This is a companion book to the young adult fantasy mystery and romance Isle of Blood and Stone.
As I mentioned in my review of the first book, the author wrote that her stories come from a love of the Indiana Jones movies as well as a lifelong fascination with old maps. Both of these passions are evident in her work.
We met most of the characters in this book in the previous one, but eight years have passed. The focus is now on Reyna, who is 17 and an aspiring mapmaker who must come up with a masterwork for the School of Navigation. She is on a ship sailing home to St. John del Mar when the ship is attacked. Something was very strange about the attackers and their methods however. In any event, Reyna managed to escape, and made it to Selene, the capital city of the neighboring kingdom of Lunes.
Swimming up to the dock in Selene, Reyna encountered Prince Levi, mourning his father – the king – who had just died. They are drawn to one another, but Reyna felt she had to leave on the first del Marian ship she saw to go home and if possible get help for the captured crew of her ship. Back in del Mar, it was decided that Lord Elias, now 27, would go to Luna for the coronation of the new queen, Levi’s older sister Vashti.
Before long, Levi showed up in St. John del Mar to report that Elias’s ship and the whole crew had also been taken under mysterious circumstances, and Levi’s brother Asher – traveling home on a different ship – was missing as well.
Levi and Reyna set out together to find their friends and family who had vanished. What they discovered was stranger and more dangerous than they could have imagined.
Evaluation: I love the characters in this series as well as the world-building – imaginative but not too complicated. Although part of a duology, either book can be read as a standalone, but if you read one, you will want to read more! My only complaint is that there were several loose ends left dangling at the end of this second book. I hope this means the author will consider another companion book to continue the story.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019