Friday, May 18, 2018

Weekend #Review - War and Wind by Alex Lidell #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Tides # 2
Format: E-Book, 356 pages
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Publisher: Danger Bearing Press
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy

A cowardly captain. An incompetent crew. A mission she can't fail. 

Nile and her small band of loyal midshipmen saved the ship, and Captain Rima might just kill them for it . . . one young officer at a time. No one and nothing on the Aurora is safe anymore, least of all Nile's explosive secrets or her connection with Domenic, which vibrates between them like a cutlass speared into the deck. 

When the shifting tide of war suddenly turns Aurora's backwater outpost into a vital battleground, Nile faces an impossible choice between duty and freedom. In a cascade of violence, gunpowder, and lies, Nile will soon discover who has her back and who wants to stab a dagger in it. To save the ones she loves, Nile may have to sacrifice everything.

War & Wind, by author Alex Lidell, is the second installment in the authors Tides series. This installment picks up where Air & Ash left off. As a summary, Princess Nile Greysik has found herself onboard the Lyron League Ship Aurora under Captain Rima and first officer Domenick Dana. Barred by her own Kingdom of Ashing from serving on any naval vessel thanks to her own brothers nonsense and a political marriage to a Prince from Felielle she had no desire of participating in, Nile slipped into the night and joined the crew of the Aurora.

Niles, aka Ash, has tried to remain as an unknown sailor, but that really didn't last long with Captain Rima's actions and the fact that she is Gifted, a trait that is considered abhorrent in most of the six Kingdoms of the Lyron League. Due to her own actions in the previous installment, there is a deep, and troubling feeling among the crew, especially the midshipmen who listened to Niles in a pivotal moment in the previous story. This leads to betrayal, destroyed friendships, dishonor, and cowardice by a ship's captain, which leads Nile to doing something absolutely brilliant. 

I'm repeating myself from my review of Air & Ash, but so be it. Even though Niles tends to make some silly mistakes, she is absolutely fantastic. You can push her, but she doesn't easily break. Yes, she is human, and therefore emotions do play a part in her actions. However, she's intelligent & she's had more seafaring time than nearly everyone onboard the Aurora, and yet, time and time again she faces challenges because of a Captain who is a coward, arrogant, spiteful, hateful, and deviously corrupt. 

We absolutely learn that Niles is a born to lead. When trouble raises its ugly head, and the Captain runs away like a dog with his tail between his legs, Nile's takes the bull by the horn and does what others are too afraid of doing. She commandeers a ship along with Catsper and his Marines. Are there consequences for her actions? Oh, yes. Niles relationship with Domenic Dana continues to be one of ups and downs and everything in between. In all honesty, I would have preferred that Niles found a way to connect with Marine Lieutenant Catspar who has found ways to be around whenever Nile's is in trouble.

In this book, we are introduced a new character; Captain Ral Quinn of the People's Republic of Tirik ship Hope. Quinn isn't someone who suddenly shows up and then disappears in a blaze of agony, or glory, or whatever else you would like to come up with. The other knock to the head is when Nile's secret of who she really is comes out and trouble arrives on her doorstep in the form of Rima. Rima is an opportunistic slime ball. There I said it and I'm glad. As I said before, Nile can make some really silly mistakes, but more often than not, she makes level headed decisions that proves that she was born with the heart and the mind of a much wiser and older leader.

There is yet another character who appears in this book, Prince Tamiath of Felielle who is supposed to be Nile's intended. And yet, the author twists his story to the point where I almost reduced my rating by a half. Not a fan of the twist at all, but that's on me, not the writer. I'm just saying it's an easy cop out and unnecessary. I did, however, like Aaron who is also from Felielle. Aaron adds a bit of humor which is desperately needed. There is a bit more of a political aspect to this story since Nile's is the first person to be allowed in the territory of a country that has remained neutral while the rest of these countries have been at war for years. As with Air and Ash, the ending of this book definitely bridges to the third installment called Sea and Sand which I have also just finished. 

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