This review was originally posted on Hot Stuff for Cool People.
I can’t for the life of me remember why it was I wanted to read this book to begin with. Something about it must have struck me, though, because I had it on a list of things to read, and, when I had enough money, decided to buy it. I got it home and still couldn’t remember why I’d wanted it- I usually read fantasy, so this was not really up my alley. And, frankly, after reading the back of the book, I thought it sounded dull. But I had it, so I started in.
Oh. My. God. I am so, so thrilled that I bought and read this. This is definitely one of the finer things I’ve ever read. The writing is so beautiful and thrilling that I was immediately sucked in. The characters are so wonderfully developed, through their actions and the eyes of other characters, that I saw each one as interesting and unique. All of them, including the many supporting characters, are troubled and flawed and so lively and gorgeous. Even the most minor of characters had a distinct, complex personality.
The story of strong yet damaged men, roaming about on the sea, caring for each other, fighting battles, and living as they want to live, is quite captivating and entertaining. What I really loved, though, was the writing. I’m not sure exactly what it was about it except that it was so amazingly good. Each scene was wonderfully touching, or dramatic, or exciting, and exactly the right length. Satisfying, never dragging- this is how the entire book worked. The interactions between the characters were so heartfelt that I would find myself reading a page, then immediately reading it over again. For pages and pages. I raced toward the end of the book, it was so exciting, but I didn’t want to finish it, either.
After I did finish it, I was kind of in a slump. I didn’t want to be anywhere except in that book. I picked up several other books and tried reading them, but nothing (even books that have been highly praised) would measure up to the spectacularness of this story. This is a very unusual state for me, as I read all the time, from one book to the next. I thought I might be ruined, it was so good. And maybe I am. I always hold other books up to this one, and I’ve found very few that measure up.