Isle of blood and stone / Makiia Lucier.
Booklist Reviews 2018 February #2
*Starred Review* Readers craving a captivating adventure will find that and more in Lucier's brilliant fantasy. In St. John del Mar, the royal mapmaker disappears on the same day as the kingdom's two young princes. Eighteen years later, two maps and a mysterious riddle are discovered and believed to be connected to the presumed deaths of del Mar's princes, setting the mapmaker's son Elias on the journey of a lifetime. With the aid of the new king (Elias' longtime friend) and the king's cousin, Elias endeavors to unearth what really happened to the lost princes. Along with the truth come secrets and unknown enemies that threaten both Elias and the future of del Mar. Lucier's novel gifts readers a lush fantasy rife with adventure, slow-burning romance, mysteries, intrigue, and action. The main characters are vividly drawn and pop off the page, while even the secondary characters are masterfully and believably rendered. The world building is smart and staggering, and the plot excels at being fast-paced without sacrificing the depth of the characters or story. Family, duty, love, secrets, lies, betrayal, and exposed truths are all subjects explored by Lucier. This is the perfect book for any reader who loves the open seas, a good secret, a haunting mystery, and a dangerous yet breathtaking adventure. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Fall
In the island kingdom of St. John del Mar, rebellious mapmaker's son Elias is summoned by the king to look into two maps' origins, which may provide answers about the king's long-missing brothers. Eerie supernaturalism and dreadful disease both play roles, and Elias's initial defiance is contrasted neatly with companion (and love interest) Mercedes's battered reserve. Deftly employing suspense, this original fantasy drops hints with masterful precision. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #3
In the island kingdom of St. John del Mar, a picnic goes horribly wrong when the wine is poisoned, the guards are slain, and two heirs to the throne vanish, along with their tutor Lord Antoni, the Royal Navigator and mapmaker. Eighteen years later, the mapmaker's rebellious son Elias, a mapmaker himself, is summoned by the king to examine a pair of maps. Both are in Lord Antoni's hand, and at least one contains details of changes more recent than his disappearance, raising the possibility that Elias's father is alive. Although worried about the effect on his beloved new blended family, Elias reluctantly agrees to look into the maps' origins, hoping to provide the king with answers about what became of his two older brothers. Elias is assisted in his quest by the king's cousin Mercedes, with whom he falls swiftly in love. The rich history and culture of del Mar is delicately but surely sketched, with eerie supernaturalism and dreadful disease both playing roles, and Elias's initial defiance is contrasted neatly with Mercedes's battered reserve. Deftly employing suspense and mystery, bolstered by tantalizing details about strange beasts and geographical fascinations, this original fantasy drops hints with masterful precision, tracing clues left in the maps to a startling conclusion. anita l. burkam Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
PW Reviews 2018 March #1
In this lush historical fantasy set in a world reminiscent of the Renaissance-era Mediterranean, the discovery of a mysterious map triggers a search for the truth behind the tragic events of decades past. Young King Ulises of the island nation of St. John of del Mar only ascended the throne because his older brothers were kidnapped by agents of a neighboring nation 18 years earlier, and are presumed dead. Then several maps surface that appear to be the work of the supposedly long-dead royal navigator Lord Antoni, suggesting that he and the lost princes might still be alive after all. Antoni's son Elias and Ulises's cousin Mercedes set out to solve a riddle related to the maps that could change del Mar forever, only to encounter dangers both real and supernatural. Combining rich descriptions with a compelling mystery, Lucier (