Reviewed: March 7th, 2021
Release Date: February 8th, 2020
Piracy and magic on the high seas, a potent mix. This is a YA fantasy about the talented born in their many guises. Multiple threads, pull together the story around a young girl called Shaylin who has grown up on the Trader One. A merchant ship she calls her home, her family, and she would do anything to protect them.
An enjoyable fantasy read with intertwining story lines that all meet in same place at the end. An interesting heroine in Shaylin, who is a swordfish. One who dives under a ship to saw off the sea devil suckers that attach themselves to moving hulls and drag them under. She can’t imagine ever leaving, but she can only be a swordfish until she is eighteen, and very few swordfish actually live that long.
Another thread is the search for the talent born. The King of Cralia knows war is coming, and his only defence is those who are talent born. He sends out his scouts to find those with talent to bring them back to the university to be trained to use their power. University teacher, Owen and his guard, Jack are surprisingly successful in their hunt, and discover some talented youngsters who will no doubt grow with the series.
The third thread explains the war in Barria and its looming threat.
Being talent born has its risks, one of which is the fact you age every time you use your magic. Some have found ways around the ageing process, ways which are unethical and deadly.
I must admit I enjoyed the Shaylin storyline the best, the other threads felt more like worldbuilding, setting the scene for the next book, bringing in the players for the next act and explaining why the world was about to go war. Some interesting characters, the most developed of which are on the Trader One. Though I am sure Faris will have his say in the next book!
I must say, I love the cover. A four masted frigate in rough seas, beautiful! A good YA fantasy read, promising more adventures in the next instalment Talented Taught, which was published 29th October 2020.
About the Author:
Born in Canterbury, Kent, PW Browning was raised in Scotland but decided to head south for warmer weather when he reached 18. Since then he has lived in Kent in the South East of England, enjoying warmer days but missing the hilly countryside Scotland has to offer.
Having been troubled with panic attacks and social anxiety, he was self-confined to his house for several years during which time he decided to give writing a try. Having been a fan all his life of Fantasy books, it seemed logical this would be the genre to write. Talented Found is the first published work, the first book in a trilogy. He hopes to revisit a series of books entitled Stepping Stones once the current series is finished.
You can find PW Browning on twitter: https://twitter.com/browning_pw
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If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my book which is available in eBook or paperback: Sentinals Awaken. My second novel Sentinals Rising is currently on pre-order and releases March 17th 2021. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.