Sea of Strangers – Erica Cameron – The Ryogan Chronicles #2 – Entangled: Teen – Published 5 December 2017
The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal.
Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.
Packed with action, a dangerous quest, romance, and the multi-layered details of a complicated and unique fantasy world, Sea of Strangers is an epic addition to The Ryogan Chronicles.
Sea of Strangers picks up right where Island of Exiles left off, thrusting the reader back into the middle of the action as Khya, Tessen and their crew escape Shiara for the promised freedom of Ryogan. Their journey must serve two purposes: warning the inhabitants of Ryogan of the coming danger, and finding the secret of how to destroy Varan and his seemingly unbeatable power. But their quest for answers, their goal to soon return home for their loved ones, is fraught with danger, and much will have to be sacrificed if they are to succeed.
Starting Sea of Strangers, it was easy enough to fall back into the rhythm of the plot, but it took me a bit longer to get my head around all the different names, places, languages, and levels of magical powers again. It has been just under a year since I read book one in the series, Island of Exiles, but the story has remained clear in my mind. Not so the languages and names. There are four distinct languages in this series and there are original and unique names for all characters, places, magical abilities, and even simple things like terms of endearment. Full credit to Erica Cameron for creating such a richly detailed and unique world. I have no idea how she keeps it all straight in her head! It wasn’t until I had finished reading the book that I found the thorough glossary of terms and places neatly located at the conclusion of the story. This would have been helpful to use while reading, but surprisingly, while I might not have understood all the terms, or might have got place names a little muddled, I was still able to enjoy this enticing fantasy novel.
Sea of Strangers is just as full of intrigue as the first book in this epic fantasy series. There is no shortage of adventure as the characters undertake their quest, travelling from new place to new place, seeking clues and answers to their problems. It is a long and complicated journey, which made the book feel long and complicated.
Sea of Strangers continues with the diverse cast of characters to whom we were first introduced in book one, from those from a third gender to every type of LGBT orientation. This is much more part of the story than in book one, and sexuality, gender, and open, fluid, and multi-partner sexual relationships are also frequently discussed.
Sea of Strangers is a strong second book in this Ryogan fantasy series. I would highly recommend reading book one before tackling book two. Sea of Stranger perfectly sets up the third book for a massive final battle, which is sure to be an amazing read.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Magic, powers, romance, quests, exile, LGBT+.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Fantasy violence, death and injury. Sex scenes with vague details, references to sexual relationships including multi-partner relationships.
Published: 5 December 2017 by Entangled: Teen.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 340 pages.