Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

10:00 AM

Title: Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 416
Source: Copy provided by publisher

Overall: 5 Stars

They hear the spirits.
They must obey.

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.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong comes a captivating new series that blends elements of fantasy and horror with the pulse-pounding action and romance that have earned her a devoted readership worldwide.

My Thoughts: 
I can't believe I've had Kelley Armstrong's Sea of Shadows sitting on my TBR bookshelf for almost a year and didn't read it. After feeling some disappointment with the Darkness Rising trilogy, I think I was a little hesitant to read her new Age of Legends series, which is why I never rushed into reading it. I randomly began reading Sea of Shadows on a whim, and was instantly enthralled by the dark, fantastical world Kelley Armstrong had envisioned. Inspired by Japanese mythology, Sea of Shadows combines horror, adventure, and a hint of romance in my favourite kind of way.

As the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn have trained all their lives in the sacred rites to pacify and communicate with spirits. Every year, they lead a ceremony into the Forest of the Dead, a haunted forest where vengeful spirits reside and their kingdom's worst criminals are exiled to their deaths. But this year, something has gone terribly wrong. Ancient, legendary creatures that have almost faded from memory have suddenly been awakened and now threaten their entire kingdom.

Separated for the first time, Moria and Ashyn must journey across a barren wasteland with unlikely companions to reunite once again and warn their emperor of this unprecedented threat. Impulsive, fearless Moria finds herself traveling with Gavril Kitsune, a stoic imperial guard who's shadowed by his father's legacy. Ashyn, more nurturing and quiet in personality than her sister, travels with a mysterious thief named Ronan, unsure of his motivations and if she can implicitly trust him. Danger awaits the twins at every turn, for mercenaries and bandits would dearly love to capture the valuable Keeper and Seeker.

Vivid details completely bring the terrifying and grotesque creatures to life. There's a very cinematic feel to Sea of Shadows that I've never quite experienced while reading Kelley Armstrong's YA novels in the past. And this novel is such an adrenaline rush! Each of the chapters end on a very climatic note, so there was no way I could set the book down until I could learn what would happen next. The stakes are high, and Moria and Ashyn can't afford to break down in grief, not when their people desperately need them.

After absolutely falling in love with Kelley Armstrong's Sea of Shadows, I will not be making the same mistake of waiting to read Empire of Night, the second book in the trilogy! Sea of Shadows is a thrilling and pulse-pounding introduction to the Age of Legends series, and if you haven't read the novel yet, then I highly recommend you quickly remedy this, especially if you're a fan of the YA high fantasy genre!

Thanks so much to Random House Canada for providing this review copy!

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