Cover Image: Dark Water Daughter

Dark Water Daughter

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Member Reviews

I received an ARC of Dark Water Daughter from Netgalley for free and am leaving this review voluntarily.

I went into Dark Water Daughter only knowing it was supposed to be a swashbuckling adventure full of pirates and magic. While I got some of that, I was looking forward to so much more.

The setting and worldbuilding were done beautifully. I felt like I was in the world the author had created. The magic system was well thought out and developed enough to feel like it was a natural part of the world. I'm honestly unsure what else to say about it because it was done so well. I had no issues with diving into this fascinating place, rife with lore and information that was given to me in a way that didn't pull me out of the story.

What did pull me out of the story, however, was the characters and plot. I felt no real connection with any of the characters. I didn't understand their motivations and honestly didn't care about what happened to them. It wasn't that they weren't engaging in their own ways, but I didn't feel that I really understood them. It also doesn't help that the plot is a little lacking. There just wasn't much going on at any point to truly keep my interest. Waiting and hoping for something to happen was what pulled me along for most of the story, and when something finally did happen, it was over so quickly that I ended up feeling disappointed that that was all I got after waiting so long.

Though the story kept me interested enough to keep reading, the cons outweighed the pros for me.

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Dark Water Daughter is a deep and complex read filled with supernatural twists and whispers of the past. I absolutely loved the high seas adventure and all the folklore vibes this book had to offer, as well as plenty of pirate life vibes. There's so much going on with the story it can be a lot to take in at points but it's a brutal and beautiful story about loss and perseverance.

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I really enjoyed this one! It was a great pirate fantasy that kept me wanting to read more, even though it felt a tad slow the first half of the book. I was still interested in the characters and where the story would go.

I loved the setting and world building of this seafaring world. The magic system was interesting, but I found it a little bit difficult to fully grasp. I felt like I finally had the hang of it towards the end.

There are the very beginnings of a romance blooming that I am hoping we get to see more of in book 2. It felt like a standalone book to me and wrapped up pretty nicely, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.

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An amazingly unique story. This one was exactly what I never knew I wanted, filled with witches, pirates, adventure, unique creatures, everything you could want in a fantasy! The character and world building was superb, the pacing was steady and engaging, and the plot sucked you in from the first chapter and never let go. Never a dull moment. Can't wait for the next one!

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I received an advanced copy from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

I would maybe give this 1.5 stars....but that's about it. This novel was a struggle to finish. It had the potential to be good with the synopsis and making my mind think Pirates of the Caribbean vibe. Then as I read, I realized how unoriginal this novel felt. It seems like rather than just being in the world of Pirates, it was more regurgitating storylines from all the different Pirates movies, and not well.

On top of that we add so many seemingly disjointed storylines like the author couldn't decide do we want to make this a weird love triangle? (Sometimes) Or is this a story about a daughter finding her mother? (Every once in a while) Or maybe it's really about finding herself?! (Ish....) But really, finding love....that was not her self love. I mean, come on. I finally pushed through to finish it and there was a literal sigh of relief when this painful novel was done. In case you couldn't figure it out, that is a HARD PASS on the sequel for me.

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Thank you to NetGalley and H.M. Long for letting me review this book.

There is adventure and action. Not to forget twists and turns!

The very beginning hooked me. I couldn't stop reading after the escape scene. And it only kept getting better.

More than anything I loved the worldbuilding. At first, the world felt small. But then it grew and grew and grew little by little.

I recommend this book to everyone who loves a good story including pirates.


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Described as a swashbuckling pirate adventure full of battles, stormsingers, magic and terrifying creatures- Dark Water Daughter has all the ingredients for a truly original and captivating story!

I’ve been a fan of Hannah’s books since her debut, Hall of Smoke, was published in 2021. The worlds she creates are highly developed, the characters are fully realised on the page, and each story has the perfect amount of action and brutal fights.

Dark Water Daughter focuses on Mary Firth, daughter of one of the most famous stormsingers and Samuel Rosser, a disgraced naval officer who now hunts pirates to redeem his name. They have an enemy in common, the infamous pirate lord Silvanus Lirr. Mary and Samuel must choose where their loyalties lie and navigate the Winter Sea to fight forces far older and more deadly than the pirates who wish to make them their slaves.

Hannah excels once again at giving her readers a strong female protagonist who is fierce and determined to find her mother and stop the pirate lord who made her his slave. The magic system created by Hannah is perfection- easy to understand, and the creatures she has brought to life are uniquely terrifying!

With just a sprinkling of romance but as always with a focus on a complex plot and plenty of action and suspense, I can’t wait to see what happens in book 2 of The Winter Sea Series!

Thanks to @titanbooks & @netgalley for the arc. Dark Water Daughter is out now- she’s now sitting proudly on my shelf along with the rest of Hannah’s books… just look at that cover! Perfect for fans of Adrienne Young and Naomi Novik.

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*Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for providing me this arc in exchange for an honest review*

Man, I don't know what's wrong with me. Every summer I want to read books about pirates, and oh boi did that succeed to suck me in. This was a great book with so many interesting creatures and beasts, and duh? pirates? you know? The magic system was EXCELLENT! I can't wait for book #2. Wait, there is book number #2, right?

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ARC provided by NetGalley.

This cured my craving for a Pirates of the Caribbean-ish novel. Great characters, a swashbuckling sea-faring crew, mysterious fantasy elements, and ships galore. The only character I had difficulty connecting with was Ana, for whatever reason.

Loved it but not obsessive about it (yet, the sequel could change things) so 4/5 for now.

PS: The slow burn is so slow that it’s not even a burn, more like a slow simmer except you forgot to turn the stove on. Hopefully it will at least be warm in book two 🙏

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I love HM Long's work. From her first novel, I adore how she paints amazing female characters: independent and gifted, but with very human emotions and challenges. So in this book, such a lady tackles magic and pirates!

I've seen so much chatter on social media about this book. Everyone seems to like it, and for good reason. A great protagonist, fantastic world-building, a clear and understandable magic system and an epic quest across land and sea. What's not to like?

Mary is a fine heroine, and I enjoyed travelling with her from the first. Small excerpts of her past help elaborate on her story and background, and her constant ups and downs as she travels in search of her mother kept me guessing on what would be around the next corner. The pirates she meets along the way are well-realized and fun, and the author is brave enough to not have all of them last the course.

Which leads me to the aspect of the book that I was less fond of: the romance. This is often the secondary plot in HM Long's books, and I really appreciate that. Adventures are more interesting to me than contrived romance shoe-horned into a book, and while this wasn't that bad, I still didn't care enough about Samuel as a character, let alone a romantic hero. He was - if you'll excuse the pun - pretty damned wet! I admit to being SO frustrated that she didn't see Charles as anything more than a friend, especially after the action-packed opening, as he was considerably more well-drawn and intriguing.

Aside from this, an excellent book. I'm looking forward to the next, mostly to see what happens with Mary and her adventures, as well as expansion into the world and its magical treasures.

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Thank you to NetGalley and to Titan Books for the digital ARC, it has not affected my honest review.

“Dark Water Daughter” follows Mary Firth, the daughter of an infamous Stormsinger (a person who sings to control the sea and winds) who is taken hostage after being caught as a highwaywoman. She has her long-missing mother’s gift and so Mary is sold to a violent pirate named Lirr. Managing to escape him, but discovering that her mother’s soul is trapped on board his ship, Mary offers herself up to another pirate named Demery and a nobleman named Charles Grant. As she learns to use her powers, Mary is haunted by whispering ghosts and the “Wold”, the ancient forests where they reside. Close behind is the ‘Hart’, a pirate hunting ship with a man named Samuel Rosser onboard; they have been charged with capturing and killing Lirr once and for all. He has reasons to want to save Mary: she has the token that keeps his magic and his sanity tethered to his body. Forced to follow the whims of pirates in order to protect their gifts, Mary and Samuel tangle together across the ocean as they chase Lirr on separate ships as he plunges into the icy depths of the edge of their world.

This is an epic pirate fantasy, set in a Jacobean world where morals and loyalties are constantly changing. I found it to be immersive and original from the first page, with Mary’s escape and capture being incredibly tense and gripping. I loved her character, especially as she was gradually forced to offer her gift of magic to Demery in order to get back to her mother. I also liked the storyline of her gradually becoming close to Charles Grant, because it seemed like such an impossible relationship in the beginning. Samuel Rosser is also a brilliant character, especially because of his tense relationship with his identical twin brother and also because using his Sooth magic is steadily driving him mad. I do wish that Mary and Samuel had spent more time together, their scenes were gorgeously written but nowhere near long enough, so I’m hoping there’ll be more in the sequel. I do hope that there’ll be more development of the world and particular characters in the sequel, especially with the romance between Mary and Samuel as it felt like they weren't in the same place or communicating enough for me to fully believe in their relationship. Reading “Dark Water Daughter” has been a delight, I love the combination of adventure and supernatural themes alongside the fascinating magical world built here.

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I was so excited for this book, I don't think I had read a pirate fantasy since middle school, and it DID NOT DISSAPOINT. I was hooked from the first chapter. The characters, the worldbuilding, the battles, the creatures.... I have no notes, I have no complaints, all I have is praise.

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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5

I really enjoyed this book, it was so incredibly unique! It’s an intense journey filled with pirates, pirate ships, magic, danger, and a wonderful group of characters.

The plot is complex, the world building intricately detailed, and the characters very rich in development.

I particularly enjoyed the FMC, Mary, her storm magic is so cool and she is a compelling lead with a complicated and intriguing backstory.

There’s a hint of romance but it is not part of the central plot. It’s more about adventure and self-discovery, and how magic can be dangerous and not necessarily a good thing.

This book explores how magic can be abused by people, but also how it can be used for good. I’m very intrigued to see how this will be continued and evolved in the next book in the series.

Overall, this is highly recommended from me, it is a rich and wonderful fantasy story with pirates and magic!

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The description of this novel immediately had me captivated; swashbuckling pirates on the high seas with a bit of magic to guide their journey. I was in love with the idea of something new and fresh and in this, the plot did not disappoint. However, there were some major slow-moving parts toward the middle of the story that may lead readers to at least want to pull their hair out or possibly DNF. I do believe it is absolutely worth pushing through to see the story end.

Mary Firth is a Stormsinger, in short, she has the magical ability to use her voice to guide ships through rough passages or create obstacles for competing ships. Her mother also had this ability and she warned her daughter to never use her voice before she disappeared. The story opens with Mary facing imminent death and follows her path of navigating her ability and staying out of the hands of villains who would love to control her. Who the true villains really are or what use they have of Mary is not entirely clear, except for Samuel. Samuel struggles with his own magical ability and seeks to ally with Mary to take out the most dangerous pirate on the high seas, Lirr. I’m assuming the intention was to create a budding romance between these two characters, unfortunately that fell flat. I did not feel the connection between the two or sense anything worth lasting or exploring. Mary does meet a whole host of other characters and I found myself a bit lost keeping track of these character and their ship names.

The real win was the elemental world creation and the introduction of mythical creatures that exist within the ‘Wold’. These are living elementals called ghistings and some have stronger powers than others. Many are harvested to use in the masts of ships, whether they are willing or not. Mary shares a type of kinship with the ghistings that allows her to see them and have conversations. This I found very exciting and would have loved more focus here. Overall, a very good story that brings something new and exciting to the realm of fantasy.

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I received this advanced reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. I thoroughly enjoyed this unique fantasy novel by HM Long. It was a fantastic, carousing ride, filled with pirate ships, magic, and danger! I particularly enjoyed our protagonist, Mary, who is full of strong determination, intelligence, and a wide variety of skill sets many feminine characters are missing in novels. Instead, she sets the tone for the story, with a clear-eyed skepticism of her male counterparts over and over again. I strongly recommend this novel and look forward to future installments in the Dark Water series.

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I went into this knowing it was a fantasy with some romance elements, not a romantasy, and I was more than ok with that! As long as the characters delivered, I was here for it. Pirates, magic, mythical creatures—sign me up! But I couldn’t connect to the characters and that is where the book fell. The plot seemed to drag because I couldn’t feel for Mary. And Samuel was even worse! The writing and worldbuilding was good, I will give the author that, but it was something I dreaded having to pick up again. And because of that, I don’t see myself finishing the series.

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Thank you SO MUCH NetGalley and Titan Books for access to this FANTASTIC ARC!!!

4.5 /5 stars rounded up!!

Oh man, I loved this book so so so much! From the setting of the cold, wintry sea and the mystical forests, to the pirate adventures, to Mary and Sam and how they kept coming together and drifting apart - AHH SO GOOD!! The magic system really reminded me of Robin Hobb and her Liveship trilogy, which I also loved! There was just one point at the end I'm confused about, it didn't really describe how something came to be, but what I'm assuming happened makes sense I think? I'm going to reread the end to see if I understand it better a second time lol! I really love as well that this is the first in a series but doesn't end on a huge heartbreaking cliffhanger - I'm super excited to read the next book but I don't feel like my life is on hold waiting, which is such a good feeling!

But this is absolutely on my favourite books shelf, and I'm shoving it into every customer's face I come across that's looking for a good fantasy read! :D I can't wait for the next book!!

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I loved this book! The world building was amazing and I could see everything that was described. The magic that was used in this book, being able to channel and control the weather, was so unique. It was slow going in the beginning but I never once thought that I wanted to stop. I loved the main character. She seemed so strong no matter what she went through. I love anything relating to the seas and pirates.

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I am new to fantasy and have only read a handful of fantasy novels, but this is one of my favourites so far. I love pirates and anything to do with the sea and nature. The way weather can be commanded gives a theological feel which I love.

I haven't read anything by H.M Long before, but will be keeping a eye out.

Loved it!

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As a pirate obsessive, I had super high hopes for this book, but unfortunately it let me down.

To start with the positives, the world building is really really good. It's super atmospheric, it's expansive and evocatively described, and the magic system elements are really creative and unique. It's what kept me reading - I wanted to spend more time in this world and learn everything. I also didn't have a problem with the plot or pacing.

However for me, the characters were way too lacking to make the rest of this book a really engaging read. What were their motivations? What were their personalities? Did they even have them? I would often find myself getting several pages into a chapter and forgetting whose POV I was reading - that's how empty it felt to me.
Mary, our FMC, is aptly named because she is a true Mary Sue. She didn't have anything about her that stood out, and spent most of the first half of the book being carted around by various men. Why isn't she driving the plot if she's a main character? What did she even want? Was it to find her mother? Because I really didn't feel much passion, drive or desire from her.
Samuel, the MMC, isn't much better. He's very flat, and we're constantly told he's 'a Very Good Man without much to show why. He also doesn't have much motivation or drive, despite being a main character.

Because of this, I did not buy the romance. This is a slow burn? It felt like insta-love to me. Why does Samuel get feelings after talking to Mary *twice*, why does Mary just agree to have dinner with him while she's trying to escape, they barely know each other and he tried to BUY her at the beginning of the book, why are they acting like this????

Overall, a book some will really enjoy, especially if they are a plot-forward reader who loves adventure stories. Unfortunately, if you're someone who really needs interesting and three-dimensional characters, this might not be for you.

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