Thursday, September 19, 2013

Stormsinger (Stephanie A. Cain)

Stephanie A. Cain
Stephanie Cain, publisher
Fiction, Fantasy
***+ (Okay/Good)

DESCRIPTION: The kingdom's best and most famous privateer, Captain Arama Dzornaea usually spends her days hunting enemy ships to bring glory (and treasure) to her liege. A quick jaunt to a neighboring kingdom with the crown prince, to deliver him to his betrothed, should scarcely test her mettle... not even with a stormwitch aboard to ensure a favorable breeze. But something extraordinary lurks in the depths, a force that quickly turns a routine sail into something far more dangerous.
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: On the whole, this has some intriguing parts. Arama promises a colorful history, not just because of her storied relationship with the prince's general. The world itself, with sea monsters and strange magics and rival kingdoms, has potential. But in a story this short, that potential can scarcely be touched, let alone realized. I couldn't quite work out if this was a short story with too much baggage or a novel that ran out of steam, as Stormsinger seems adrift between the two possibilities. It earns an extra half-mark for having been apparently written in eight hours - given that time frame, it's remarkably polished - but I'm not sure it should've been published as it is; had Cain sat on it until she had a novel-length story to go with the novel-length ideas, she might've had something special on her hands.

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