Cover Image: Dark Water Daughter

Dark Water Daughter

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Member Reviews

This is unlike any pirate book I've ever read. It was so rich in fantasy elements, both light and dark. The characters were compelling, the world building was excellent, the action was non stop and even the building blocks to an underlying love story were well done.

In this book you'll get pirates, many forms of magic, a parallel "other" world, monsters, hunt for treasure, fighting, deceit, it goes on.

Pay particular attention to the chapter heading/mini story/definitions. Immensely helpful.

I want to read this book again.

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"Dark Water Daughter" is a great idea that has been brought to life with pure brilliance. I loved the writing, the plot, (most of) the characters, and they all combine to create an atmosphere that is incredible. Do I dare say it's as refreshing as sea spray on a hot day?! Very much looking forward to the rest of the series.

My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book.

I loved this one, it was so original with its magic and setting and the lore.
I'm a big fan of pirate books but find that they often don't hit the spot for me, but this one certainly did.
The way the magic tied everything together was so clever, and I liked how it was woven into the story more and more, it felt like a very organic plot and worldbuilding progression.

The two main characters are great, I loved them both, and I like how the romance was there but never overpowering the plot, it was very sweet and very fitting for the story.
Overall, I thought that all characters were written very well, especially the villain. At first, you think he's just a mean guy who's in it for the money and power, but then it got so much bigger, and I even had a short period where I questioned if he's really the villain.

The plot was very engaging, as I said there was a nice progression with the magic, so at first it felt a lot more like a wintery pirate story, but then there was more and more magic and the magical creatures at the core of it all and I got so invested in it all.

The worldbuilding is amazing, and I'm already so excited for the next books in this series. It's so unique and rich, you can tell that the author put a lot of thought into it all.

Personally, I'm not a fan of one of the tropes that's used in the book, I liked it better here but it just took away some of my enjoyment, so it's not a full five stars, but I still really loved the book and definitely recommend.

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A sincere thanks to the publishers, author the GREAT H.M Long! Also a hefty thank you to Netgalley for providing an advanced reading copy of this book. I loved this book. It has the vibes of Tricia levenseller's pirate daughter but with a great time with worldbuilding and romance. SAMUEL! My heart! I cannot. I loved the mother daughter relationship in this book as well. I would give it a solid 4 stars!

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I really liked the world-building and the magic system! And imo, both MCs' respective character histories were written really well. However, I couldn't totally connect with the characters emotionally? There wasn't much banter between characters, and I guess that's my most wanted trait in a book :/ I did love the banter between the MCs whenever they met, but those were really limited scenes.

TWs - death, slavery of magic-users

-- ty to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy!

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I really liked this one! This is an adult fantasy set in a “Pirates of the Caribbean” world. It has a decent helping of romance but the romance is not the main focus. The main focus is the fantasy plot. It was well done and very readable.

The reason I say “decent helping of romance” is because this is dual POV and the romance is between the main characters. He is a disgraced sea captain turned pirate hunter and she is a “storm singer.” Storm signers can manipulate the weather and ships use them for sea crossings. The two MCs are on their seperate journeys for the majority of the story but intersect with one another periodically throughout the book. Their scenes together were GOOD (no spice yet but I’m guessing there will be some in later books). It also seems like the two MCs will be together for the next book.

The world building was uncomplicated and well done. If you know the world of Pirates of the Caribbean, you will know this world. The world felt vast and “lived-in” with many different cultures fantasy and elements that were unique and original.

I loved the MCs and the side characters. They all felt like real people that I could easily connect with and empathize with.

Overall I’d def recommend 4.25/5. I’m guessing I’ll like the subsequent books in the series even more!

Thanks to titan books and RB media for the ARC/ALC of this one!

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3.5 stars. I love flintlock fantasy so I was excited for this one. It's a solid start to what I think will be a great series. I felt a bit bored at parts but not enough to deter me from picking up the next one.

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4.5 but I’m rounding up! It’s genuinely excellent.

Fans of Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders, you’ll love this one. This is the flintlock fantasy you’ve been awaiting.

Stormsingers are powerful. Stormsingers are valuable. Stormsingers are the indentured property of the Crown…

Mary has been hiding her skills all her life to avoid being pressed into service: but one day she can do so no longer.

Samuel, a pirate hunter, is set on clearing the shame from his family name - by capturing the famous Pirate Lord Silvanus Lirr. But to do so, he will need a storm witch.

And he is not the only one in search of Silvanus Lirr: other pirates seek to claim Lirr’s prize…

Written with absorbing, believable detail, this book captured me from the very beginning. It’s vivid and shocking, brutal and beautiful. The magic and spectral world - the Dark Water - is utterly convincing, and the mystery of the spectral Ghistings who haunt both the Dark Water and dwell within the ships unravels just slowly enough to keep you tantalised. An astoundingly good book.

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Dark Water Daughter by H. M. Long is an action-packed, swashbuckling Jacobean adventure that takes readers on a thrilling journey through treacherous waters. Set in a vividly portrayed world reminiscent of Pirates of the Caribbean, the novel follows Mary Firth, a Stormsinger with the power to control storms, and Samuel Rosser, a disgraced naval officer seeking redemption. As their paths intertwine, they navigate a world of magic, betrayal, and fierce women.

The captivating magical system, well-crafted characters, and dual point of view enhance the storytelling, while the historical detail and immersive setting of Tampa Bay add depth and authenticity. Dark Water Daughter is an enthralling read that promises an exciting start to the Winter Sea series.

While Dark Water Daughter has many strengths, there are a couple of drawbacks to note. Some readers might find the occasional info-dumping overwhelming, as the extensive information about characters and their relationships can be challenging to absorb. Additionally, there are a few unanswered questions that may leave readers craving more closure or further exploration in future books.

Nevertheless, the book's rich character development, exceptional world-building, and the genuine, tender relationship between Mary and Samuel make it a must-read for fans of action-packed fantasy tales. Overall, Dark Water Daughter is a captivating and thrilling adventure that promises to keep readers eagerly turning the pages, anticipating the next installment in the series.

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Like so many good pirate stories, Dark Water Daughter begins with our protagonist, Mary Firth, about to be hanged. That was a sure way to catch my attention, particularly when that was immediately followed up with her dashing escape with a fellow prisoner. Up until this point Mary has spent all her life living in a ghistwold, which is a magical forest where the trees grow into the Other and are inhabited by spirits called ghisten. These trees are harvested and carved into ship figureheads and the ghisten will then protect its ship until the figurehead is burned or otherwise destroyed.
Mary herself is the daughter of the most powerful Stormsinger, though her mother has been missing for many years and Mary has presumed her lost forever. Mary has been trying to keep her own abilities under wraps for her entire life, but that goes awry as soon as she sings up a violent storm to escape the gallows and is sold to pirates. She brokers a deal with pirate captain James Demery to destroy Silvanus Lirr, a brutal pirate lord bent on destruction and pillaging, in order to free her mother who is serving as Lirr’s stormsinger. All the while, Mary keeps bumping into Samuel Rosser, a former navy man turned pirate hunter and the two develop a certain sense of admiration for one another.
This was a dashing sea-faring adventure full of peril, treasure, and fascinating magic. The various magical affinities were wonderful and learning how they work and interact with one another was one of my favorite parts of the story. Stormsingers use their voice to control winds and weather patterns, which as one would imagine is very useful to a ship’s captain. A Sooth can look into the Other, or Dark Water as some call it, and see visions and track other magic users. A Magni can sway emotions, which is terribly dangerous in the wrong hands.
The story is told in dual POV, featuring the occasional flashback to flesh out Mary’s journey from stormsinger in hiding to a convicted highwayman about to hang. I preferred Mary’s POV, mostly because she was at the forefront of the action and was always on the cusp of danger. Samuel Rosser’s POV chapters were largely spent dealing with his own inner demons and trying to track down Mary so that his captain might catch Silvanus Lirr. As the story progressed he grew on me but Mary remained my favorite.
Overall, this was a thrilling fantasy story perfect for fans of R.J. Barker’s Tide Child trilogy, which I would highly recommend if you haven’t read it! Dark Water Daughter is the first in H.M. Long’s The Winter Sea series and it looks as if the second book is expected to release in summer 2024, based on the author’s website.

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I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. I have always been trying to find a novel that gives the same vibe and atmosphere as Pirates of the Caribbean, and I think I've finally found it. This was so engaging, paced perfectly with the right amount of character work and plot development. The original magic system was probably my favourite element, it was intriguing and complex but still easy enough to understand and I look forward to exploring in more in the sequels. Also the PERFECT amount of romance for me, 10/10 background enemies to lovers (sort of) side plot.

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Cool cover, easy reading, and cool concept. Plus, we are in Tampa Bay, so pirates! Definitely will move in our libraries.

Thank you to NetGalley and Titan for the ARC.

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This book was so good that I'm honestly struggling for words but I'll attempt to write a coherent review. I had heard absolutely amazing things about this, so I started reading as soon as I got the book downloaded. I was captivated from the very first lines. H. M. Long's prose is stunning and the book really starts out with a bang!

When we first meet Mary, she is trying to get out of being hung for looking like a notorious highwaywoman. She strikes a deal with a highwayman who is unfortunately tangled up with some pirates and causes Mary to get tangled up to them as well. She is a weather witch known as a stormsinger with the power to control weather through her voice, an attribute that makes her dangerously valuable to ship captains. Her mother warned her of the horrors of life at sea before disappearing and Mary is determined that her fate will be different from her mother's. Though Mary is pretty sure her mother isn't dead, she's not currently sure of her fate.

Samuel Rosser, our other protagonist, is a pirate hunter desperate to capture the notorious Lirr. He has unique magical abilities that lead him to believe that Mary, who keeps eluding him, is crucial to his success. We follow our protagonists through a variety of adventures and slowly learn more about the unique magic and creatures this world has to offer. I really loved how H. M. Long created new mythical beings to inhabit her world instead of just the mermaids and sea serpents we've come to expect from pirate fantasies. I also loved that this is a harsh, wintry sea instead of a tropical one. It just feels so fresh and exciting to read something so imaginative! And the little hints at potential romance were fantastic! I can't wait till book two and I'm glad there wasn't a big cliffhanger at the end!

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This book opened with Mary awaiting her turn at the gallows and just kept rolling from there! I was hooked from the start, and with a swashbuckling crew of characters that we collect along the way, it was a constant ride.
Mary is a stormsinger (she can control the weather with her voice) which is a coveted commodity among the various parties who make their way on the seas. She is kidnapped and sold and has to figure out who to trust as she tries to find her mother and avoid the clutches of a dangerous pirate with the help of other pirates and pirate hunters. Samuel Rosser is a disgraced naval officer turned pirate hunter and finds himself in the orbit of Mary, especially when she steals a valuable talisman from him and he must follow her across oceans to retrieve it before his own power drives him mad.

While there was certainly a whole new world and magic system to learn, it wasn't hard to grasp and it was given at appropriate sections throughout the book so there was no big info dump. I really enjoyed Mary was no pushover and she really came into her own throughout the book. Overall, Dark Water Daughter was an incredibly enjoyable magical piratey read and I will definitely be continuing the series!

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This was a brilliant swashbuckling fantasy which had me hooked from the very first chapter.
We first meet Mary on the gallows, condemned to death for crimes that she (mostly) hasn’t committed. Her escape plunges her from one perilous situation into another as she is auctioned off for her powers as a stormsinger. This leads her into one danger after another as she tries to find and rescue her mother.
I loved the world created by H M Long in this book. It is fantasy and filled with magic but rooted in historical fiction and the world is one that many people familiar with 17th/18th century pirate tales will recognise. There are no idyllic tropical islands here though, this tale is set on the winter sea with storms and freezing temperatures. As well as the real world, we have ‘the other’ – a place filled with monsters and magic. There are characters and places where the two worlds meet and the ghistings are some of the most important of these. Their use on ships had echoes of Robin Hobb’s Liveships books but there was a very different feel in this book. The magic system felt new to me and was well-thought out. I really enjoyed the dark side of the magic being a large theme of the book.
Mary is a brilliant protagonist. She is young and untrained in her powers but she is strong willed and resourceful. Even when she is in serious trouble, she keeps trying to keep control of her own destiny. I enjoyed the character of Samuel too. His powers are less clear cut as they are damaged and I liked the way that he gradually became more confident. There is a great cast of characters, many of whom are unclear in their motives meaning that neither we nor Mary know who can be trusted.
The plot kept me engaged right through the novel and I loved the ending which left things open for another book while resolving all of the issues in this one.
Huge thanks to Net Galley and the publishers, Titan Books, for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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This was a solid 3.5 for me. I loved the world building, and the uniqueness of the Stormsingers however there were times I was just bored. There was a lot of info dumping when it came to some of the characters and their stories or their relationships with others. Not a whole lot of showing. It also takes a long time to get to decent action packed scenes. There was a lot of stop off in ports and I feel like those chapters could have been cut down a little bit. I feel like the next book is going to be better since this one was a lot of build up but we will seed

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Oh. My. God.

This was everything I needed from a Pirate fantasy!
Female leads that own their powers? Check
A wholesome, and near perfect romance thats not the main focus of our heroines tale? Check
A new, really intricate magic system? CHECK

I loved everything about this. From every heart break, to triumph. Each page left me wanting more. The world building so so expertly crafted I never felt lost with locations. (I only ever felt lost with ship names, but that is just my brain constantly flipping 2 ships that sounds similar, but thats literally just a me thing). The characters bring so much life into the story and they are so perfectly sculpted. Each moment between any combination of characters felt 100% natural. Since its multi POV we really get to see the inner workings of our main characters. I was cheering on, raging at, crying with, and celebrating with each main character as we were swept along in this grand tale. I want more in this series right away pretty please!

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(will be coming back to add review links once july starts and i actually can post the reviews!!)

i received an e-arc of this book, thank you to netgalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me to opportunity to review Dark Water Daughter by H.M. Long

within the first 15 percent of this book i was absolutely hooked. i was so invested in mary's storyline and i loved it. i think dark water daughter is every pirate high seas adventure book that people need to read in their life. it's enchanting and enthralling and so beautifully written. i love this book. i wish i could read it for the first time again.

the world building and lore of this book is magical! it's the perfect amount of information to keep you hooked without being an overload of info bombs. the strong women leads in this book is amazing and fierce and badass!

i loved how the storyline was progressing. i couldn't put this book down!! i'd recommend this for anyone who wants a high seas adventure/found family/plot twists/betrayal/fierce fmc/and slow burn romance!

"despite all that's happened, despite all your faults-and mine-i know now that you're the very best." i could CRY this is so wonderfully sweet and caring. i love this dynamic and relationship good god.

"we can be an example to the world, you and i." screaming crying throwing up this is so <333

most definitely a 5 star read for me!! loved this book and will be recommending to everyone i know.

quotes that made me audibly laugh:

"i'll not have my stormsinger looking like an urchin"

"like a stray cat"

"child, when has the sun ever risen in the north?"

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I enjoy the concept, especially in the early chapters, which reminds me of Adrienne Young's Fable. The magic system is also intriguing. and Long's writing is excellent. However, as the story goes, I feel bored because the plot drags and Mary's goal of discovering her mother becomes unclear.⠀

I found it difficult to finish this book because I couldn't connect with the characters. I was going to give it 4 stars but ended up giving it 3. Thanks to Netgalley and Titan books for the earc!

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***4.0 Stars***

Overall,
This was a fantastic swashbuckling story with intriguing unique magic and beautiful world building. I really enjoyed my time with this book. Mary is a storm-singer witch who tumbles into bad situation after bad situation until finally finding her feet and starting to discover herself, while searching for her mother. There are also a lot of pirates, pirate hunters, other types of magic and very limited romance.

Cover,
The cover is fine, Pretty standard. Kind of dark. Not my favorite, I think the title draws me more then the cover.

Recommendation,
I would recommend this to anyone who is into fantasy with a dash of pirates and lots of ships, likes unique magic systems or has read other books by H.M. Long. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

***I received an Arc of this book from Netgalley and Titan Books in exchange for my free and honest review***

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