Saturday, September 30, 2023

Scott's Take: The Isles of the Gods by Amie Kaufman

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 instead.

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

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