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Book Review: Across the Darkling Sea by K Ferrin

***This book was reviewed via XPresso Book Tours

Ferrin’s Across the Darkling Sea is the first part of the Magicfall serial. Now, the author mentions it, but I’ll reiterate here: this is a serial, not a series. It is one novel in several parts. Think The Green Mile or Evalyce: Worldshaper.

In the country of Brielle, magic is forbidden. The people do not have it, unlike the rest of the world, and so the people fear it. Most of them anyway. Not so Evelyn, daughter of The Chancellor. Every chance she gets, she smuggles small magic into the port city of Meuse. Her latest acquisition is a magic seed, which she planted in secret. It didn’t stay secret though. Before she knows it, Evelyn’s family and friends have turned on her, for not only does she dabble in magic, but it is a part of who she is. In a land that fears magic, the being made of magic pure is pariah. To learn the truth of her past, and very existence, Evelyn sets off to find an island where magic thrives, whose inhabitants are bound to have answers.

Evelyn’s story reminds me of the movie Memento and a bit of Groundhog Day, at least in part. She needs to write down things so she remembers them. Once she flees and discovers her true self, Evelyn chooses a new name for herself. I really liked that. Every major life change in my own life has been marked by a new name. Names are important. I am not the same person after a major uheaval, and neither is Evelyn. It’s fitting to find a name that resonates with the new you, and held shed the old life.

I loved the world-building! The places are just…well…magical. It is a wonderful thing to be able to fully immerse yourself in a new world, envisioning it in the mind’s eye. There’s quite a bit going on in this story, and not everything is fully explained yet, but it’s a serial, not a full story, so I imagine that will come later along. I only had a few qualms. One was that at times things seemed more telling and less showing. Another was the pacing. Serial nature aside, things felt rushed at times. I want to get to know the characters better.

The second in the series, A Dying Land, is already out!

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