Foul Tides Turning by Stephen Hunt

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Foul Tides Turning by Stephen Hunt

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Category: Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: The second in an enjoyable fantasy saga, Foul Tides Turning capitalises on the fantastical world built in the first book, but lacks character development in parts, making it a mixed read.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 448 Date: June 2015
Publisher: Gollancz
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0575092105

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The people of Weyland always believed the slavers' raids, which destroyed families and homes like a natural disaster, were a misfortune that couldn't be averted. But it wasn't true. Their King, King Marcus, had struck a deal – sacrificing his people in exchange for technology and political power. But now, everyone knows. Jacob and Carter Carnehan escaped the slavers, returning home with the truth, the true King, and a Princess as their hostage. Their purpose was to avoid war – but instead the truth prompts a civil war, and an invasion force gathers to reclaim the princess. Once again, Jacob and Carter will be separated – and this time they'll be fighting for something bigger than both of them…

I reviewed the first book in this series, In Dark Service, on its release, and found it a good, if uneven book with a fantastically built world but issues in terms of pacing and character. Now on to book two, I can say essentially the same – as the same issues crop up again here.

Stephen Hunt is an extremely skilled writer, with a hell of a lot of experience – his Jackelian series reached six books. And I'm certainly not saying that Foul Tides Turning is a bad read – the cleverness in the writing leaps off the page, and the witty dialogue that constantly crackles between the characters is something that many other writers could only dream of – and this is where the book really takes off, as characters come to life in dazzling fashion.

It's a shame, then, that the world so brilliantly depicted in In Dark Service is not hugely developed here – we see the political landscape change hugely, but the actual landscape is left unexplored, with the action staying in few places throughout. I also felt the characters could have done with a little more development – many occur constantly, but only a few feel like they are fully fleshed out – although I don't doubt that this may well be changed in book 3.

Many thanks to the publishers for the copy, and for further reading I would recommend Promise of Blood (Powder Mage Trilogy) by Brian McClellan. I harp on about this book a lot – but it really is one of the staggeringly good fantasy debuts of the last few years.

Buy Foul Tides Turning by Stephen Hunt at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Foul Tides Turning by Stephen Hunt at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Foul Tides Turning by Stephen Hunt at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Foul Tides Turning by Stephen Hunt at Amazon.com.

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