Call of the Bone Ships by RJ Barker (The Tide Child #2)

CallofFive Word TL:DR Review: I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Dear Hag what is going on?  This book has left me an emotional wreck.  I just don’t understand what is going on in the tiny spaces of my brain because I’m all over the place.  I want to cry and this just doesn’t happen, I’m a tough cookie, I taught hard nails a thing or two, I didn’t cry for Lassie.  I don’t cry.  But I so want to do so right now and it’s brilliant and unexpected and inexplicable.  Frankly, any book that gives me all the feelings is a winner.

I would mention at this point two things.  Firstly this is a second book in series and I do not think you can jump in at this point – and why would you anyway, the first is not only essential to understanding this world but is also damn fine so ‘how very dare you’ think of bypassing it.  Secondly, beware of spoilers – I don’t believe I’ve included any but who knows – you have been warned.

To be honest, and sorry for this, but this second instalment blows the first book totally out of the water (I know – but I couldn’t resist).  To be clear, I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, I really did, and I wondered if this would suffer maybe from second book syndrome, and, whilst there may be a slight set up for the final instalment going on here, this book is definitely not a suffering from any type of middle book sickness.  It works well, the characters grow, the author is bloody ruthless, there are skirmishes on land and on the high seas, it seems like the dragons have not perished or declined after all and there are prophecies afoot, oh my.

I am going to write nothing of the plot other than to say that Meas and her crew make a terrible discovery and are forced to throw everything they know into a heroic rescue type of mission that will leave many dead.  That is all I’m going for here so pick up the book and discover everything with fresh eyes for yourself.

This second instalment really takes us around the Hundred Isles.  The fights take place on land and on the sea.  There are huge kraken style monsters, so enormous that they cause Tsunami size waves and chaos in their wake.  There are islands where foul deeds take place and there be rescues.

In terms of the characters.  Well, Joren has come a long way by the time this book concludes.  I could say it’s exhausting watching his struggles, and it is to be honest, but it’s also satisfying.  Not everything goes according to plan, and Joren definitely goes through the wringer here but I loved all the gut wrenching emotion and the dramatic quests.  Meas, well, she is an enigma.  There’s something comforting about her presence whenever she appears on the page.  I was just like ‘please tell everyone what to do and save the day’, but of course, every now and again there are little cracks in the facade and she clearly fears her mother – so, Contrary Mary that I am – I cannot wait to meet her.

Why the emotion.  I can’t really pin it down to be honest.  I just fell for the characters.  There’s such a depth to them all and Joron experiences one of the most incredible story arcs.  There’s this whole feeling of acceptance,.  He’s not perfect, he may have disliked people for all the wrong reasons, but this books shows him prepared to learn, to find out about differences and to overcome things he never thought he would have to.  This is an author that can write all these little light bulb moments into a book but they’re so subtle that you feel like you’re turning on the switch yourself.  On top of this I feel like this is an author who has grown in style and confidence.

In terms of criticisms.  Stop killing people I like.  Please.  I will send cake.  Okay, not really a criticism but seriously I have nothing.  I would mention that this is not a quick read.  You need to sit down and pay it the respect it deserves but that’s not really asking too much is it?  Although, I would just mention, cliffhanger – but, oh what a cliffhanger.  Give me the next book soon for the love of the Hag.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 5 of 5 stars.

Can’t Wait Wednesday : Call of the Bone Ships by R.J. Barker

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Call of the Bone Ships by RJ Barker.  I loved The Bone Ships and can’t wait to tuck into this one.  Check out the description and the fabulous cover:

CallofA brilliantly imagined saga of honour, glory and warfare, Call of the Bone Ships is the captivating epic fantasy sequel to RJ Barker’s The Bone Ships.

Dragons have returned to the Hundred Isles. But their return heralds only war and destruction. When a horde of dying slaves are discovered in the bowels of a ship, Shipwife Meas and the crew of the Tide Child find themselves drawn into a vicious plot that will leave them questioning their loyalties and fighting for their lives.

Expected publication : November 2020