Book Review: Tress of the Emerald Sea

By Brandon Sanderson 

4 Stars 

On a tiny island surrounded by a vast emerald-green sea, Tress spends her days collecting cups and listening to stories told by her friend Charlie. However, when Charlie leaves the island one day and is taken captive by the dangerous Sorceress of the Midnight Sea, Tress must leave behind the life she knew and cross the emerald ocean — composed of deadly spores instead of water — as a stowaway on a ship to save the man she loves. On the journey, Tress faces countless dangers and, in the process, discovers more about herself than she would have ever learned on the island. Having recently delved into Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series (and absolutely loving it), I had high expectations for the release of Tress of the Emerald Sea. This book did not disappoint. From its first page, I became immersed in a creative fantasy world where the oceans consisted of spores and a single drop of water could mean death. The female lead, Tress, was compelling and brave; I felt engaged in her journey to save Charlie and sail the dangerous seas of her lands. The various references to characters from Brandon Sanderson's other books also made for an enjoyable experience. However, I did not enjoy the style of writing in this book, which felt rather jarring compared to the author's style of writing in previous books. Because of this, it was difficult for me to get past the first half of the book. Afterwards, however, I eased into the writing and began to enjoy the plot, particularly where Tress began to grow as a character and demonstrate her particular strengths in the face of danger. Towards the end of the book, I became absolutely hooked into the story, and I kept rereading the chapters — I didn't want the book to end! Overall, I enjoyed this book (the wonderful illustrations were a bonus), and despite its distinct writing style, I fell in love with the characters and the setting. This book read like a cross between a fairy tale and a pirate adventure — the perfect summer read for fans of the author's mystical books or, really, anyone looking to enjoy a beautifully crafted fantasy novel.   

Reviewed by Amal 

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