The Isles of the Gods by Amie Kaufman
has four protagonists, but only two are included in the book jacket synopsis and
for good reason. The first one is Sally, who intends to leave the ship she is
being trained on to go find her father’s fleet. Her attempts to flee her
current situation are stopped when a prince,
a powerful magician, hires the ship Sally’s training on to escort him to the
Isle of the Gods so that he can make a sacrifice to their country’s god.
While he is doing that a pleasure cruise
of his rich friends is on a route to another country under public banner of
being a diplomatic mission to prevent a war between the prince’s country and a
nearby country. While they are supposed to be doing diplomatic stuff they treat
it all like a party boat. Of course, things do not go as planned. The short
voyage that they were supposed to embark quickly becomes a fight to survive
If you are familiar with the books of Amie
Kaufman, you know what you are getting. As expected here one has, excellent
world building, complicated characters, and the usual slow burn romance where one
character has major misconceptions of another and hates them on sight. Likeable
characters who would be main characters in other works die horribly here. The
good guys suffer a lot and there is surprising amount of dark content for a
young adult series. The villains are
interesting and have their own reasons for doing what they are doing.
The Isles of the Gods is a high seas
fantasy novel. So, of course, ships, crews, and the weather, etc., play a huge
role. There is strong LGBTQ representation if you care about that, but it is
not overwhelming. The sexuality of a character is part of their character, but
it is not their whole character. The sequel will come out next year and based
on the ending here, that should be a better book than this good one as that
ending sets up something incredibly interesting. At this time, the title of the
sequel has not been announced.
My reading copy came from the Lakewood
Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.
Scott A. Tipple ©2023