Book #49: Air and Ash by Alex Lidell

Born to privilege.
Trained for command.
Destined for danger.

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 battle worthy. 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.

I received an Audible code for an honest review via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

I didn’t know I wanted to read Nautical books until I read this one (okay, there is another one but I feel this one follows the nautical theme more). Our main character, Nile, is a strong and stubborn young woman. Despite her royal blood, she is not a stranger to hardwork and proving you belong in a high stress environment. I truly felt a sort of kinship with her. I could see myself making similar decisions in her case and though she would make mistakes, she would try her best to fix them with what she had.

There is a romantic subplot but the bulk of the story is her trying to prove herself once again but with an assumed identity and new hardship. The amount of learning she goes through is enough to see that she will grow as a character, but true to any first book, she is nowhere near she will be in the end of it all. That isn’t to say she doesn’t change in book one, she does, but it is a small change and more of an eye opening realization that the life she lived before, though difficult, is not the way it is for every ship or person.

Since this is a fantasy, there is a magical element to the book that is described like an illness. Each “gifted” person can attract a specific element and that attraction can cause a physical ailment as a side effect. I loved seeing the cultural differences between one country to another when it comes to the Gifted as well as other life related things. It makes the world large and rich. Something the author and reader could revisit in a different series.

In all, I very much enjoyed this book and plan to read the rest of the series. I am invested in Nile and the crew. Each one has a personality of a person you would see in every day life. Ms. Lidell has done a great job.

Final Rating: 4/5

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