his family shunned—and changes everything he thought he knew about himself.The truth—about his parentage, his gift, even his physical form—could poison hischance for love. And doom both him and Nichol to a gruesome, inescapable fate.Warning: Contains graphic violence, explicit sex, and scenes of torture that may not be for the faint of heart. These mermen bear no resemblance to those you might have seen in a certain animated film.
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I think the most riveting thing about this book was the world Z created. There are different countries with different cultures, different cities, varied creatures and types of magic, multiple religions, and different characters that fall into many of those differing categories. The detail Z used was broad and full of description that transported me into the world and the lives of the characters with ease. Yet, what is really amazing is what Z did next. Instead of using every part of the huge world, it felt like Z took a cookie cutter and only used the parts of the world that fit inside that smaller space. What this meant is that I had a feeling of amazing depth to the story, yet the plot could remain solely focused on the main character, Colm. Events in the larger world go on around him, but since they don't effect him Z doesn't allow the story to dwell or be dragged down by all that extra information. It is left in the peripheral, which, in my opinion, displayed an amazing amount of craftsmanship.
Colm has lived a difficult life. He never really fit in with his home town and when his father dies he is sent away to bury his father's ashes in the city his father came from. From then on, this story becomes one of growth and discovery for Colm as he learns who is he outside of the small village he leaves and enters the larger world. What he is turns out to not be such a surprise, but the buildup to finding that out is slow enough that Colm fits in a lovely romantic relationship and is able to meet many of the people that will have an effect on his life.
My only complaint is that the ending is too easy. I won't give it away, but everything Colm has to struggle through comes to a close within a few pages. I would have liked to meet some of the people in Colm's new life and really see him settling in, like Z wrote when he went to live with his Aunt to bury his father. There wasn't as much depth there as the rest of the book, which made it feel just a touch flat.
This book also reads like there will be a sequel or an entire series, which I am very excited about. Other characters were introduced in such a way that it felt like they had a larger role to play, but their stories didn't belong with Colm's. I am really hoping Z is able to write more in this world very soon!
This book was well written with an amazing amount of depth and feeling. I enjoyed every moment of it and really hope there will be a sequel soon. I highly recommend it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.