Title: Air and Ash
Series: Tides Book: 1
Author: Alex Lidell
Page Count: 236
This is a spoiler free review
Master and Commander meets Tamora Pierce in a seafaring adventure of duty, love, magic, and a princess’s quest to protect her kingdom on her own terms.
After a lifetime of training, seventeen-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission—and fails.
Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battleworthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.
But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.
AIR AND ASH is the thrilling first installment of the TIDES series. Recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Tamora Pierce, and Naomi Novik.
(I’d like to thank the author for sending me an E-ARC of this book)
What can I say about this book? I’d already read First Command, the prequel novella, which I loved. I really bonded with Nile in the novella and was happy to read about her again. She’s such a good character, but naive. Something I appreciate in books, is when the main character can hold her own, but is still able to grow. If characters are too naive, they are irritating, if they are too ‘held-together’ they don’t show signs of growth.
I felt like Nile was really well done in this department. When I saw how much she’d actually began thinking I was very happy. The moment she opened to the other characters, and they to her, I began to appreciate them too. We don’t get to know a lot about them but they still seem very real to me.
I was in the beginning confused about the world. I got the gist, but couldn’t make myself actual picture it. I was able to understand more when I got further in the book, but when I approached the end I still didn’t fully understand everything. From what I understood I did like most of it. The world was very interesting built, we didn’t get to see a lot of it, mostly just hearing this, though. I would’ve liked to see and meet the different people and parts of the world, but I’m sure that will happen in the next books.
As for the storyline, I felt like it was very character driven, which wasn’t exactly a bad thing. There were some shocking twists regarding the plotline, but because it was character driven there were a few loose moments. This book was (in my opinion) very focused on getting to know the characters and just introducing the world and start of the whole story. I was able to flow through the book with no problem. It was a very quick read and I finished it in one day, loving every second of it.
I’m really excited to see how Nile’s going to handle the end of the book though. There was a cliffhanger that I’m not too happy about. I really wanted more after I’d finished it. The end was very unexpected, and even though I saw I only had one more page left, I felt like the others were just, let’s say, disguised! I really felt like more was coming and was crushed when that wasn’t the case. I’m happy to say that I’ll be waiting to read the next book in this series!