Title: Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong
Release Date: April 8th 2014
Published by: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher (Thanks Megan)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Twin sisters Moria and Ashyn were marked at birth to become the Keeper and the Seeker of Edgewood, beginning with their sixteenth birthday. Trained in fighting and in the secret rites of the spirits, they lead an annual trip into the Forest of the Dead. There, the veil between the living world and the beyond is thinnest, and the girls pay respect to the spirits who have passed.
But this year, their trip goes dreadfully wrong.
They were twins, born to calm the angry, vengeful spirits in Edgewood. Ashyn is the Seeker, while Moria is the Keeper. Together with their hounds Tova and Daigo, it's the first time they will perform the rituals to calm the spirits of the dead on their own. But suddenly everything goes wrong, and when their entire village was wiped out and their father killed, the twins knew they had to warn their King of what was happening. Suddenly separated and forced to go on journeys of their own, Ashyn and Moria will have to learn how to survive without each other and warn the Kingdom of the impending horrifying devastation that will happen.
Between the twins, I will say that I like Ashyn more. Ashyn had the calm, quiet and somewhat subdued attitude that makes you want to stop and take a good look at her for a minute or two before you see that she's just as worthy as her sister. Sure, she has insecurities to deal with, (a lot of them) with her constant comparison of herself to Moria, but I find myself liking her a lot more than Moria. On the other hand, I had a hard time connecting with Moria. While I give Kelley Armstrong a nod at making Ashyn and Moria two distinct characters, I find myself disagreeing with Moria's personality and opinions a lot. I have no problems with reading about fiercely strong, independent characters but Moria's feel too strong and forced to me. Twins will always be endearing to me, and though I tend to have a love-hate relationship with Moria, I loved that they shared a very deep connection with each other, and despite all of their differences, they loved each other very much.
I feel like I was in an adventure with the twins, and with Ashyn and Moria's personality difference, I enjoyed the whole reading experience separately through their eyes, and yet the story still progressed as a whole. I wanted my own Seeking hound! But what made me love this story really was the way Kelley Armstrong built the world Moria and Ashyn lives in. Rich, intriguing, mysterious and with the trials the twins had to encounter, I like how they're not stuck in one place, from their village, to the Waste and to the City, everything is always changing.
The pace of the story swept me off my feet! Very intense, fast-paced and action-packed, there is never a dull moment while I was reading. It is to be expected as Moria is a skilled fighter as well as Gavril, and Ashyn is holding out on her own with Ronan while on a journey filled with constant danger from peculiar creatures and unfamiliar terrain. As for the love interests, I love how they're in contrast (again) for each twin. Moria and Gavril's have this certain sweet anticipation, a lot simmering underneath the surface, since Moria is such a headstrong girl and Gavril is a quiet, mysterious boy and there's a lot of uncertainty between them, but the tension was undeniable and palpable. Who will give in first? As for Ashyn and Ronan, I was skeptical, Ronan liked Moria initially after all, but I like the slow build up and the possibility of something more between them, despite Ashyn's own thoughts and reservations.
Unpredictable, with a relentless pacing and interesting storyline with characters you will love (and sometimes hate) from page one, Sea of Shadows is quite a strong, magical start for Kelley Armstrong's new series. There's a lot of mystery, surprises and conflicts surfacing, and I like how everything shifts swiftly. Readers are in for a treat in this novel! I will definitely be on the look out for when the sequel comes out!
Content (plot, story flow, character):
My dislike of Moria at the start took quite a lot from my enjoyment of this novel, though she did become likable for me towards the end. Also, Kelley Armstrong held out on a lot of the mysteries and questions surrounding the story and gave us quite a surprise towards the end, which might frustrate some readers. Also, I am assuming that Moria and Ashyn are a bit older, it would've been much better if there were more romantic scenes. Given that Moria is a bit forward and liberal in her thoughts, I was expecting to read of more tickling scenes, but there were few at most.
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I am mesmerized by symbol. I love the design!
I am mesmerized by symbol. I love the design!