Series: The Seafarer’s Kiss #2
Publisher : Interlude Press
Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy
Page Count: 256
Synopsis : After invaders destroyed her village, murdered her family, and took her prisoner, shield-maiden Ragna is hungry for revenge. A trained warrior, she is ready to fight for her home, but with only a mermaid and a crew of disloyal mercenaries to aid her, Ragna knows she needs new allies. Guided by the magical maps on her skin, battling storms and mutiny, Ragna sets sail across the Northern Sea.
She petitions the Jarl in Skjordal for aid, but despite Ragna’s rank and fighting ability, the Jarl sees only a young girl, too inexperienced to lead, unworthy of help. To prove herself to the Jarl and win her crew’s respect, Ragna undertakes a dangerous expedition. But when forced to decide between her own freedom and the fate of her crew, what will she sacrifice to save what’s left of her home? (From Goodreads)
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review*
TW: Blood, physical violence, physical assault, kidnapping murder of a child (pt1 ch4), discussion of torture (pt1 ch11), graphic description of battle injuries (pt2 ch1), graphic execution and a human eating monster (pt2 ch4)
I have been DYING for this book since I finished and adored The Seafarer’s Kiss. If you’ve read my review for that one you know that I loved Ragna’s character and was intrigued by her, ESPECIALLY after I learned that her story would be a captain hook retelling, especially after I was told that it would be a companion and not a direct sequel. And although I really really enjoyed it, to me, it didn’t live up to The Seafarer’s Kiss and didn’t quite meet my expectations.
When I first started reading The Navigator’s touch, it completely slipped my mind just how much I freaking love Julia’s writing style, it caught me by surprise AGAIN, even though I raved all about it in my review for The Seafarer’s Kiss (Goldfish memory, don’t mind me), everything I said in that review about the writing stands here as well. The author’s prose is absolutely exquisit, it’s so fairytale like that it gives the story the perfect vibe.
The book is written from Ragna’s POV, she’s the love interest in The Seafarer’s Kiss and a very intriguing one at that. The first book raises many questions about her and this one doesn’t fail to answer them. The Navigator’s Touch falls somewhere in between companion and sequel as it takes place right after the events of the first book but it also has flashbacks that give us Ragna’s full backstory, her family, how she came to leave her town, how she lost her hand, got her hook, her crew until she meets Ersel and everything that happens after. This one is also a lot richer with Norse mythology and the mythology hoe that I am was thriving.
The main issue I had with this book is how slow it was at first, and how long it took to get started. It wasn’t just slow, which I don’t mind usually (again, see my review for The Seafarer’s Kiss), it’s that it felt like the plot drags for the first half of the book. Besides the flashbacks that were great, it felt to me like the story took a little too long to get to the a point that could have been reached in fewer chapters. That being said, once the pace picked up, I forgot all about that. I read the first half in five days and the second in two, that’s how much I was hooked to the events by that point.
The Navigator’s touch only reinforced my love for Ragna. She’s not a good character, she’s extremely flawed, makes questionable decisions, is driven by revenge and a lot of her actions are based on fear, mistrust or lack of self-confidence but she’s also strong, resilient and hot headed and the character development she goes through as the story moves along as well as realisation she makes about herself and people around her were great to read.
Another thing that I wasn’t a big fan of and that is just a matter of personal preference is the relationship between Ersel and Ragna. I know this is from Ragna’s POV but I still expected to see a lot more of Ersel than we actually got and I also expected their relationship to progress one way or another but it… didn’t for 70% of the book, it was stagnant, Ersel herself barely got any characterisation and the romance was barely there if there at all. I just wanted MORE from it. But the way it was handled at the end was actually something I was able to get behind, how the girls followed their dreams and/or duties above all and not romantic love, Because those stories are very frequent but are rarely told. And I think they’re as important as HEA and HFN.
One last thing before I finish this review, I really liked the open ending. It gives way for so many possibilities and so many more stories can be told after the end of The Navigator’s touch, it makes me hope for more companion books haha, eventhough I know none are planned. A girl can dream.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read The Navigator’s Touch? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.