Nadaness In Motion is a book blog where honest book reviews meet author interviews, guest posts and personal writing ranging from poetry to short stories to the bi-weekly Takhayyal writing prompt challenge. ---
“You cannot kill a breeze, a wind, a fragrance; you cannot kill a dream or an ambition.” - Michel Onfray
All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the
Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the
stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable
technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean.
But she never dreamed those stories were true.
When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her
village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world
filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous
devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis,
the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants
in the same household beneath the sea.
Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even
going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she
realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…
Of Sea and
Stone by Kate Avery Ellison is the launch pad and first
instalment in the Secrets of Itlantis series. Told in the first person
from Aemi’s perspective, the novel opens in the Village of the Rocks. However,
it soon moves to the Cities of Itlantis, built beneath the water, after our heroine
is kidnapped along with others from her village.
Aemi is a ‘thrall’,
a fancy word for slave, so was her mother. However, Aemi has been collecting as
much money as she could in order to buy her freedom and go to a place her
mother told her tales about; a place called Perilous. Kidnapped, Aemi goes to
Itlantis, where she becomes an Indentured, a person serving a sentence in order
to pay debt. This is a means to hide both her identity and Nol’s, the only
person left with her from her village and a person she constantly dislikes.
Of Sea and
Stone is quick-paced, although the final five or six
chapters move at torpedo-speed.
character is an interesting one; she is quick, intelligent, capable of plotting
and overall likeable. However, she is often paranoid, which is both useful as
it makes her observant but often annoying. Once in Itlantis, she constantly
tries to find a means to escape and go back to the surface. However, as time
passes and she gets closer to the family she serves, she feels a pang whenever
she thinks of her escape plans and that she would never see Lyssia, her
mistress and friend, again.
something lingered in my chest, heavy like sadness. Leaving this house would
require its own kind of grieving, one that made little sense to me but that was
undeniable. A captive caring for her captors.”
We see Aemi’s
character develop from hard-headed to kind and loving, especially as she
becomes acquainted with new feelings and terms like ‘friends’. Since the novel
is narrated from her perspective, her emotions are very clear and beautifully
At one point
she says:“I was a pit of shadows, an ocean of unshed tears.”
Nol, too, is
an interesting character. The novel opens with him as the mayor’s second son,
who is smug, haughty and obnoxious. But as events progress and he is thrust in
Itlantis, he realises many things and captivity changes him. His character
gradually changes, showing signs of clear and quick thinking, a good
understanding of politics and a caring heart.
Of Sea and
Stone is rich with likeable characters. I also liked the
names given to the Itlantean cities, and how the name reflects the general
theme or focus of the city: Celestrus, Primus, Verdus, Arctus, Magmus and
choice and imagery throughout the novel is beautiful and nicely-fitted to the
sea and its imagery.
I had been
wondering about the connection of the title “Of Sea and Stone” and the novel
itself; I didn’t quite figure it out for myself but it came at the end and kept
chance and time, I would definitely look forward to see more of Aemi and her
adventures, particularly as the novel ends at a climactic point.
Of Sea and Stone is a clean young-adult novel, and I truly liked that and that there was not much - if any - romance in the novel.
Note: Special thanks to Xpress
Book Tours, from whom I received a free copy in return for an honest review and
as part of a Blog Tour for the book.
I’ve been making up stories since I was five years old, and now I’m
thrilled to be able to do it as a full-time job. I have an obsession with dark
fantasy, dystopian futures, and Pride and Prejudice-style love stories full of
witty banter and sizzling, unspoken feelings. When I’m not writing, I’m
creating digital art, reading funny blogs, or watching my favorite shows (which
include TVD and BSG). I live with my geeky husband and our two bad cats in