Welcome to Seasons of Humility's stop along The Seahorse Legacy blog tour! It's my absolute pleasure to feature the third book in the "Eyes of E'veria" series today (you can read my reviews of Books 1 and 2 HERE and HERE, respectively). Let's start with my thoughts on the book, shall we?
Here's a description of the book:
bound by a centuries-old oath
determined to prove her calling
As Keeper of the Seahorse Legacy, Cazien de Pollis is a King among pirates, divinely appointed to dispense justice on the seas. Bound by the sacred oath of a long-dead ancestor, he must fulfill a contract to wed the green-eyed Oracle’s Daughter named therein — or risk losing everything he and his people hold dear. But at nineteen, with the identity of his betrothed only recently revealed, Cazien resents the contract — and the urgency within him to see it satisfied.
Erielle de Gladiel returned from the quest for the Remedy, changed. Not only are her formerly-blue eyes now a brilliant shade of green, but she must don gloves to hide inky evidence that her prophetically-bestowed title, the Oracle’s Daughter, demands more from her than the task already completed. Erielle’s dearest-held dream is realized when she is knighted by her King, but unbeknownst to her, that very honor jeopardizes the prophesied purpose to which she and Cazien have been called.
Just as Cazien summons the courage to collect his bride, dark rumors and darker deeds crawl up the coasts, calling its guardians, the Seahorse Pirates, into action — and Cazien away from Erielle. But even though the Oracle’s Daughter knows nothing of the contract to which she has been consigned, Cazien’s enemies have somehow learned of his interest in Erielle. And if they reach her before his ancestor’s weighty oath is executed, the Seahorse Legacy will be forfeited . . . and darkness will be given reign.
Subtly paying homage to several classic tales including Peter Pan, Robin Hood, The Little Mermaid, Much Ado About Nothing, and even The Three Little Bears, THE SEAHORSE LEGACY begins an epic re-imagining of the classic Grimm fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which will conclude in Eyes of E’veria, Book 4: THE SUNKEN REALM.
Dark. Daring. Delightful! The Seahorse Legacy was everything I could have hoped for as a third installment in the "Eyes of E'veria" series and as the start of a new set within the series as a whole. Yes, I'm seriously desperate for the fourth installment (The Sunken Realm, releasing in 2015) - as there's a lot that still needs to be resolved. Yet, despite the setup (i.e.: background information) and the time the hero and heroine spend apart, I still found The Seahorse Legacy to be full of adventure and romance. While it doesn't necessarily stand alone, it's still satisfying enough on its own to warrant reading it now, even considering the wait for Book 4!
Erielle and Cazien are seriously an explosive pair. They each have their own dreams and duties - and a streak of independence as sharp as a dagger. Their story together is only just beginning, but the stories of their individual journeys of humility, obedience, and faith are quite powerful here. The scenes that brought me to tears were the ones where I could feel Erielle's embarrassment and devastation, so heartbreakingly authentic even as the pain is being used to bring her to the place where she needs to be.
Although there is quite a bit of time apart for these two, their chemistry sings when they're together. (Sometimes in a loud, rock-'n-roll sort of way, and sometimes in a boy-band love-song sort of way. *wink*) The anticipatory suspense between their "together" scenes made the Kindle pages fly for me. I wanted to see when they would meet up again, what would come of each new interaction, and when Cazien would finally come clean with Erielle!
We've got pirates (which means there are some rather violent scenes, just as a heads up); we've got danger and deception, a mystery, and a hero and heroine with a heart for others; and we've got a wild and intense ending that serves as a semi-pseudo HEA that's both touching and agonizing (keeping in mind the wait for The Sunken Realm). In other words, we've got another wonderful fantasy romance from Serena Chase!
*With thanks to the author for providing me with an e-ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
Discover The Seahorse Legacy...
Amber: The “Eyes of E’veria” series continues! Wonderful to have you here to chat with us about it, Serena. :) Tell us, what can readers expect in this new season of the series?
Serena: Thanks for having me, Amber! The Seahorse Legacy begins a brand new fairy tale retelling within the world created in the first two books. The biggest shift for readers of The Ryn (book 1) and The Remedy (book 2) will be, of course, new lead characters, since Rynnaia E’veri and Julien de Gladiel reached their “Happily Ever After” at the end of The Remedy. (I’m not considering that a spoiler, because given that this series is romantic fantasy, and the retelling of a fairy tale, an HEA is kind of a given—it’s the adventure getting there that is the story!)
The first 2-book set in the series was told through Rynnaia’s point of view, but this latest installment features dual protagonist point of views, both of whom we met as minor characters in the first two books: reader-favorite Cazien de Pollis, a pirate, and Erielle de Gladiel, Julien’s sixteen year old sister. Both Cazien and Erielle can be quite charming when they want to be, but no one would accuse them of being “sweet.” Their particular brands of “charm” define and differentiate their dialogue, internal monologues, goals, and even the way they flirt and fight from that of their predecessors, Rynnaia and Julien. This is a faster-paced, much more violent story with a subtle, overall edginess that was not present in the first two books; an edginess one would tend to expect from a pirate hero like Cazien and a heroine such as Erielle, who defies convention.
Amber: I love your descriptions of the differences between the first hero/heroine and this new pair. So true! And yes, this story definitely came across as more violent/edgy - but a heart-pounding, emotion-tugging way.
Now, how does The Seahorse Legacy signal a new season for Erielle?
Serena: Having her point of view front and center is fun. She’s pretty outspoken and all about the girl power. Her confident voice is very different from Rynnaia’s, and yet her youth is still apparent. At the end of The Remedy, Erielle had achieved her dearest-held dream, but in The Seahorse Legacy she discovers that getting what you want comes with its own set of challenges and disappointments. She has recently discovered a troubling connection to her ancestor, Lady Anya, (aka The Oracle Scribe) that goes beyond blood and into the realms of the supernatural, so she has a lot to figure out. She is privileged and stubborn, young and driven. Unfortunately, she also has a few entitlement issues and believes herself to be totally self-reliant. Erielle has not yet come to a place of brokenness from which she can grow, but it seems to be stalking her with great—and perhaps quite literal—intent.
Amber: Ah, yes. Erielle goes through quite a lot in this book...
But let's talk pirates! Do you have a favorite—fictional, historical, or otherwise?
Serena: Other than Cazien? *laughs* I love my Cazien best! But if I had to pick a favorite fictional pirate not of my own creation, it would be a tie between The Dread Pirate Roberts (from The Princess Bride) and Captain Jack Sparrow (from Pirates of the Caribbean). I also adore Captain Shakespeare, as portrayed by Robert DeNiro in Stardust and Captain Killian “Hook” Jones is pretty much the only reason I’m still watching ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Pretty much any time a pirate becomes a hero, I’m in love.
On the girl-power end of the spectrum, the true story of 16th century Irish pirate and chieftain Gráinne Ní Mháille (aka Grace O’Malley), as well as the fictionalized version of her life, as told in the short-lived Broadway musical The Pirate Queen, are both very entertaining and inspiring.
Amber: Great list! And yes, Cazien counts. ;)
Speaking of favorites, it must be asked... What is your favorite fairy tale, and what makes it stand out to you?
Serena: If you asked my mom, she would likely list three stories—my most-requested read-to-me stories in childhood. The first is Snow White & Rose Red (not to be confused with Snow White), which served as the base tale for the first two books in the Eyes of E’veria series. Next would be The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which is the tale I am reimaging beginning with The Seahorse Legacy (although the most recognizable details from that fairy tale will appear in its sequel, The Sunken Realm, coming in 2015). But as my mom would tell you, and I would have to agree, as a little girl, Cinderella was the standout—and I have a fairly large collection of Cinderella books to prove it! Some are novel-length retellings, some are storybooks or Goldenbooks, a few are graced with beautiful illustrations, one is an antique family heirloom, one is a gender-bender (The Irish Cinder Lad), and several are comic and beyond cheesy (ever heard of Dinorella? Cinderella Penguin? Rufferella? I got ’em.)
Amber: LOL! Love it. What’s next on the publishing horizon for you? Will Cazien and Erielle make a return?
Serena: Indeed they shall return! Caz & Erielle have much left to do and it will take a second book in this set to accomplish it! The Sunken Realm (Eyes of E’veria, book 4) is currently under construction and will release in 2015. After that, I am taking a break from fairy tales and all-things-E’veria to finish the first draft of a paranormal novel that has a chick-lit/rom com vibe, and to put the finishing touches on a contemporary YA inspy romance that is almost ready to send out the door. I love E’veria and fantasy and expect to come back to it someday, but I am looking forward to letting my snarky, sarcastic side off the chain in that paranormal!
Amber: As I've said on Twitter, I am desperate for The Sunken Realm! And I'm so excited about your paranormal novel...can't wait to hear more about that! Thank you for sharing with us today, Serena. :)
Thanks to Serena's generosity, we have two giveaways today!
This first giveaway is specifically for Seasons of Humility readers, so enter away, dear friends!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And this second giveaway is a tour-wide drawing for paperbacks of the series!
a Rafflecopter giveaway