Redick, Robert V.S. The Ruling Sea
Ballantine see Random 2009 616p 27.00
978-0-345-59885-0 hs/adult Fantasy E-BN
The saga, begun in The Red Wolf Conspiracy continues as the motley band of heroes and villains leave Simja and head for the unexplored Ruling Sea. Allegiances shift, new conspirators appear, and magic and mahem abound. Much like Catching Fire, this sequel admirably outshines the original, furthering the story and leaving the reader salivating for the continuation of the series. Like an onion, the characters become more layered. Allegiances shift, new comrades are found, and the palpable magic permeates the landscape. Redick is an amazing world builder, making the realm of Alfiros believable and exotic, with page-turning suspense, a wealth of nautical lore, and a shocking ending that will leave readers hanging and eagerly awaiting the third book.
This second volume in the Chathrand Voyage series stands completely on its own, with just enough back story to fill in any gaps, but readers who missed the first will want to pick it up to savor the initial installment. An amazing addition to both seafaring fiction and fantasy. It will be devoured by fans of both genres. One can only hope that the proposed remaining volumes, The River of Shadows and The Night of the Swarm are published soon (and are up to the standards of the first two).
Highly recommended fantasy series for older readers. While there is nothing that is unacceptable for middle school audiences, the scope and lyrical language of the book will appeal to high school readers and adults. Naismith(3), Pat