Member Reviews

A strong sequel that builds upon the unique magic system, naval politics, and slow-burn romantic subplot of the first book. Love these characters and can't wait to get more from this unique fantasy world!

Mary and Sam must work together to free his twin brother from a notorious prison. While doing so, Sam must come to terms with the powerful but ultimately horrific magic that was forced upon them as children. Mary and Sam also have to decide how far to take their relationship and maintain a professional relationship as captain and storm-singer. Hopefully there's a wee bit more romance in book three, otherwise, I've got no complaints!

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A swashbuckling journey picking up right where Book 1 left off, with even more tension and raised stakes

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I want to thank #netgalley - #TitanBooks for the kindle & #RBMedia for the audio- I realize it’s nerdy gluttony, but I love to go back and forth btwn both mediums so I can hyper focus on a story.

And woo- Long builds a rich world* full of politics, layered magic systems, and yessss– even a slow burn romance** & it demands your attention. Did I mention intriguing gray characters that you *need* to keep your eyes on? TBH, it contains every fantasy element I crave for bookish escapism.

But TBH, I can’t believe it took me till book 2 realize Moira Quirk was on this- she’s one of my favorite narrators!

In book one, I was unsure how I felt about Tane/Mary relationship, in book 1 it felt creepy, but in book 2 it proved itself mores empowering.

I’m looking forward to book 3 (Red Tempest Son slated for July 2025).

Don’t sleep on this series! Highly recommend- 4/5

*At the start of book 3, can there be a series recap so far (the Rook & Rose series by M.A. Carrick does this and I wish this was a standard practice 😩.)

** Though I am begging for a little more spice in book three. (Pretty please!)

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deeply enjoyable!!!! was pleasantly surprised with how much i liked dark water daughter, so to get the sequel a bit early was very exciting and soooooo worth it. can't wait for the final book

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Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for sharing this ARC!

I feel the same way about Black Tide Son that I felt about Dark Water daughter...something just does not connect with me. Yes, the writing is beautiful and lyrical but in terms of the story I can't find anything that grasps me and keeps me from putting the book down. I'm glad that this does resonate with so many people but I'm not sure if it's a series I will continue with in the future.

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This is more like a 4.5 stars if I'm being nitpicky. The middle didn't hold together quite as well as it did in book one. However, this was a really enjoyable return to the Winter Sea universe. Mary, Sam and Benedict have come a long way since book one - each following their own arc to show believable character development. It was also an interesting take to have Mary know exactly what she wanted and Sam to dither over choices.

This is just as action packed as Dark Water Daughter, with a series of high stakes sea faring adventures along the way. The story is engaging and I actually found myself rooting for the romance (which is quite unusual for me!) I especially like the way the folklore of this world is woven into the story but also used as world building - you feel that you've never seen everything and that there could be more adventures in this universe.

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This series has completely captivated me! Not only do we have pirates and weather witched but we also have such a compelling and intriguing plot! I'm such a fan of this author's work and i feel like every book of hers has only gotten better. Highly recommend this one!

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This is a difficult review to write, because I LOVED 'Dark Water Daughter' and eagerly awaited this sequel so much. I am rounding up from 3.5 stars because I love the author and the characters, and I do think that if you enjoyed 'Dark Water Daughter', this is worth reading to give the story closure. That said, this story is disappointingly slow and tedious. It lacked the action and suspense of the first book, and parts felt very repetitive. Sam's character in this book lacks the spark that made Mary shine in the first book. I found the first book unputdownable, but I took much longer to finish this one. Again, I do recommend it for fans of the first book.

Many thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this ARC.

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Finally a second book in a series that does not fall short of what the first book set up! Sometimes it’s so hard to have a strong second book when the first was so good. While this one can’t ever hit quite as hard as the uniqueness of finding the first last year, it is just as enthralling and captivating. I love the world this author has built and the characters are very easy to want to see more of.

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Four sailors sit at a table, tap the aging wood, and allow the ethereal ghistings within them to commune. Such a small scene, yet the moments like this, of spirits and humans mingling, remain for me the heart of the series. Mary's powers as Stormsinger and ghiseau connect song and storm, spirit and nature, creating beautiful stillness and amazing power that captivate on the page.

I'd recommend refreshing on the events of Dark Water Daughter before starting this sequel. Since it's been over a year for me, I wish I had a better memory of those events, particularly the ghistings and Sam's connection to the Otherworld, which are both integral to the continuing adventures.

As with the first book, I was a little too aware of the narrative style to be fully immersed (Mary and Samuel both tend to archly describe their feelings more than letting them be felt) but behind the mechanics, I love this mystical world of magics and mayhem and I'm excited that this novel both resolves a chapter and opens a door for further adventures in the Winter Sea.

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Welcome back to the Winter Sea!! In this spectacular follow-up to the first book, Dark Water Daughter, Black Tide Son is a swashbuckling good time. We are reintroduced to a full cast of characters as our MCs, Mary and Samuel, receive startling news that Samuel’s twin brother, Benedict, has been captured. In this heart pounding sequel, our beloved duo must now fight through extracting Ben, but also learning there is more afoot than what meets the eye.

OH MY GOODNESS!!!! This series is going to be one of my favorite of all time. I cannot wait for book 3 and Black Tide Son was just published TODAY!! Long is an amazing wordsmith. Her ability to verbally paint a picture is unmatched. Her characters a beautifully written and there is so much life to them. I feel like I’m reading a story written about friends rather than fictional characters. I can almost taste the salt in the air and feel the wind on my skin. I can’t believe how emotionally attached I am to these characters and this world. Bravo H.M. Long. You’ve now made it onto my “auto-buy authors” list!! 5/5 stars. I loved this so much!!

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So thrilled to be back in this world. Amazing worldbuilding - where I feel like every facet of the society is so well aligned to the characters and the magic. And every magical element is so unique while being so cohesive. And the slowest of slow burns, for perfectly sensible plot reasons.

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Also posted to GoodReads today, Amazon, X, and Instagram will be tomorrow - thank you!

I think it’s common knowledge that Dark Water Daughter was my favorite read of last year. I love dark pirates, strange magic, and partnerships that don’t turn into romance, so the book had all the right parts for me. It was just excellent and had all my favorite elements so naturally I had (unrealistically) high hopes for Black Tide Son.

I feel spoiled because I had both advanced reading and listening copies, so thanks very much to Titan Books and Recorded Books for those. Both were received for free in exchange for an honest review, and as always all opinions are my own ⚔️

Black Tide Son was still a very good read despite not quite hitting as hard. The atmosphere remains thick and the magic stays strange, but the plot itself just wasn’t an engaging for me. As you can guess by the title, this is Samuel and Benedict’s book more than Mary’s. We learn how their magic became corrupted and explore the brother’s complicated relationship. It’s not easy, it’s not happy, but is there a cure to their condition? Could Benedict ever not be a monster and can Samuel have a chance at sanity?

The other part is that of course now Mary and Samuel are exploring their feelings. Thankfully there’s blessed little pining and not much repetition, plus I respect his sense of honor. I am never a fan of romantic plots but I’ve seen much much worse.

Anyway, as much as I love swirling tides and the gistings and such, I didn’t think the espionage and war was as engaging of a plot. I also got sick of main characters getting casually shot, like how many bullets can people take before they can’t shrug it off and start acting injured?

Regardless, this is another action packed book and Long is wonderful at creating high stakes and urgency. I love her descriptions of the ice and tides and general setting too. I def wasn’t ever bored while reading or listening.

One thing I’m excited about is that it seems like Benedict is going to have a big role in the next book. He’s a morally questionable character at best and I’m interested in knowing more.

Finally regarding the audiobook… I learned something new. Sometimes the narrators would repeat sentences multiple times with different pronunciations, which I’ve never heard before so it must have been a very early version. Anyway, I am glad that Moira Quirk and Samuel Roukin are back and at top form. They are cast perfectly for these characters and do wonderfully clear accents. I would totally recommend Black Tide Son in both audio or book form.

Long story short:
Everything I said about Dark Water Daughter is true here for it’s sequel. I just personally wasn’t hit as hard by the plot. Long is a great writer and I would totally recommend Black Tide Son if you liked Dark Water Daughter. The series is excellent for fans of nautical fantasy with dark currents. Thanks so much for checking out my book review and thanks again to the publishers for the early copies 🖤⚔️🖤

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(4.5 stars rounded up)

H.M. Long has done it again!

Black Tide Son is the sequel to Dark Water Daughter, featuring a Stormsinger named Mary and a Sooth mage named Samuel. This time, they are on a quest to save Samuel’s twin Benedict from prison, but in the process they find themselves in webs of conspiracy, politics, and magical peril. Up against foreign powers and dangerous cults, they face destiny at the crossroads of life and death with looming war on the horizon.

I just posted my review of Dark Water Daughter, and I couldn’t put down this sequel. I’m officially pulled out of my reading slump! I felt like this sequel did justice to the storyline, and continued the story of these characters with excitement and flair. There is excellent pacing, as there was in the first book, which adds to the action-packed plot and draws you in. I found myself unable to stop turning the pages (even when it was nearly midnight) because I was just so invested in what happened next.

The characters themselves are given more opportunities to grow and solidify who they are (we see this a lot with Benedict in particular), which really drew me in. I also felt like the alternate POVs really worked well in this story, and added a duality that was needed for this dynamic plot.

As far as the plot itself, I found it to be really satisfying, but this is with the previous knowledge of this being part of a trilogy. I didn’t necessarily expect everything to be tied up and concluded, but I will admit the ending did feel a bit clipped. I was left with questions and intrigue for the next book, which I think is kind of the purpose of the second book in a trilogy, but I wonder if the ending could have been more climatic.

All in all, I loved this book, and, if you are a burgeoning fantasy reader who wants all the drama of a high fantasy without being overwhelmed with the details, I would read this series immediately!

Black Tide Son is out today wherever books are sold!

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Black Tide Son is a fantastic sequel to Dark Water Daughter and has a real swashbuckling feel to it. The main thing I love about this series is Long’s writing. It’s so immersive, vivid and drags you into the story. This also helps with the characters which are developed amazingly well including their relationships. The world-building is also top tier. I liked the mixture of points of view throughout but I do feel this one was more focused on Samuel and Benedict but that isn’t a bad thing at all.

We get to view two sides of the tale as it were still with alternating between Mary and Samuel which I think helps move the novel on and keeps you engaged. I really enjoyed this one and I think I will reread both in the near future.

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This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and was so excited when I was sent an early copy to read. Sadly, this one fell a bit flat for me…

I reread the first book in this trilogy, Dark Water Daughter, so that I could be fully immersed in the story but it just made the differences in book two very obvious. I felt like the tone and character development from the first book was completely lost and the romance fell apart and felt forced at times. Without giving too much away, the story felt extremely repetitive and plot lines that were developing since book one were wrapped up in 1-2 pages at the very end of the book. Most of the plot that I was interested in just didn’t go deep enough for me and often felt rushed to wrap up.

Some aspects I did enjoy and wish we had gotten more of
• the battle scenes on the ships
• the magic and lore around the Ghistings
• interactions with the side characters
• the romance is very slow burn and I did enjoy the scenes where it worked. I don’t mind slow burn at all! But when the fmc is begging for any scrap of love from the mmc it just didn’t sit right with me 😭

Book 3 has already been announced and I will likely continue the series and hope that this was just a case of middle book syndrome 💛

Thank you Titan Books for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review

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A brilliant thrill ride of a sequel to a powerhouse of an outstanding Book One. I loved every moment of this and can't wait to see what happens next.

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This was good - though I did realize I don't think I like pirate stories as much as I thought I did. That's on me, not the book! I thought this was really well done.

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Hello again dear reader or listener, I hope your summer is going well! And if you’re in one of the countries that have only been seeing rain, my condolences.

With thanks to Titan Books for once again granting me an arc, this time to the next entry in this series, come along with me while I share my honest and happy ramblings.

Now, where to begin? With a warning for veeery mild spoilers for book one, I suppose. Though I’m not going to go in any detail and I’ll avoid some names so fear not! Brace for it though, it’s gonna be a long one. I’m not even a bit sorry cause I need to rave.

In Dark Water Daughter, Long introduced the reader to this magical and unforgiving world she’s created for the Winter Sea, she brought action and nuance to multilayered characters, be they primary or secondary.

She also gifted us a mesmerizing magic system, interwoven with political intrigue and impeccable character work and chemistry. The high stakes never ceased and the pace of the story was optimal to keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time without tiring you out.

I’m happy to say, then, that Long kept at it, sailing majestically into a relentless and action packed sequel that had me hooked (and only a tiny bit stressed – who am I kidding, the last 25% had me sweating) from start to finish. Sophomore slump? Long doesn’t know her.

In fact, I would only leave this out of my hands because I was needed for chores or to walk the dogs.

Black Tide Son begins about a year after the events of book one, since Long wrapped up that main story very nicely, with more looming on the horizon. Something she also does with book two but more on that in a moment. I admittedly had a bit of a hard time at the very beginning because it had been a year since I read the first and I was trying to remember some of the secondary names and events, however said struggle didn’t last long at all because the author wove in seamless recaps in those first chapters that caught me up with everything I needed and I was ready to keep going full tilt once again.

Amping up everything I loved in book one, tensions where higher, problems bigger, foes more inscrutable and insidious, but our characters were stronger as well, more sure of their respective powers, but also still not overpowered and invincible. Everything and everyone leveled up accordingly, to put it another way, while also meeting new struggles or the worsening of previous fears. And once again, the specific events of this book wrap up most satisfyingly (with an excellent epilogue to boot -Omg the unexpected pov had me cheering) but leaving over the final struggle that is yet to come in the final book which I’m already *dying* for!!

Mary, our badass and sassily practical queen once again served in any which way possible, and I loved how she developed into a more confident and rounded up character than who we met in book one. From brave but unsure and flawed young woman, who we rooted for like hell anyway, she well and truly embodied her Fleetbreaker title in this sequel. No stranger to sacrifices, she bore the brunt of a lot that happened in this story but she did so in ways that not only showed her development brilliantly but still highlighted all those qualities we loved in her from the beginning and allowed her to be the stalwart support Samuel and others needed for this story. And the sass is still hella strong which we always approve of.

Basically, when it comes to Mary, I’m just the Pedro Pascal meme of stupidly grinning at her in admiration because she is very much the MVP.

As for Samuel, the tired man just needs a hug and a stiff drink. Finally a privateer captain of his own vessel, and redeemed from previous false accusations, he is at last able to shed part of the weight that haunted him in book one, properly revealing a capable tactician and honorable captain who is no longer bound by blind duty but has also grown and learned what it takes to survive in this world without sacrificing one’s values. His misplaced idealism was cracked in book one and any vestiges of it were shattered with this one. I also loved seeing his background be the primary focus in this installment as well as his internal growth and fears. Also the lack of worry or self consciousness about leaning on Mary in times of need. My poor shipper heart isn’t strong enough for this man and all the respecting women juice he drinks. Moreover, the amount of comedic relief we get from his gentlemanly ways, and how unimpressed Mary and other characters are by them, is good for the soul honestly.

I had missed these characters so much and I only truly realized the extent of it when I saw them again on the page, facing new struggles and building relationships I had hoped for in the first book. Long does a slow-burn oh so well and I hated it as much as I loved it. Seriously this book was killing me softly a solid 80% of the time and not just from a romantic perspective but an intrapersonal and platonic one as well.

Moreover I’m the biggest sucker for villain decay. Even more so when it comes for characters I never expected might redeem themselves, which even then, was way more nuanced than a simple redemption arc.

That’s some insane skill right there and I truly applaud Long. It is possibly one of the best parts of this book.

Why? Well, Long makes her characters work for it! It’s not a simple “oh there’s an even bigger bad on the horizon and this character’s previously horrible actions seem small in comparison, so let’s pretend they didn’t happen and let’s forgive and forget”.

Oh no. They’re held accountable, they themselves fight their own redemption because they don’t see a need for it, and the others they have harmed don’t let bygones be, they work (however begrudgingly) to rehabilitate in a manner that I could get behind fully. And I’m notoriously difficult on forgiveness, dear reader.

It’s a rare author that doesn’t simply demand of their reader to go on and accept that this character is now one of the good guys and they need to deal with it.

I was ecstatic to say the least, my feels were going through the wringer and I concurrently felt as vindicated as those that had been wronged in the previous book did.

It was simply majestic. Long has earned a life long reader in me from this bit of character work alone and my words here today cannot possibly do this character arc justice.

I’m wrapping this up, I promise.

Finally, I have a single, teeny, tiny, and very personal peeve with this book. Indeed, while all of the above worked wonders, with the action, the naval battles, the jailbreaks, the ambiance and the plot pace, feeding yours truly to near perfection, one small resolution that had been built up for the whole book, felt a little rushed and glossed over. I realize this might’ve been to save on the word count or even down to personal preference of the author, which I’m in no way judging. But after all the teasing and building expectation throughout the story, a scene which I was rooting for the whole time was very tight and not even fade to black as much as it was nearly skipped ahead entirely. While I should’ve been cheering for this moment and I did in part, I felt a little let down and rushed. But oh well. The rest was so good, that I can live with it and other readers might not even care as much as I did!

If you made it this far, huzzah! To keep with the naval theme, you see? Thank you for humoring the ravings!

If you haven’t read Dark Water Daughter yet run, just run, and if you have read it and are wondering whether the sequel will live up to the awesomeness of the first, I’m here to tell you that yes, yes it does and more. So much more.

H. M. Long raises the bar on what epic high seas fantasy and character work are supposed to be. And she does so spectacularly, by grabbing you by the proverbial lapels and flinging you into edge of your seat action, humor, and so much heart.

Black Tide Son comes out tomorrow, July 9th!

Until next time,

Eleni A. E.

P.S: special mention goes to Charles, the eternally lovable and iconic side character who, in this book, gets even more of the subtle hints of character depth that I always love.

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Release Date: July 9, 2024
Date Read and Reviewed: July 8, 2024
Ratings: 4⭐️


As expected of author H.M. Long's writing, you will easily be captivated and compelled in the storytelling. As for Black Tide Son, the characters were what really endeared me so and what I was looking forward to.

I was so happy to have experience having Charles once again in this story. He was such a delight. The same goes for the existing characters. Although I was quite worried about their well-being, considering all the things that happened in this instalment.

I was also very surprised to care so much of Ben. He was such a compelling and kind of a complex character for me. Charismatic, sarcastic, and a good amount of sassiness. I did enjoy the journey of his character arc. For some reason, I just thought of Charles when writing this part 😆 I was also glad for Ben's development, which I was really rooting for his character as well aside from Sam and Mary.

As for Mary and Sam, this pairing frustrates 😆 I mean I love these 2 so much, but the level of miserable and kind self sabotaging and the push and pull going on with their romance stresses me so much that I wish I could just locked them myself since Ben didn't do that when they were in that scene. Long story short, I want a whole arc of these pairing being happy and lovey dovey. So I'm definitely hoping for the next to have Mary and Sam's romance be developed more.

Now, onto the main plot, Black Tide Son, finding Ben, the Ess Notti, the breaking in the prison, the running arc, and the finding cure. I'm not gonna lie, THEY DID STRESSED ME SO. So many intense events did happen here that I wondered how I was able to remember them. I would say this is a mix of character - and plot driven type of novel.

For all of that, I would like to point out the issue or the things that, in my opinion, did bother me a little. The storyline and the storytelling were a little bit slow and dragging for my taste, or it did seem like it.

Overall, I enjoyed it so much. It was compelling and a page turner. Highly recommended and so excited for the next instalment, especially for Ben and Charles duo and his crew 🩷

Thank you once again, Titan Books and author H.M. Long for the e-arc opportunity via Netgalley ✨️.

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