Title : The Marauders’ Island
Author : Tristan J. Tarwater
Publication date : July 1st 2016
Publisher : Back That Elf Up
Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy
Synopsis : Azria is a mage of Miz, born with magic in her blood. When her mother, alleged pirate Apzana, offers to take her away on the HEN & CHICK, Azria jumps at the chance for adventure. But their first family outing proves to be more than Azria bargained for. Joined by a ragtag crew from all over the Floating Chain, Azria must do the impossible: raise The Marauders’ Island, an island sunk generations ago, from the bottom of the sea.
But the mage who sunk the island, Iyzani, wants the island and all the secrets it contains to remain under the waves. Can Azria figure out the mystery of her country’s past and be the mage her mother needs?
It’s high seas adventure full of magic, secrets and feelings!
“What we’re supposed to do isn’t always easily done”
*I was provided an e-Arc of this book by the publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
You know guys, how I said I wanted to read more diverse, well the more time passes the more that want becomes a need and I just keep on adding more books to my TBR that I just want to read all at once, and The Marauders’ Island was one of them. A few weeks back, as I was perusing Netgalley, I heard it calling out my name. So what do I do? I jump at the occasion, request it AND get it! YAY! Add to that the fact that it has pirates, treasures and magic, I couldn’t resist and I was right not too, I really loved this book.
For starters, the writing is gorgeous, I don’t know how to describe it other than I felt the magic seeping through it, really! It had this mystical resounding to it that I just couldn’t help but love. One thing though that was really disconcerting to me, is that it read like a Middle-grade. I don’t know if it is just me or other people have noticed, but that really is how I felt about it and I really got confused at time because I kept forgetting that it is a YA and I had to constantly stop and think about it for a second and THEN remind myself. Get your shit together, BRAIN!
I think this is the first story about pirates -that I can think of- I ever read. One thing that comes to mind when I think about that is: Why haven’t I? Pirates are totally awesome (In this book at least), add to that magic, a treasure hunt and a very diverse set of characters and I wonder where this book has been all my life. Let’s dive into more details, shall we?
I started off really confused by this book, a bunch of words and places etc… were introduced at the same time, without any explanation whatsoever that it felt like I started a book/series from its middle and it really annoyed me for the first chunk of the book, but then as I kept on reading all of these things started clearing themselves as the plot unfolded especially the Triumvirate that had me going mad, until it was explained and I realized why it couldn’t have been done earlier. Speaking about that, some connections between plot points and characters were made that I didn’t see coming which was really pleasant because who doesn’t love to be surprised by books? I wouldn’t call them plot twists but they come very close to that.
The magic system was really unique, in a sense where the author made it a personal thing, every mage perceives magic in a different way and that was really cool to read, for example Azria (the main character) sees magic in colors and each person has her own distinct color, her mentor Hiezh hears different sounds instead, though some other elements of this magic system are still fuzzy to me, overall it is nicely done.
Let’s visit the characters now. First of all, those names gave me a headache, don’t get me wrong I liked them, they’re unique and all, but THE PRONUNCIATION? I struggled with that greatly. How do you say Hiezh? huh? Now that that’s out of the way I want to congratulate the author for including such a wide cast of characters. Well, the main character is Black and queer I believe (I don’t know if she’s gay or bi), it wasn’t said explicitly but it was hinted to, other gay men, a trans woman and a disabled teenager. I just loved them so much even though the side characters were there just as that, fulfilling their most basic roles, supporting the main characters. Aside from one, that I sense an upcoming romance with because of all the profuse blushing she and the main character did around each other. By the way? What’s up with that? I didn’t know a person could blush as much, I didn’t mind it though, it made for some pretty funny scenes.
Azria is such a brave character and very likeable as well, she can be socially awkward at times which made her even the more realistic as a teenager (as realistic as a mage in a mystical land can be, that is). What I really cherished here was the strong Mother-Daughter at the hard of the book, it is so heartwarming, I could feel the love they had for each other, and it had every last bit of a normal relationship, the girl respecting her mom, the mom getting on her nerves, fighting, making up, etc… What made it even more special is that instead of doing things behind her mom’s back -like in the typical YA- she actually went on adventures WITH her and that was amazing to read! I also love how Apsana (the mother) was this kickass pirate with a mysterious vibe surrounding her, but she softened around her daughter who was able to break her shell.
This is a definite case of would recommend. It is a short, quick read but it packs a lot of action, magic and funny moments too.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read The Marauders’ Island? If so, what did you think of it?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.
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