- Quincy Felix
Crown of Sand and Sea
A heartfelt and thrilling adventure about a restless soul and what it means to help others.
AUTHOR: H.S.J. Williams
AGE RAGE: 14+
PRINCE. PRODIGAL. PIRATE.
What kind of elf would cut his hair, wear a beard, and break all ties to the luxuries he was given by birth?
For years, Captain Coren has sailed the seas and ventured across foreign lands. Hated by the corrupt, hero to the unfortunate, and…misunderstood by his own family.
After the rescue of the crown prince, Leoren, steward of Aselvia, is forced to reconsider all his concerns about his wandering son and discover the story he’s never had the courage to hear. A story of raiding ships, surviving plagues, and rescuing slaves. A story of how one man’s unconventional life changed the course of thousands.
First can we admire that gorgeous cover? *sighs happily* Ok, thank you. This will be a bit of a shorter review as the book itself, is in fact, a companion novella to Moonscript. You will likely want to read Moonscript first if you have not, which I also highly recommend because it is a stunning book! Elves, tortured heroes, glorious battles between light and dark and all that wonderful stuff. I have been waiting for Crown of Sand and Sea for almost two years now, and H.S.J. Willaims did not disappoint! The story follows Corin, an elf prince turned pirate. A very different type of pirate.
Plot and Worldbuilding:
Swashbuckling Captain Corin sails us from the peaceful forest mountains of his childhood to the colorful islands of the south to the ruthless but exotic streets of Oolum. While I have already traveled much of the world in Moonscript, it was exciting to explore them more deeply beside a thrill-seeking elf. I loved the complexity between the lands and the salt whipped sea that carried you there.
The story starts a few years after the events in Moonscript when Corin hosts an unexpected visitor, his father. Corin then recounts his tale of how he became a good-hearted merchant and eventually the terror of slavers. His search for purpose and meaning in a dark world is inspiring and lights a spark in your soul.
Of course, we have Corin as our main character, who is a secondary character in Moonscript, so it was quite delightful to learn more about his past. I love his story arc as he goes from rebel youth to learning to use his quick mind, daring soul and charming personality to help change the evil in his world.
Then we have Zizain. Confidant, bold, and calculating. After Corin helps her out of a tough situation and betrayal, she decides to stick around. She becomes his partner in crime and supplies street intelligence. Together they change the lives of the people of Oolum.
Throughout Corin’s telling of his past, we encounter his father. Corin’s father never understood his son’s wild side and desire for adventure. Corin grew up believing his father scorned him. When the story ends, Corin has forgiven his father and Leoren realizes his son’s passion is destined to challenge evil.
Crown of Sand and Sea is an inspiring and well written (I get happy chills whenever I read H.S.J. William’s work, sometimes, I secretly wonder if she is Tolkien’s granddaughter) novella about forgiveness, hope, and selflessness. Whether you want swashbuckling adventures or just a story with good morals for once, I suggest you give this book and its companion a try. You won't regret it.
“But if there is one thing I have become more certain of in all my days, it is this - there cannot be such great wrong in the world unless we know that it is wrong, and there can be no standard for wrong unless there is an ultimate right. And that can only be such an unshakable truth if it is the utmost power.”
- Crown of Sand and Sea