Title: Kingdom of Sea and Stone (Crown of Coral and Pearl #2)
Author: Mara Rutherford
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Inkyard Press
No. of Pages: Hardcover, 368 pgs.
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Date Read: October 8, 2020
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Ever since Nor was forced to go to a nearby kingdom in her sister’s place, she’s wanted nothing more than to return to the place and people she loves. But when her wish comes true, she soon finds herself cast out from both worlds, with a war on the horizon.
As an old enemy resurface more powerful than ever, Nor will have to keep the kingdom from falling apart with the help of Prince Talin and Nor’s twin, Zadie. There are forces within the world more mysterious than any of them ever guessed — and they’ll need to stay alive long enough to conquer them…
Thanks so much to Inkyard Press for having me on this blog tour and sending me an e-galley to review!
Last year, I absolutely LOVED Crown of Coral and Pearl and when I heard that a second book was coming, I couldn’t wait to read it!!
Kingdom of Sea and Stone picks up right where Crown of Coral and Pearl leaves off. Nor heads back to Varenia to wait for the announcement of Ceren’s death with her family, trying to stay out of the way so that people won’t know she’s home. When Talin shows up to give her the news that Ceren isn’t dead, Nor is stunned. But when Ceren shows up in Varenia, Nor ends up on the run. Leaving her family and people behind, she races for safety with Talin, Zadie, Osius, and Grig to find Sami and to help Talin get troops to help his mother’s army to defeat Ceren.
As they land and head North to Galeth, Ceren isn’t far behind. What follows is a continuation of Nor’s story in doing what is best for her people and those she loves while continuing to choose what’s right.
One of the things I loved the most about this whole story is Nor’s sense of rightness. She continues to choose to do what she thinks is best for everyone else. She recognizes that there are others who can’t stand for themselves and chooses to make hard choices and decisions that not everyone is happy with, but if they work, in the long run, it will be good for everyone. Most of the choices she makes throws herself in the line of fire. She sacrifices herself and what she wants to guarantee the safety of all others.
I’m continually intrigued by the magic system that is in place in this book. Crown of Coral and Pearl alluded to it, but it became so much more concrete in Kingdom of Sea and Stone. I loved the inclusion of Adriel’s charcter who helped Nor a ton in figuring out the blood and truly became a friend to Nor. The bone forest that Adriel shows Nor and then further knowledge of the bloodstones of Ceren’s and their power, really brought a whole other level that I wasn’t expecting but really, really enjoyed.
I also really loved the strong female characters presented in the story. Nor, Zadie, Yara, Talia, Ebb, and Adriel are characters that are strong and fearless in their own way. Each showcase a separate strength, but I think it highlights that there isn’t one way to be a strong female. These characters are absolutely characters that I would show to my students as examples of women who are courageous, leaders, strong, worthy of love, are loved, and selfless.
Mara Rutherford has once again written a book that I loved and made the characters and story come alive. I can’t wait to read more from her!
Make sure to check out Kingdom of Sea and Stone! The book released October 6, 2020.
Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world with her marine-turned-diplomat husband. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a master’s degree in cultural studies from the University of London. When she’s not writing or chasing after her two sons, she can usually be found pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone, whether at a traditional Russian bane or an Incan archaeological site. Mara is a former Pitch Wars mentee and three-time mentor.