Author: Chelsea Abdullah
Series: The Sandsea Trilogy
Books: The Stardust Thief, The Ashfire King (not released), Book 3 (unknown title/date)
Released: 2022-05-17
Publisher: Orbit

Pros: A very good book. Well-written with good prose, a good story, and fairly nice foreshadowing that softens the twist and makes you realize it didn’t come out of nowhere, the signs were all there.

Cons: Slow beginning. Chapters are comfortably short and flow well enough that you can power through it, but in the first 9 chapters the story seems to go nowhere, the single “action” scene doesn’t have much action, and the characters have no depth and are hard to like.

Overall: The story takes off in chapter 10 or so. The characters come to life, plot starts happening, foreshadowing starts dropping. Kind of feels like the author wrote a good book, only for some editor to force some not-entirely-necessary world-building to be tacked to the beginning.

Loses only one star for the slow beginning, I’d usually knock off 2 stars because of how hard it can be for me to get into books that are too slow. I’m giving the author the benefit of the doubt on this one, just because it seems to go from 0 to 100 so fast to me that it genuinely feels like those beginning chapters weren’t written at the same time. The book really is good, and since it’s a trilogy, perhaps those beginning chapters lay a foundation that books 2 and 3 will lean on. Looking forward to The Ashfire King.

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