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Dark Water Daughter

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Member Reviews

This was overall a good read. I enjoyed reading about pirates and the idea of having people with abilities to control the weather when sailing the seas.

I had to make sure I was concentrating to know whose pov I was reading, as they did feel similar at times.

I felt this was a slow journey building type of book, so if you dont like a slow pace plot, this isn’t for you.

I loved Mary and how strong she was throughout the book with everything she went through.

I enjoyed it overall. I did like the little information pages before chapters would start to help us understand different terms that were used in the following chapter.

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I was very excited to read this as I enjoy pirate stories and this had an interesting premise. However, it fell a little flat for me. I had difficulty connecting with the characters and felt that the plot moved very slowly without much happening in the first 300 pages. The last 100 pages was very enjoyable and I think it benefited from having more of the characters interact. The magic system is unique and I would have liked to know more about the Other. The author did an incredible job at describing life at sea and building the world. Even though I didn’t like the story as much, I know I’m in the minority and still think you should give this a try if you’re a fan of pirate fantasies. Thank you NetGalley and Titan Books for the arc.

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I really loved this pirate fantasy, and think it is a very satisfying series start. I am eager to read the next installment. H.M. Long built an incredible fantasy world full of magical characters. I especially loved how the author shared the lore and legend behind each character we encounter along the way, so that as you experience the riveting quest and action packed journey of Mary, the pirates and pirate hunters, you also are able to understand how and why everything is happening. If you enjoyed The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi, like pirate adventures, fantasy quests and are looking for a different fantasy series to begin- I highly recommend this.

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I have wanted to read H.M. Long's work for a long time, so it was super cool to read it here! Long dives straight into action, and a bit of a backstory within the first chapter. I loved how the characters grew throughout the book and thoroughly enjoyed the world-building throughout. It was captivating with every chapter, and I'm super excited to sell this at our store!

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Thank you NetGalley for the ebook of Dark Water Daughter by H.M. Long in exchange for an honest review.

Full of magic, lore, action, and pirates, Dark Water Daughter is a strong start the H.M. Long's Winter Sea series. With dual-POVs, readers follow Mary Firth, a Stormsinger that can control the weather and oceans, and Samuel Rosser, a disgraced naval officer. The villain tying these two main characters together is the pirate lord Lirr, whom both Mary and Samuel hope to bring down and save more than themselves in the process. Family secrets, betrayal, and ancient magical beings abound in this novel, making the world and characters quite rich. I particularly liked the chapter interludes about the worlds creatures, people, and lore; rather than "info-dumping" a large amount of world building at the beginning (which a lot of novels do), H.M. Long sprinkles knowledge about this world throughout the novel and makes it much easier to follow and understand. There are many characters in this novel, and it can be hard to keep track of who is part of which crew (at least for me). However, this is a great start to a promising series and I look forward to reading the next book!

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This book was enjoyable, I liked the characters and the plot was good. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC

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This is an epic pirate fantasy that blew me away! With stormsingers, pirate hunters, and a deathless pirate lord, the high-seas adventure is non-stop excitement. Mary Firth, the stormsinger with hurricane-controlling vocals, teams up with Samuel Rosser, a disgraced naval officer, to take down the fearsome Silvanus Lirr. The world-building is superb, and the winter setting adds a unique touch. I loved how Mary used her storm magic to create chaos! The characters, especially Mary and Samuel, are so well-developed, and their banter is perfect. There's a hint of romance that spices things up too.
This is a 5-star adventure full of action, magic, and betrayal, an absolute must-read! I can't wait for book two!

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Since discovering H.M. Long earlier this year, I was excited for the release of this high-fantasy novel, set at sea. There are many pirates, magic, betrayal and action packed encounters, all within the 450ish pages of Dark Water Daughter. There is so much happening in this novel, it’ll leave you breathless and wanting more.

Mary Firth is a stormsinger; a woman whose voice can still hurricanes and shatter armadas. Mistaken for a notorious highway robber, she joins forces with another condemned soul at the gallows and fight her way to freedom, before the noose around her neck tightens - only freedom comes at a price. Mary is set on a course of swashbuckling adventure, full of mystery and betrayal.

Dark Water Daughter is full of magic; I loved the element of controlling the weather with song. The Ghistings were amongst my favourite of all the characters and creatures - each time they appeared in the story, I was immediately drawn to them and wanted to know everything about them.

It’s really hard to hate any of the characters in this book - I really liked them all, even the ‘bad pirates’ were a lot of fun - so many pirates!

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Wow, I loved this book! If you are looking for a swashbuckling adventure with a great plot, dynamic characters, a unique magic system and pirates then you have to pick up Dark Water Daughter.

We jump immediately into the action and the momentum keeps throughout the story. I was always left wanting to know more. Long does such a great job of slowly pulling back the layers as we progress through the story and the plot is wildly unique.

The world building in this book was epic! Long picks just the right details to make you feel like you are really in the world of the Winter Sea. The magic system was completely unique and I loved everything about the Ghisting, the wold, and the Other.

I loved all of the characters. Long does such a great job making each character unique and intriguing. I loved both of the main characters, Mary and Sam, the Dual POV was a great way to see more of the world and understand the complex plot. I love how they are both imperfect and struggle but are trying to do their best. I also really loved James Demery, what's not to love about a morally gray pirate with his own moral code?

This was such a great story and I can't wait to dive back into this world!

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This was an excellent fantasy novel! Though I typically read more fantasy romance, this completely sucked me in. The descriptions were rich, the world building lavish, and the combat intense. The best way to explain this novel is that it feels like you’re playing a video game? In the best of ways.

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I'm a huge fan of pirate books but most fall flat as they sanitise the pirates a bit too much. Dark Water Daughter offers a dark and violent pirate fantasy filled with revenge, betrayal, and magic. I've been a fan of the author since the release of Hall of Smoke and Dark Water Daughter contains the richly detailed world-building and descriptive prose that drew me into the author's first book.

Mary was an engaging main character and I loved her growing connection with pirate hunter Samuel Rosser. The author mentions James Norrington as an inspiration for this story and it's easy to see how Pirates of the Caribbean has influenced some of the broader strokes of the story. At its heart though, the author has created a unique pirate tale that will linger with the reader long after finishing. I can't wait to see what happens in the sequel due next year!

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Dark Water Daughter by H. M.Long is a dark adult fantasy exploring power dynamics, the use/misuse of magic , and the strength in self acceptance.

What worked for me
This novel had exceptional would building and character development bolstered by a masterful use of dual point of view . I was drawn in by the promise of pirates /magic and kept enthralled by a complex and beautifully dark plot.

What didn’t work as well for me

Pacing and character development for secondary characters in the last third of the story felt a little off . Outside of that I’m simply going to be driven a bit nuts by the cliff hanger now that I must wait for a book two to materialize.

Who would I recommend this title for

Fans of dark fantasy such as Give the Dark my Love by Beth Revis and Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco will find themselves at home with this story.

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Okay if you like Pirates of the Carribbean you need this book in your life. It has all the darkness and adventure of the first film, only made hundred per cent better with interesting lore, fascinating, multi layered characters and MAGIC 😍

DWD is told via two povs, the first one is Mary, a weather mage who has been hiding her powers in order to escape a life of servitude. Unfortunately she's also about to be hanged and has only one last chance to save herself...

The other is Samuel, a disgraced naval officer serving aboard the Hart. He has been commissioned to bring in pirate lord Lirr and will stop at nothing to bring him in and restore his good name.

Dark Water Daughter was truly a delight to read. With shifting alliances, very dark sequences, all the morally grey characters and a treacherous sea daring adventure, this is one book I devoured in a handful of days.

If you like high seas adventures and characters that have good intentions, even if they're not entirely good themselves, then I can whole heartedly recommend Dark Eater Daughter to you. I absolutely loved this one and you can bet I'll be eagerly awaiting the sequel! ❤️

Many thanks to Titan Books and Netgalley for an ARC.

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This was a fun read with great world building, interesting main characters, and a compelling plot. The world has a fantasy geography and the magic elements are strong enough that it didn't really feel "Jacobean," but that's a tiny nitpick about the advertising blurb rather than a criticism of the book itself. Anyone who enjoys swashbuckling pirate adventures will definitely enjoy this book.

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Thank you Netgalley and Titan Books for access to this arc.

What I liked? Strong women! In this story women and men are equals on board the ships. There are female first lieutenants and female captains. Two of the kingdoms are headed by Queens. And then there are the Stormsingers. I’m not sure if there are male Stormsingers as none are mentioned but like so many things done only by women, the talents these women have are as much a curse as a gift. Mary and her mother rise above this in the end – okay I’ll spoil that much as I am delighted that Mary (mostly, I will admit that it is a bit of a group effort) is her own savior as well as working together with the others done wrong by the villain to get justice.

The worldbuilding is intricate but I could follow it and take it in. There are some facts and hints that are casually sprinkled in from early on that are explained later via some clever exposition – namely excerpts from “Books” in this world as well as descriptions of what happened to Mary before the action starts. None of this lands with a thud and brings the story to a screeching halt though, for which I am grateful.

The characters are individual and fleshed out. I found them fairly easy to keep straight in my head. They’ve also got some layers to them. No one is all good and most, except for one or two, are not all bad. Revenge and redemption are behind most actions. Characters act appropriately with the amount of knowledge that they have. As I mentioned there are twists to the plot but also clues so that things aren’t completely baffling in a “Now wait a minute, where did that come from?” way. Since some of the characters are ruthless pirates or pirate hunters, there is also some blood and gore though not full-on horror amounts.

A satisfying ending rounds things out. I’m glad that, on her own, the heroine believed what the hero said about his past. To be honest, there is a fair amount of exposition to lay out this world. It’s also first person with a very subdued romance. In fact I’d almost just call it more historical fantasy than fantasy romance. One character is sort of A Chosen One – with a twist. But I had a rip roaring time reading it – because pirates.

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Dark Water Daughter - H.M. Long

Thank you to for the E-ARC

I absolutely devoured this book! Newly released as of July 18!

Dark Water Daughter is the epitome of dark fantasy / pirate vibes with a story that keeps you constantly engaged and enthralled in the action and adventure!

The book follows Mary who is a “Stormsinger”: a woman whose voice can still hurricanes and shatter armadas. We follow her through an intense adventure with lots of magic, betrayal, and a little bit of slow burn romance!

The world building was so intricate and really helped you visualize the books through her writing!

I really enjoyed Mary the main character. I went into the book expecting her to be very headstrong and rash but she was the perfect balance of a character, more level headed instead of shy or too rebellious.

I have never read one of H.M. Long’s books previously but I am so excited for the sequel to come out next year!

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

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Wow! This was lyrical, magical, and satisfied all my seafaring adventure needs! I LOVED the magical folklore of the stormsingers and the bits and pieces they shared about their abilities. Rich story telling, intriguing characters, and fast paced! Mary was young and mysterious at first and then totally grows into herself! If you’re a parrot head and love pirate escapism, look no further. I can’t recommend diving off the plank to read this book enough, it’s worth the shark infested waters!

I was lucky enough to read and arc of this book but it’s out now! Happy release day @hmlongbooks!!! What a wonderful tale!

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Dark Water Daughter is one of my favorite reads of 2023, and I cannot recommend it enough. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Titan books for providing an e-arc of this for an honest review.

When I heard that this book as pirates and weather magic, I immediately wanted to read it. This book follows Mary, a stormsinger who can manipulate the weather through song, as she searches out her long lost mother while trying to evade a villainous pirate that is hunting for her. Meanwhile, Samuel Rosser, a disgraced navel officer and pirate hunter, will stop at nothing to track down that same pirate.... and he wants Mary's help to do it.

This story has high-stakes adventures, vengeance stories, and wonderful intermingling character storylines. I was on the edge of my seat, eager to read more. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book!

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Firstly, a thank you to Titan Books for approving my eArc request on NetGalley, my thoughts remain honest.

Hello again dear reader or listener, it is the middle of summer, I have just moved to Greece for my yearly visit to the fam and the seaside home, and my mood reader calls for pirates and adventures on the high seas. In short, Dark Water Daughter is the perfect read for me these days and, even better news, it is an absolutely phenomenal first entry!!
Now dear reader, I need you to understand that not only is the main trilogy in The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (we do not speak of entries 4 & 5) my favorite movie trilogy of all time, but that I grew up with them and can quote them all line by line. That also means that by default flintlock or gunpowder fantasy has a very special place in my heart, and I listen to epic pirate fantasy music to study or work. Add to that the fact that I found this book thanks to a rec from another favorite author, Anthony Ryan, and really, there was no way this book was going to fall short for me. Or at least, the chances of that happening were slim to none.
Long has presented us with an incredible adventure that hits the ground running, full of fascinating and interesting characters, that are also so delightfully vivid, to open a series that promises so much more to come. The writing is truly atmospheric, fast paced and flowing, without sacrificing any detail, nor weighing down the story with any needless expositing. It all happens so organically that you are fully immersed in this cold pirate world. That was something I found really fresh, pun intended hah, wherein this story isn’t set somewhere warm, or during a hot season, like we commonly encounter with these types of subgenres. Instead, our protagonists face the unforgiving elements of Winter. There is such a different dimension to everything this way I felt, and I welcomed it!
Now, the POTC comp title is entirely necessary for sure, because the vibes are definitely there and they are chef’s kiss. However!! Long makes sure to distinguish her writing, her story, and worldbuilding, in such a manner that the reader can feel the homages but we are also regaled with something brand new, enticing, and unputdownable. I cannot express to you enough, dear reader, how incredibly beautiful and mesmerizing I found the magic system and the lore surrounding it. This is not a world that is a parallel to our known ones, with a slapped in dash of x fantastical element, but rather a society and history deeply entrenched with and informed by the original magic elements present within. Stormsinging on its own was one badass power and magic but the whole existence of ghistings (sentient woods used for ship figureheads) and their magic, was mesmerising as much as it was enchanting. Not to mention the other kinds of magic within. Long brings it all to life so beautifully and cinematically that I would be willing to sacrifice big things to have a screen adaptation, if only to have an original musical score for it all.
Long’s style unfolds the overall plot, as well as the individual backgrounds of each pov character, so cleverly and in ways to keep you hooked onto each word, creating both intrigue and suspense, inexorably engaging the reader till the very end. Mary and Samuel are excellent leads, in that they each have what makes them relatable, as well as something that separates them and makes them unique. You get to feel for them while also ranting at them for questionable choices or actions. They are both naive in the ways of their world in different aspects but when faced with their shortcomings they do their best to take it in stride.
It’s not just the protagonist character work that shines though, with side characters also having their moments to dazzle and truly give life to the story in various ways. From stalwart and no nonsense second mates (seriously, the women in this book? Perfection), to scoundrel gambling thieves looking to redeem themselves (Charles you are a gem and you have strong Jaskier energy), and finally, mysterious pirate captains whose true allegiances are never quite clear or what they may seem. Long entertains as much as she keeps the reader on their toes with each of them, all the while weaving a pattern of growing camaraderie among characters that you can only utterly love and root for. Also special mention goes to the villains of the story, with the main big one, the infamous Silvanus Lirr, concurrently being this faraway ominous presence throughout, but also occasionally getting too close for comfort. That is something I particularly liked because the sense of suspense and wariness surrounding him never falters while also avoiding something other stories can fall into; which is to build up this faraway Big Bad that is supposed to be horrific and utterly evil but we the reader, never see them until the very end and they end up underwhelming or being removed from the story so much we don’t actually feel their villainy or strongly about them in any way. The secondary villain is on the opposite spectrum almost, where they’re very present and there’s not that much mystery trailing them, but is rather the type of gross villainy that gets all your hackles up and you (me, dear reader, it was me, every time they were on the page) can’t help but swear lots of very improper expletives any time they appear on the page. Simply the fact that Long drives us to that is telling enough, I’d say.

I think I’ve raved enough for now, dear reader or listener, and if you’ve taken anything away from all this, please let it be that you simply need to run and grab yourself a copy of this epic start to a gritty yet entertaining and multilayered piratey adventure! I absolutely cannot wait till we get to read on with this story and its characters, also don’t mind if I go looking back at all of Long’s other books because hers is the type of storytelling I simply can’t get enough of.

Now excuse me while I got put on POTC for the Nth time.
Until next time,
Eleni A. E.

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Title: Dark Water Daughter
Author: H.M. Long
Publisher: Titan Books
Publishing Date: July 18, 2023
Pages: 464
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ☆☆☆

I love pirate books and stories at sea. Instantly the cover and the synopsis intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to DIVE into this book!
I loved that there were little glossaries throughout the book, basically explaining certain creatures/things as they were introduced. Theres pros and cons to this way of making a glossary. Pro: you don’t have to flip to the back of the book to the glossary every time you want to look something up. Cons: if you’re like me, you love reading the glossary and learning all the history and lore and tidbits of the world… having this spread out throughout the book kind of defeats that.
The world building was great and was well written.
Before I get into what I didn’t like… I just want to note that this book definitely could be amazing to a lot of people and my opinions are not at all a reflection of Long’s actual writing or the story itself.
I didn’t feel invested with the story, and didn’t connect with any of the characters. I felt bored through most of the book and felt like it was dragging on (even though there is a plot that makes sense…). I just wasn’t into it. The magic system was kind of annoying, and didn’t really make much sense/ wasn’t explained very well. I have a lot of questions about it.
That being said, I would still recommend this to my pirate loving bookish friends!

Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for sending this book for review consideration! All opinions are my own.

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