Monday, September 17, 2018

Book Review: The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead

The Emerald Sea
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: The Glittering Court (Book 3)
Publication: Razorbill (June 26, 2018)

Description: Tamsin Wright is unstoppable. She must become the Glittering Court's diamond: the girl with the highest test scores, the most glamorous wardrobe, and the greatest opportunities to match with an elite suitor in the New World. Training alongside other girls in the Glittering Court, Tamsin immerses herself completely in lessons about etiquette, history, and music--everything a high-society wife would need to know. Once she's married, she'll be able to afford a better life for her family, so the sacrifice is worth it if she can be the best.

When her friendship with Mira and Adelaide, her roommates at the Glittering Court, threatens her status as the top-ranked prospect, she does the only thing she knows will keep her on track: she cuts them out of her life. But when her voyage across the sea goes off course, Tamsin must use her unrelenting grit and determination to survive the harsh winter far north of her intended destination in hopes of making it back to the Glittering Court in time to secure a proposal--and a comfortable future for her family.

Experiencing new cultures and beliefs for the first time, Tamsin realizes that her careful studies haven't prepared her for everything, and with new alliances formed with roguish tradesman Jago Robinson and good-natured minister Gideon Stewart, Tamsin's heart begins to be pulled in different directions. But she can't let her brewing attraction get in the way of her ultimate goal: protecting the secret she holds closest to her heart, the one that would unravel everything she's worked for if it's uncovered.

My Thoughts: This final book of the Glittering Court trilogy follows Tamsin's adventures. Her adventures are concurrent with the events of the first two books which are each focused on one of Tamsin's best friends.

Tamsin is the daughter of a laborer and a laundress. Being accepted into the Glittering Court has given her the opportunity to find a husband in the New World at the colony at Cape Triumph. She is determined to be the best at her studies so that she will have the best chance of finding the perfect husband. When Adelaide manages to top her score and leaves her in fourth place, Tamsin is very disappointed and angry at Adelaide.

Rather than travel on the same ship as the rest of the girls from her training center, she switches places to the other ship. She didn't think she could stand to be so close to Adelaide for the time of the trip. However, when a major storm blows up, the two ships are separated and Tamsin finds herself shipwrecked far from Cape Triumph. They are discovered by a party of Balanquans and Icori who offer, for a fee, to take them to their people.

Tamsin, who has become the leader of the girls from the Glittering Court, finds herself and the other girls in a town called Constancy which is an Ofridian town but settled by a group similar to the Puritans in their religion.

The people there are willing to send the girls on to Cape Triumph but it won't be for a number of months. Winter is not yet over and the danger of blizzards is high. Tamsin meets a junior minister there who is named Gideon Stewart and she incurs the jealousy of Dinah Cole who runs her father's house where four of the girls are living while they wait to travel on. Dinah has decided that Gideon would make a good husband and Tamsin is too much of a threat.

Meanwhile, Tamsin is looking for a faster way to Cape Triumph and is directed to a trader named Jago Robinson. The leader of the Icori had recommended him. When she finds him, he is very reluctant to give up his place an an earlier river trip to Cape Triumph. Jago is someone unlike anyone Tamsin has met. They fall in love with each other but Tamsin isn't willing to give up her goal of finding a rich husband in Cape Triumph. Her future and the future of her daughter depend on her finding a wealthy man.

Tamsin, with and without Jago, have a variety of adventures before and after they get to Cape Triumph. Someone is orchestrating events to increase tensions between the Balanquans and Icori and the Ofridians and Tamsin finds herself in the middle of it.

This was a great finale to the series. I liked the way Tamsin found her strengths and secured a happy future for her daughter and herself. This was a nicely complex story with great worldbuilding.

Favorite Quote:
"I was uneasy when Orla advocated for you to speak for us," Padrig said, once he'd taken my advice. "I still am. You're very young. But I think you might be a little wise. If we all get killed, it probably isn't going to be because of you."

Orla, overhearing as she passed, remarked, "Wow, Tamsin. He really things well of you."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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