Title: Nomads of the Sea
Author: Jacob A Zucker
Tags: Anti-Hero Lead, Female Lead, Grimdark, High Fantasy, Magic, Male Lead, Multiple Lead Characters, War and Military
Audience: – (contains Gore, Profanity, Sexual Content)
Main Lead: Male, Female
AVB Assessment Score: PDE 2 CDD 2 SWB 3 || TQ 3 SV 3 || Overall: 13 (score explanation)
Number of Chapters: 41
Chapter Length: Medium
Reading Level: High
Date of First Release: February 2, 2021
Date of Last Update: May 2, 2021
AVB Reviewed? No
Available on Platform(s): Royal Road
Number of Views: 4,720
Number of Reviews: 13
In the Nisi Archipelago, a civil war is festering. Separatist insurgents burn and pillage villages across the islands in an effort to return the Mangaal people to the seas, and to free themselves of their Lyssan overlords.
Sig of the Midandaal, the son of a diplomat, must combat the growing threat. As he stamps down the rebellion, he quickly finds his talent for bloodshed surpassing his talent for peace.
Idalia Goss is attached to the Lyssan company that has been sent to aid the loyalists. The daughter of a renowned physician and arcane scholar, her task is to learn more about the Mangaal mages, who far outstrip the mainland sorcerers.
Back on Lyssa, Bryn Urien the Singed, the Inferno of Mochan Pass, has lost his spark. Once the foremost aethermancer in the royal army, he now finds himself enfeebled and on the run.
Nomads of the Sea is a fantasy epic that spans continents and interweaves countless narratives in a seamless journey that will leave you wanting more.
Ladylibrary: Zucker does a fantastic job toeing, but never crossing, the line of giving readers more rich worldbuilding than they can handle. The world is rich and complex but well thought out and introduced, avoiding the downfall of many fantasy stories.
The Nomads of the Sea is a tale of two very different cultures interacting and Zucker introduces these cultures to both each other and the readers in a refreshingly natural way. Personally, I am a big fan of character driven stories which is what I would classify this book as from what I’ve read so far (5 chapters plus prologue). The only reason I do not give 5/5 stars for story is that the overarching plot has not yet been clearly revealed.
Grammar is good and does not detract from readability at all. There are a few nit-picky mistakes but nothing to interupt the story.
The character’s personalities and cultures are what really shine. Madame Genevieve Gross from the prologue had me sucked into this story with her skillfully woven personality. Both Sig and Idalia are well-written as well with hopes and dreams that make them real. I look forward to seeing their meeting and what Zucker has in store.
azau: Nomads of the Sea Spolier-Free Review Bases on ARC
I thoroughly enjoyed Nomads as a new fantasty-take on the rarely explored indo-pacific region. The book takes a unique magic system and weaves it seamlessly into the lives of the characters. Without giving away anything, all I can say is that the book continued to draw me deeper the further I read, and I ended up finishing it in one sitting!
Grammar: No grammar or continuity issues that took away from the reader experience. Dialogue flows easily between the characters and helps build a deeper understanding of their internal motivations.
Characters: Rarely have a I read a story with multiple POVs where I was excited to get back to each of their storylines. Each POV is balanced throughout the story to give the reader a complex understanding of the world the author is building.
Story Style: More fantasy than lit-fic (no blue boxes here), but a compelling tale that leaves you excited for the remainder of the series.
Overall, I would highly recommend giving this story a read. The book takes worldbuilding queues from Sanderson and character development from Abercrombie, and while not on that level is a solid first take from a new author. Plus the book is complete so you’re guaranteed a satisfying ending.
MShadowlawn: Disclaimers: This was originally written as part of a review swap, but that doesn’t affect my actual ratings. Also, my Overall is for my subjective experience as a reader, with category-specifics reflecting a more objective analysis.
BLUF: A highly imaginative fantasy with creative and distinct worldbuilding and solid characters, that isn’t afraid to take its damn time to focus on the actual worldbuilding. If you’re Just Here For Godzilla, this might not suit your tastes(unless you view the worldbuilding as the real Godzilla, like my title says).
Grammar: I think I caught a few artifacts here and there, but nothing that actually affected readability in a meaningful manner.
Story: A bit on the slow side. I was definitely digging chapter 3, but it started to stack up some drag later-even if the lore’s actually really cool. If my best impressions of the writing are true, though, there will be blood soon, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if he found a way to glean an extra chapter or two of more worldbuilding before we get to see something happen. There’s a lot of cool immersion aspects to the worldbuilding such as widely different cultures, magic science, and culture-specific powers and tech. It’s very clear he took his time on that front.
Character: Very good characters being written here, I like how they’re distinct from each other, and even side characters feel like they have serious personality in one capacity or another. I can also dig his choices in what kinds of character’s he’s chosen to place in, as there’s a lot of variety to go into there-we’ve got a magic scientist, two lieutenants who have a thing for each other, and Sig himself, who’s also pretty cool, among a cast of other characters I could easily grow to really like.
Style: A little wordy at times, and not unwilling to take its time, but it rarely feels like that time is actually being outright wasted, like I’ve experienced before in other works that seem to take this more traditionally-oriented feel in their writing. There’s a little bit of fat that could be trimmed, but the writer’s at least smart enough to eliminate the most obvious sources of said fat from the start, and to that I say good on him.
This is a compelling story detailing a detailed and very well developed world. Many of the cultures and nations find themselves at odds, and the use of multiple perspective characters and a conflict combine to showcase the similarities and differences between these people as they learn to work together.
For me, this was a challenging part of the story. Technically speaking, this story is very well written. I’m partial to more flowery novels and close perspectives, so I found parts of this story a little dry as a result of the writer’s style. However, I recognize that this is what many readers enjoy.
This is my favorite part. The story starts of with an impressively detailed prologue set in a realm of politics and intrigue. After that, the perspective shifts to an indiginous people with amazing magical powers and struggles of their own, far removed from the capitol. The author merges these two very divergent groups with skill, showcasing cultural differences and conflicts. These interactions do not feel forced or rushed, but are given proper care and attention, which is quite nice. The introduction of the third perspective character later on brings in a whole new layer of depth. This story is going places, and it’s shaping up to be quite a ride.
Almost flawless. Very minor complaints and those only because I’m a perfectionist. This author uses switches the use of single and double quotation marks, which is a little off-putting. Just a few other minor errors, nothing that effects readability.
The cast of characters in this story is quite large, and yet each has a specific flavor and traits. The interactions are almost too detailed at times, because each character is so well developed and nuanced. This is a good problem to have. As the different perspective characters are introduced to each other’s friends, the reader has a second introduction as well.
Publius Decius Mus: Edit for chapter 7:
The plot became more interesting again, soon it will be up to par with the strong beginning if the trend continues.
EDIT for the fifth chapter.
I was hoping that we will keep going with the in medias res start, but action has considerably slowed down, we have a slower-paced exposition now with a lot of world-building. It’s not bad, but in my case the later chapters could not recapture my interest as much as the prolouge.
It’s good, but I think the author is a little too fond of using non-English words when he lets us see through the eyes of Sig. You can find out the meaning of the words from the context, of course, but these chapters are already slow-paced enough, and using non-English words for these mostly see-related nouns makes the reading a little more slower.
I am not a native speaker myself, so I might not be the best judge of that, but I have not found any typos.
It’s a little early to tell, but I think the author will do well with them.
Overall I think the later chapters did not live up to the expectations created by the strong start, but the novel is by no means bad.
It’s an in medias res start, where we are thrown into a bloody coup, and we can see the events that lead up to this point through the eyes of a dying noble. I will watch the next chapters with great interest.
Akata: Overall, 4.5/5, I reccomend it 🙂
I do not like reading as much as I have used to because I do alot of it for school. It’s jaded me. It’s made me skim over entire paragraphs and simply zone out. However this story is the first in a long time that made me slow down and read something. It has made me remember why I like reading. I reccomend it to those that like high Fantasy, and those that are simply looking for something slightly different.
Style Score 4.5/5
The author clearly has his own voice, and it shows through his writing. My only qualm is that I wish he was more descriptive in some parts of the book, but I prefer descriptive writing myself. It is a small qualm, but the upside for giving generalizions in some parts of books is that it lets the reader imagine.
Grammar Score 5/5
Not much to say here. His writing is quite on point. I wish my grammar was as good as his. My brain is easily confused. Keep it up.
Story Score 5/5
The prolouge is interesting and sucks the reader right in. The story jumps out, no explanation needed and you can learn as you go. The setting affects the characters and their beliefs, which adds to the story quite alot. It shows that the author put effort into his world building.
Character Score 4.5/5
I would have given this a 5/5 if I didn’t find Sig boring. I am so sorry. In fact, I find all the characters much more interesting than him. I find the women characters much more vibrant than the male characters, which to be quite frank is the first time thats ever happened to me while reading a book. It’s a breath of fresh air. Good Job! 🙂
Story Post Last Updated: May 7, 2021