Format: Kindle E-Book, 284 pages
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Danger Bearing Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Master and Commander meets Tamora Pierce in a seafaring adventure of duty, love, magic, and a princess’s quest to protect her kingdom on her own terms.
After a lifetime of training, seventeen-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission—and fails.
Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battleworthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.
But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.
Air and Ash is the first installment in author Alex Lidell's Tides series. 17-year old Nile Greysik is the protagonist for this series. From an early age, Nile has served her country faithfully in the Ashing Navy. She rose to the rank of Lieutenant, and served as second to the Captain. But, after her ship, His Majesty's Ship Faithful, came under attack from the Republic, and loses a very valuable cargo in the process, Nile finds that her career and hopes of becoming a Captain of her own ship one day, finished.
Niles packs a bag and runs away to join a ship called the Aurora, where she masquerades as a common sailor so not to be returned home where she faces a forced marriage to someone she doesn't love. Niles time on the Aurora is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. There are some scenes where she is thrown into situations where she just can't win no matter what she does. It also doesn't help when she suddenly wakes with magic in her blood. Magic, that if caught, will put Niles in a very difficult situation. Magic that has already caused her brother Clay to become a cripple.
But, let me say this, Niles is absolutely fantastic. You can push her, but she doesn't easily break. She's intelligent & she's had more seafaring time than anyone aboard, and yet, time and time again she faces challenges because of a Captain who is a coward, arrogant, spiteful, hateful, and obvious that he is only interested in lining his own pocket and those of his own countrymen. She's a leader, but can't afford to give away who she really is since doing so will get her sent back home in a Brooklyn minute. Niles relationship with Domenic Dana is one of ups and downs, and everything in between.
It is slow burn, and one that is challenged because of Dana's position on the ship and the fact that he knows who Nile really is. There is chemistry between them, but they can't afford to be caught by the Captain who would love to give Niles even more grief. Another one of my favorite characters is Lt. Catspar who is leader of an elite marine detachment called Spades. Catspar became one of my favorites after seeing how Niles pushes ahead despite all the obstacles put in her way. He even bothers to help her train and learn how to fight knowing that it will most likely save her against the Republic, and others onboard the ship.
I saw this book on Amazon and a book tour web page and decided to jump in feet first. I am glad I did. This is an action-packed adventure that will keep you from wandering off in order to do something else. One could say that I am a fan of swash-buckling stories with ass kicking heroes and heroines. Plus, Niles isn't your typical spoiled Princess which makes things even more delightful for me. I know there is a prequel to this series, and perhaps one day soon I will read that as well. But, in the meantime, I can't wait until the sequel War and Wind is released this coming June.