Cover Image: Dark Water Daughter

Dark Water Daughter

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Member Reviews

If you like Pirates of the Caribbean and City of Brass, you might want to pick up Dark Water Daughter.

This is a swashbuckling pirate fantasy set in an arctic landscape. The style of world-building reminded me of City of Brass, even though the worlds in the two novels couldn't be more different. Dark Water Daughter is very atmospheric with a cool magic system and forest spirits.

Our two main POV characters are a Stormsinger (basically a weather witch) and a Sooth (basically a mage who has visions), and they come together to hunt down a deathless pirate on icy seas. There's a touch of romance that will probably develop more in the sequel.

As much as I enjoyed the sense of adventure, the writing style, and the world, I didn't feel like I knew the characters well until near the end. There's a lot of ship hopping and minor crises throughout the middle of the book, which made the characters feel disconnected from each other and any sense of place. However, Long is clearly setting up a complex, richly layered world in this book and I expect there to be more character development as the story progresses in future book(s).

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this read! If you like adventure fantasy, solid lore and proper character growth and a proper progressing plot with a tint of romance, this is one to read.

The plot is well planned even if it seemly like it was randomly jumping at first (but trust me it all comes together so well planned), and the little inserts felt like a puzzle until I realised what they were, which was really fun for me. The pirate theme isn't altogether overbearing (which I am glad of), meanwhile, THE FEAS!!!! I love the whole ghistings and the adjacent theme going on <3

The writing style is smooth, and the lore is solid. It's told as the book progresses and not word vomited at you. I loved how Mary and Samuel transformed through the story, they both started so unsure of themselves but grew as their travels unfold. I am quite curious about Benedict and Charlie - would love to see more of their background/inner dialogue! Ben could be so emo it'd be intriguing to see how he turns out!

Looking forward to the next book!

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley (thank you!), and this is my honest review.

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This was a really great book! The action starts on page one and never really stops, all while developing an interesting world and fascinating uses of magic. The main characters are pirates and weather witches and pirate hunters and there’s a complicated web of revenge stories and grudges.
The setting is very piratey and oceany and it’s awesome.
The only reason this wasn’t a full five stars for me is that the pacing was really fast so I didn’t have time to fully connect to the characters. I wanted it to slow down a little bit so I could spend more time understanding the details and nuances of the characters. If you generally like faster paced books, this won’t be an issue for you.
I think the next book will be a wild ride and I’m looking forward to it!
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

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Dark Water Daughter by HM Long is a gripping and unique high seas adventure that combines a captivating premise, a colorful cast of characters (both human and mystical), and a touch of magic to create an enthralling tale. The story weaves together elements of romance, peril, and the struggle for identity in a way that kept me engaged from start to finish.

One of the standout features of Dark Water Daughter is its premise, which takes the high seas adventure to new heights. The story follows two characters, Mary and Samuel, who manage to find each other in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Their journey is fraught with danger and uncertainty, but their connection remains steadfast and provides a heartwarming core to the narrative.

The world-building in the book is intriguing, with a magic system rooted in another world. The author has created a richly imagined setting that adds depth and excitement to the story. The action scenes are well-paced and the author's ability to sprinkle little revelations here and there along the way make for an exciting climax at the end.

Mary, our leading lady, is a steadfast and enjoyable character to follow. Her determination and resilience make her easy to root for, and readers will find themselves invested in her journey. Samuel, on the other hand, brings a sense of complexity to the story. Bound by honor and struggling to maintain his grip on reality, his internal struggles add depth and tension to the narrative.

The developing romance between Mary and Samuel is a sweet and compelling aspect of the story. Their connection grows amidst the perils they face, providing a tender and heartfelt element to the narrative but never overwhelming it. This is a fantasy story, first and foremost, with a dash of romance added in for a bit of flavor.

If you enjoy tales of adventure, peril, and a touch of romance, this book is definitely worth a read.

Thank you to Titan Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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A stormsinger and a pirate hunter who find themselves intertwined as they face off against a deadly deathless pirate lord hell bent on finding treasure and becoming more powerful. Mary Firth is a Stormsinger, her voice has the ability to calm sails, create disasters and shatter armadas. Stormsingers are captured and used as slaves or indentured servants to pirates and Mary finds herself being auctioned off but this is only the begin of her journey as what she is truly after is finding her mother, another Stormsinger. Mary finds herself being hunted by Lirr, a deathless pirate lord who is somehow connected to both Mary and her mother. Then there is samuel Rosser, a disgraced naval officer who is also a Sooth, someone who can catch glimpses of the future and travel into the Other. In this world there are creatures known as ghistens who are made from wood and are essentially attached to ships and they protect and act as a guardian of the ship. Samuel is also hunting down Lirr, as he is commissioned to bring Lirr to justice yet the moment he meets Mary at the auction he can't seem to get her out of his head, especially because she steals his coat and his special talisman that is the only thing keeping him from slipping into madness. Soon both Mary and Samuel find themselves constantly running into one another as they both go after Lirr, deal with pirates and gun fights, betrayals, and the very complicated feelings growing between them. This is a great read for fans of Pirates of the Caribbean! Its the first book in the series and I am excited to see where the next book goes. This book was a bit slow but did pick up by the end so hopefully the next one is better, it did feel like it dragged at some moments but I did enjoy the world that was created in the stories. I am excited to see Samuel and Mary's relationship in the next book and how they grow. Overall if you are looking for a pirate book with a slow burn romance, action, betrayal, and magic then give this one a go!

*Thanks Netgalley and Titan Books for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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An adventure set on the high seas, where stormsingers and pirate hunters collide in a battle against a seemingly immortal pirate lord.

The author's childhood inspiration for the story adds an extra layer of charm. The world-building is exceptional, immersing readers in a vivid and captivating setting with fascinating magic. From the ancient forests inhabited by spirits and spectral creatures to the perilous sea voyages, Long brings these elements to life with her usual skill.

While the world and plot are incredibly engaging, the main characters of Mary Firth and Samuel Rosser felt somewhat flat for me. They lack the depth and agency that would have made them more compelling. The secondary characters, on the other hand, shine brightly and steal the spotlight. The relationships between these supporting characters and the main characters are much more captivating. The romance between Mary and Samuel feels underdeveloped, lacking the necessary build-up and emotional connection. It is the secondary characters who showcase more chemistry and draw the reader's attention. Furthermore, the story progresses from one problem to the next without much anticipation or buildup, which diminishes the sense of excitement.

Still, anyone whose focus is on the world-building and story beats will find much to love in this book. The book's incredible strengths lie in its rich setting, intriguing secondary characters, the mysterious and almost folksy magic system, and the cozy familiarity of the pirate genre.

Thank you to Titan Books and Netgalley for the eARC. This is my honest opinion.

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I absolutely loved this book. As a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Dark Water Daughter filled a hole in my heart I didn't know I had. The magic system in the book is unlike anything I've read, and as an avid fantasy reader, this was refreshing. The romance had me swooning, although it was very light. I can't wait to see where this series goes!!

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As a girl who grew up obsessed with all things Pirates of the Caribbean, this book was an utter joy to read. The nautical atmosphere, the world-building, the banter, the clever use of the epigraphs as foreshadowing -- it was a fantastic read from start to finish. Mary is a wonderfully crafted heroine, relatable yet flawed, powerful but not invincible, with tense stakes and fast-paced action that kept me turning pages long into the night. Highly recommend!

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First and foremost, thank you to Charlotte and Titan books for providing me with an ARC of this book.

𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐬 & 𝐒𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐬: Adult fantasy, Georgian inspired fantasy, pirates and highwaymen, weather mages, sentient figureheads, subtle slow burn romantic elements, dry humour, stormy and wintery atmosphere

𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬:
Set in a Nordic world full of mysteries, Dark Water Daughter was a wonderfully pirate-y and nautical adult fantasy book. Within it, H.M Long sent the reader on an old-school treasure hunt and rescue mission across dangerous icy waters full of danger, battels, and betrayal.

Whilst the worldbuilding in this novel, had a distinct historical essence to it, it also featured some incredible fantasy elements. From unique ship spirits emerging from a fascinating magical parallel world to Storm mages, with the ability to control wind and water, and Sooth´s who have the ability to glimpse into the past, present and future. Just to name a few. Given its Georgian era setting, the beautiful and accurate notes and mentions of historical clothing and its various layers and structural elements, was something that really stood out to me in this novel as well. All of these elements also worked perfectly together with the overall icy and wintery atmosphere of the world this story is set in.
In terms of the characters, I really enjoyed the sense of secrecy and mystery surrounding Mary, which ultimately connected several other characters and their individual storylines. Alongside that, it had a great fast pacing and the flashbacks to Mary´s past gave the book and its story a well-balanced character. Furthermore, Samuel´s storyline and perspective in this novel also provided the main story with a great amount of details and insights into the roughness that prevails in the life of a pirate (hunter). Apart from that, I also loved how this book was full of fearless female pirates, captains, and crew members.

Whilst I highly encourage everyone to pick this book up as soon as you see it in the bookstore, I would also recommend saving it for your winter tbr pile, because it is without a doubt the perfect book for a cold, stormy winters day. Preferably with a hot cup of tea and a knitted cardigan.
Lastly, my only point of “criticism” and I explicitly say this in quotations, because I feel like it was solemnly a me problem, was that whilst reading the book I got very easily distracted by everything and nothing, which made it difficult for me to fully emerge myself into the story.

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Dark Water Daughter is a high stakes Jacobean inspired pirate fantasy full of action, adventure and magic on the high seas. It’s dark and gritty, rich and vibrant and the writing and world building is superb. The characters are incredible with fascinating backstories, particularly the main characters Mary and Sam. The magic system is unique and I enjoyed learning about the Ghistings, Stormsingers, Sooths and the ‘Other’ world which I hope this is elaborated upon more in the next book.

The pacing is a little slow here and there so it did take me a long time to read, but nevertheless it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. This is a well written and well crafted pirate adventure which is not to be missed.

Thank you to the publisher for the eARC via Netgalley.

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy. I really enjoyed this book. If you are a fan of the Bone ships by R.J.Barker you will likely enjoy this too. The two are similar in quite a few aspects, but this does manage to stand out with the strength and originality of its fantasy elements and likeable characters. The world building was handled very well, with lore snippets at the start of each chapter building it up over time rather than relying on heavy handed info dumping. I also found this a big lighter to read/faster paced compared to the Bone Ships. Overall very impressive, and I am very much looking forward to the next book.

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Thank you netgalley for providing this arc. This was really fun. It was chaotic as hell, and fast paced. The plot was well written and I liked Mary a lot. It took a bit for Samuel to grow on me, but he eventually did. Benedict can go fuck himself and rot, though🥰. I need Samuel to kill him (I’m begging). Also Grant 🫨🫨 bruh. Anyways, I loved the piratey aspect and the world building was so good. The magic system is so interesting and I love the way it works. I need more info on that cause 🫶🫶🙏🙏. I don’t know where the story is going to go from here, but now that my girl and Samuel are back together I’m excited.

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[This title was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review]

3 stars

Flintlock fantasy on the high seas! I cut my teeth on <i> Pirates of the Caribbean, </i> so a magical age-of-sail adventure sounded right up my alley. And, for the most part, this multi-perspective treasure hunt worked for me.

While we have two point-of-view narrators, this is really Mary’s story. Mary is a Stormsinger, a woman with the ability to sing the weather under her control. Stormsingers are regularly pressed into slavery or indentured servitude for pirates and the navy alike, so she’s on the run to ensure her freedom—and also to find her mother, another Stormsinger, who disappeared many years ago. Our other narrator, Samuel, is a privateer who has another type of magic. He is a Sooth, someone who can see glimpses of possible futures, and also astral-project into the Other, a kind of parallel universe separated from this one by a veil, from which magical creatures and possibly magic itself come. Both Mary and Samuel ultimately need to find and thwart the pirate captain Lirr, both to rescue Mary’s mother and to stop him from amassing unthinkable power.

The coolest part of the story, to me, was the interactions between humans and Ghistings, magical creatures or spirits that grow from the Other into the human world through trees, and can inhabit the ships made from those trees. The Ghistings and their lore play a large role in the plot, and it’s a fun journey of discovery for the reader to follow along with. The rest of the worldbuilding, unfortunately, fell flat to me. I felt like the different nations of the Winter Sea were only vaguely sketched-in, more two- than three-dimensional, and I struggled to picture the societies that inhabited them. I also felt a little weird about cultural specifics from our history (like redcoats) inhabiting this fantasy world that is clearly not Earth, with different cultures and geographies to our Earth. I did, however, like the close attention and care paid toward the fashion in this book, so if you like that attention to sartorial detail, this may be the historically-inspired fantasy for you.

The book reads like a standalone, but is evidently meant to be a series. I don’t think I’ll be continuing in the series, as, while fun, the book didn’t grip me with the desire to see more of the world and characters. It is, however, a fun romp through treacherous seas, filled with magic and mayhem alike, sure to entertain any adventure fantasy junkie.

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If you follow me on any platform, you'll have seen my June was a bit overtaken with nautical themed books, so this early review copy of Dark Water Daughter could not have come at a better time - thank you Titan!

We join Mary, a Stormsinger. People with her ability are normally taken captive by Pirates to use on their ships. Mary does not want this to be her fate, so attempts to ally herself with someone who can offer a better deal.

Along the way, she meets various people some who wish to help her, and some who wish to harm... and some whose intentions aren't so clear.

And one of these people is Samuel, their paths crossed unintentially and now Mary has custody of something Samual desperately needs to keep his focus and track down his target... the notorious Pirate Lirr.. who also happens to be Mary's focus too!

If this story wasn't enough, it also takes place in a world where there are ghost like spectral creatures, that Mary knows from her homeland. They are also in a type of servitude where they are tied to the figureheads of ships to protect them

Beautifully painted world, and a high stakes pirate adventure. Very reminiscent of say Pirates of the Carribean, Black Sails ( especially at its darker tones) or even Assassins Creed Black Flag.

Morally Grey is the colour of choice for most of our crew, but we wouldn't have them any other way! Can't wait to see what comes next in this world

I read as a physical book for the most part but dipped into the audio as well, loved the dual narrators for this medium!

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I was so ready to make this book my entire personality, and so I'm honestly devastated by how underwhelming I found it.

What I think this book does do incredibly well is set up the world and atmosphere. This book immediately transported me with all the wintery, high-seas vibes, and all the epigraphs at the beginning of the chapters hinted at there being such rich lore and magic to this world. I thought the magic system in this book was incredibly interesting, and I was just eating up all the new information we learned about it.

I think this book also does the whole pirate theme incredibly well. This isn't just a book where they tell you they're pirates but spend most of the page time on land and away from ships — the majority of this book is on the ocean, jumping from one ship to another, and there's all the swashbuckling, plundering, and treasure hunting you can ask for. The beginning of this book gave incredibly strong Pirates of the Caribbean vibes, and starting this book made me immediately crave more pirate stories.

Unfortunately, however, the world and vibes alone weren't enough to make me enjoy this book. I spent the first 70% of this book waiting for something to happen that would make me invested in these characters or the stakes, but eventually, I had to accept that that moment was just never going to come.

I think part of the issue I had was that the actual plot and structure of the book felt incredibly all over the place. We spend most of the book just going from ship to ship, which I appreciated for the sake of keeping up the pirate theme but made the book feel like it had trouble being grounded. Pretty early on I stopped taking any particular interest in any one location or ship because I knew it was only going to be a matter of a chapter or two before some crisis would strike and we'd have to move on. While I can appreciate this to an extent for the sake of giving us the lay of the world and seeing many different locations, I think that because this was an intro book, I would have preferred if there was any semblance of a "home base" where we could see what life in this world looked like when things weren't constantly in upheaval.

I think my biggest problem, however, has to do with the character development in the book. Both of the main POV characters just felt incredibly flat and I could not for the life of me make myself care about them. Mary in particular just had nothing going for her and really no distinct personality traits I could identify. It felt like all we ever got to know about her was that she wanted to rescue her mother and she wanted to survive and that we never got to learn anything about her beyond that. She very much felt like a character who was just there to have things happen to her rather than actually making active choices to further the story or her own journey.
I thought Samuel was a lot more promising of a character, and that we got to learn a good deal more about his motivations and background, but his single-minded purpose still made him feel fairly one-dimensional. His chapters were still definitely my favorite, and I think if he was truly as much a main character as Mary was, I might have enjoyed the book more.

Hand in hand with this, I think the book suffered from the fact that it didn't have the opportunity for many meaningful character relationships. Because so much of the book is spent with Mary on the run and never knowing who she can trust, it takes until about 75% into the book for there to be any relationship between characters that doesn't feel liable to implode at any minute. I especially thought the "romance" between Samuel and Mary was underdeveloped, and consisted entirely of them seeing each other a couple of times and us just being told that they now had feelings for each other. It honestly felt like Samuel and Fisher's relationship got more development, despite Fisher only being on page every so often.
While I think there's something to be said for the lack of trustworthiness of the cast contributing to the feelings of a high-stakes pirate adventure, it just made me incredibly apathetic to anything that happened since I was never given a reason to root for any of the characters themselves or their commitment to anyone else.

All in all, I think it probably just comes down to this book not being for me. I think that if the character work had been more developed and the plot a bit less fast and loose, the vibes and world would have made me absolutely love this book, but as it was, I'm just left disappointed that it wasn't everything I'd hoped it would be.

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The thing I love most about this book is the worldbuilding and magic systems. At the beginning of each chapter is a tidbit from a guidebook that details an aspect of the world. I love how this feeds us information about the world without it feeling forced and without having to interrupt the story to info dump.

As for the worldbuilding itself, we have ghistings, or spectral creatures who inhabit the ancient forests of Mary’s homeland and the figureheads of ships. I absolutely loved how unique and ghostly ghistings feel!

On top of that, we have Stormsingers, as mentioned above, but there are also people who can see into a world called the Other, and yet other people who can influence others. The world and magic is so rich and vibrant, and I loved reading about it.

The atmosphere is great: think forest/sea/winter. Think Pirates of the Caribbean but darker. I love both Mary and Sam’s backstories. There’s a whole host of side characters, but they never feel flat. And there is an amazing twist in the second half that really gets the story moving and gives it another edge.

My only main critique is that the middle of this book lags a bit, especially when Mary and Samuel set off on separate adventures—I kept waiting for their storylines to cross again! This book is also in first person perspective, and sometimes I wanted to hear more thoughts and feelings from both Mary and Samuel. (However, this is a common critique I have of adult fantasy books, so it could totally just be me who feels this way!)

If you’re looking for an adventurous and dark pirate story with a unique magic system, a complicated plot with a great twist, and plenty of forest, sea, and winter vibes, definitely give Dark Water Daughter a shot!

Thank you to Netgalley and Titan Books for providing me with an ARC for review!

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Dark Water Daughter was one of my most highly anticipated books of the year and it didn't let me down! We love to see it.

Dark Water Daughter has:
- Pirates of the Caribbean / Black sails vibes
- pirates and highwaymen
- a witch who controls storms by singing
- a disgraced naval officer
- sentient shipheads
- unique worldbuilding and magic system

The book follows two POVs: Mary Firth, a weather witch who at the beginning of the book, is at the gallows, accused of crimes she didn't commit, when another criminal saves her from the noose. Said criminal, Charles Grant, ends up selling her to pirates who then use Mary to guide their ships through storms. Mary soon crosses paths with our second POV, Samuel Rosser, a disgraced naval officer and pirate hunter looking to redeem himself. Both of them have connections to the infamous pirate lord Silvanus Lirr. Samuel wants to bring Lirr to justice while Lirr is hunting down Mary for her abilities. At the edge of the Winter Sea, Mary and Samuel will have to choose who to trust and who they want to be.

H. M. Long's Hall of Smoke series is one of my favourite series of all time and in Dark Water Daughter, she stepped it up a notch. Her writing has a truly addictive quality that made me unable to put the book down until late in the night.

While the book does give Pirates of the Caribbean vibes, the setting is a completely unique secondary world with a wintery sea, monsters, magical forests and sentient shipheads. I loved how detailed and layered the world of Dark Water Daughter was and how many different corners of this world we got to explore. Excellent worldbuilding is something I have come to expect from H. M. Long but this book was special. It was astonishing to me how Long managed to pour so much depth into the worldbuilding and also give us amazing character work and relationships.

Mary and Samuel were both well-rounded, fully-realized characters, each with their own troubled pasts. Mary herself has been deeply wronged by the people around her and Samuel has secrets of his own. I loved how Long gradually revealed the character's backstories and how deeply we got to know them throughout the story. Long is not afraid to put her characters through the wringer and I felt every injustice they experienced. Mary especially stood out to me as such a strong character. Despite not having full control over her powers yet, she had this incredible bravery and strength to her, as well as a feistiness that I adored. Samuel was honestly a keeper, like a cross between Aragorn and Norrington from PotC.

While we got a hint of a future romance - which I was giggling and kicking my feet over!! - Mary and Sam are both deeply suspicious of each other due to their pasts. Despite that, they do feel a connection and Samuel is immediately captivated by Mary. The way he thought about her was just so heartachingly romantic, it had me swooning. With that being said, the hints of romance never took away from the plot or the character development in any way. It was just an aspect that I went absolutely feral over.

The book also had a lively cast of secondary characters like the pirate captain Demery, Samuel's fellow pirate hunter Fisher, and highwaymen Charles Grant (derogatory). My toxic trait is that I actually really enjoyed Charles, even though he is a duplicitious shithead. I have a weakness for the Dandy trope and he was that to a T. There were also some strong antagonists, some of which were truly terrifying which kept the suspense at an all-time high whenever they were on the page.

Overall, the book wraps up the story nicely but leaves just enough questions to build anticipation for the sequel. Truly an excellent read and one of my favourite books of the year. I recommend the book to fans of R. J. Barker's books and the tv show Black Sails. 5/5 stars.

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This was just the pirate adventure fantasy I was looking for!!! Dark Water Daughter is such a fun, fast-paced adventure on the high seas where we follow 2 POVs: Mary and Samuel.

I really loved Mary as a character. She’s a storm singer meaning she’s someone who can connect with ‘the other’ (also called the dark water) and can sing to control the weather. I loved the growth she goes through in this book, starting as a girl who’s only just left the Wold for the first time to a woman who’s fighting for her life.

Samuel is also someone who connects with the dark water by being a soo, meaning he has visions. I loved Samuel too and he’s just so sweet and I just love him and Mary together. There’s also a whole cast of supporting characters which I loved too - everyone was so unique!

One of the best things about this book was the worldbuilding. This isn’t a long book so H. M. Long managed to fit a lot of worldbuilding in but did it seamlessly. I can’t wait to see what else there is to explore in this world in future instalments! A lot of this world seems to be based on real history (I believe this started out as an historical fiction!) but Long manages to make the world also stand out from ours in the fantasy and politics she weaves in.

The atmosphere of this book was also perfect. I already love pirate and sea-faring adventures but I loved the fact it was in a cold weather climate rather than hot tropical climates usually associated with pirates.

Overall I loved this book and have no complaints - apart from that I need the next book now!

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Thank you, NetGalley and Titan Books, for my free copy for review.

Dark Water Daughter is quite an experience to read.

In a world of limited experiences, Mary's life was sheltered and confined. However, everything changed when she was suddenly thrown out and left to face the brink of death. At this critical moment, a thief unexpectedly intervened, altering her destiny forever.

On the other hand, Samuel was a man of immense power, but his fear and limited knowledge hindered him from fully embracing and understanding his capabilities. The paradox of his strength and apprehension created a complex and intriguing character.

With a creative touch, Mary's journey from sheltered innocence to the edge of demise and Samuel's struggle with his own formidable powers become vivid tales of transformation and self-discovery.

Dark Water introduces a refreshing and distinctive blend of pirates, magic, and creatures. I appreciate the imaginative reinterpretation of Sirens and monsters within this captivating storyline.

In the wintertime, sailing the vast oceans with occasional visits to ports is an invigorating experience. Exploring the parallel realms of humans and mystical beings is particularly intriguing, especially since I'm not typically drawn to pirate tales. The inclusion of magical systems and unique abilities among specific individuals adds an enchanting element to the narrative.

Narrated in the first person by the two main characters had their moments wherein the pace slowed down. Their introspection, while adding depth to some scenes, drags on others. This was the only aspect that slightly affected my enjoyment.

As this tale is a cat-and-mouse chase, the author skillfully leaves crumbs to keep the readers engaged. Initially, I thought I could anticipate where the plot was heading, but I was pleasantly surprised by its unexpected direction. The twist at the end of Act 2 was delightful.

The conclusion neatly ties up the first chapter of Mary and Sam's adventure, serving as a promising introduction to the series. All in all, this is a delightful fantasy adventure.

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I have absolutely loved Long’s other books, which are Nordic inspired fantasy dealing with gods and magic and monsters and…I just was fascinated by the concept and the characters and the writing. So naturally, when I heard that she had a new series coming, one with pirates and women whose voices can affect the weather….I was certainly intrigued.

And thankfully, I was granted an early copy from the publisher thanks to NetGalley. It was such a struggle to hold off on reading this until it was closer to the release date (which is July 11 for the US, so it isn’t too far out). I did also pre-order this book during Barnes & Noble’s Pre-Order Sale a couple months ago.

I was definitely drawn into the story very quickly. I wanted to know more about Mary and Samuel, especially after their paths crossed and the adventure truly began. Getting to experience the story through both of their perspectives was really entertaining. There was so much to love about both of them, even as they doubted decisions they made.

The magic was cool, and I really enjoyed getting to explore the world and the lore and the monsters. I flew through this book. The sad thing about reading books early, even if it’s just a couple weeks early, is that I now have an even long wait for book two…unless I manage to snag an early copy through the publisher via NetGalley.

It’s like a nautical flintlock fantasy, an action-packed adventure, a swashbuckling good time, a perfect summer blockbuster in book form. I can’t wait to have the final copy of this book on my bookshelves, and I’m already looking forward to reading it again.

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