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The Quartered Sea (Quarters #4)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  1,410 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Queen Jelena of Shkoder has decided to start her reign by commissioning a ship to undertake the exploration of uncharted waters in search of the homeland of the legendary Dark Sailor. When disaster strikes, the bard Benedikt -- who Sings only One Quarter, that of Water -- is hopelessly stranded with no way to get word back to the queen. Washed up on the shores of a distant ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by DAW
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,097)
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Jeremy Preacher
Jan 05, 2012 Jeremy Preacher rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I am sort of torn on this one. On the one hand, it's refreshing to read about fantasy-medieval Central America instead of Europe, nice to examine how the magically chosen culture guardians can go badly wrong, and look at some of the ways personal insecurity can have larger-scale consequences. On on the other hand, fantasy Aztecs are almost invariably portrayed as coldblooded sociopaths, hidebound bureaucrats are very nearly my least favorite characters to read about, and insecure and amoral but ...more
Levi Amichai
Aug 22, 2011 Levi Amichai rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I was gonna give it 3, but I talked myself down to 2. 2.5? Brainless high fantasy reading, the first I've read in a long time. I haven't read any of the other books in the series (though I think I've read other Tanya Huff books); I got this at random from a BookCrossing site.

The world is pretty boring---an "elemental magic!1" spin on Valdemar. There are a few interesting and original bits of magic, but the magic/music connection is a little overdone at this point. How about magic/plumbing or som
...more
Miriam
Jun 22, 2008 Miriam rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, travel
I wanted to like this more, not only because I usually find Huff enjoyable even when she isn't good, but because I was excited to see a fantasy novel head in an original direction. In this story a ship sets out to explore uncharted ocean distances, is wrecked, and leaves one survivor prisoner in a previously unknown land, very loosely based on pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures. The survivor, Benedikt, is a Bard, able to control the element of water through music. His captors have no familiarit ...more
Amanda
Jun 09, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
Dammit, I love Tanya Huff's writing! I so wish she was more prolific...
The writing in this novel are as good as ever, full of longing, magic, and an unlikely hero that survives what nobody else could have. I love the loose love stories that don't pick and choose between man and woman. It's beautiful, unique, and a distinct trait of most of Tanya's books and I appreciate it. There's no need to explain away or scandalize...it all just IS.
Arliegh Kovacs
Aug 08, 2016 Arliegh Kovacs rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy, series
This book is much different than the other three in this Tanya Huff series [ Sing the Four Quarters, Fifth Quarter, No Quarter, The Quartered Sea ]. In fact, the dedication itself reads "For Alex: Not quite the sequel he wanted, but I'm afraid it'll have to do."
Please remember that this series should definitely be read in order or it can be confusing. While this one contains some of the same characters, and the premise that there are those who can Sing (and, therefore, control) air, fire, earth,
...more
Daniel
May 10, 2016 Daniel rated it it was amazing
This book broke my heart again and again (in a good way).

I was able to relate to the main character from the beginning. We have all experienced the idea that we are not a good as the other person in the room or the idea that we don't deserve to be as happy as everyone else.

Benedickt is the main character of this book. He is a bard who has only the ability to Sing one quarter, that of water. Without the ability to Sing the quarter of air, he is always left out of the loop of gossip and informati
...more
Rachel
This had me rolling about laughing hysterically when the MC, mourning that he only had one of the four Bardic powers, was angsting that the BLIND Bard comforting him didn't know what it was like to lack a sense that everyone else had. I couldn't breath, I was laughing so hard. I loved that Huff didn't belabor the point too, just put it there and continued on.

I usually enjoy books about spoiled idiots growing up into themselves, and this one was a doozy, though he left it so late I was starting
...more
G33z3r
Sep 18, 2012 G33z3r rated it liked it
Shelves: sword-sorcery
This fourth and (so far) final book in the "Quarters" series of fantasy novels brings us a new lead character and a new and quite different land to explore.

Benedickt is a Bard, another of the psychologically damaged characters who have populated the story since the second novel ("Fifth Quarter"). He's cursed with a nearly paranoid insecurity complex because he can only sing one of the four Quarters: Water. Given the chance to sail off with an exploratory expedition searching for unknown lands ac
...more
Anne Marie
Aug 30, 2014 Anne Marie rated it did not like it
What can I say? This book focused almost entirely on Benedickt and he just wasn't an interesting character. In fact, I felt like he was a caricature of a gay man. Kind of a queen in the worst possible way. Does he have personality beyond sulky? Yes, but it doesn't really feel like it. If you're looking for some of the same kind of cute, well developed, m/m love story you found in The Fire's Stone you'll be disappointed.
Ward Bond
Nov 01, 2014 Ward Bond rated it it was ok

Queen Jalena of Shkoder has decided to start her reign by commissioning a ship to undertake the exploration of uncharted waters and see if it is possible to circumnavigate the world. When disaster strikes, the sole survivor is the bard Benedikt who Sings only One Quarter, that of Water. Found by the people of a Mayan-like civilization, he becomes a pawn between the brother and sister who are the most powerful people in their culture.

Praise for Tanya Huff:

"Ms. Huff is a marvelous talent whos

...more
T J
May 17, 2014 T J rated it really liked it
Benedikt is off to explore uncharted seas in this 4th tale of the Quartered novels. It all starts with the song of The Dark Sailor and the Queens want to find the land he came from. It is another great read from Tanya Huff.
Debbie
Apr 14, 2007 Debbie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2004, fantasy, dead-tree
This is the first book I've read in this particular series. I've enjoyed other stuff Huff's written and this was no different. Yet, I do have mixed feelings about the book and I'm not quite sure why. I think it had to do with the fact that I was coming in during a story rather than at the beginning. There were hints of backstory that I think would have made the book richer if I had understood. That being said, it's a fascinating world that Tanya Huff's created and I really liked the main charact ...more
Barbara ★
I really liked the first three books in this series but this one was just too boring. The main character came out of nowhere and just wasn't interesting or exciting. The love interest only had one or two instances in the beginning of the book and then returns for the rescue in the final chapters. About halfway through the book, the story finally got interesting (hence 3 stars and not 2). I'm glad this was the conclusion because I'm not sure I could suffer through another installment.

For a book p
...more
Vendela
Jul 30, 2015 Vendela rated it liked it
Needs more bard/assassin shenanigans and less torture/manipulation, but enjoyable.
Lync Lync
Dec 21, 2015 Lync Lync rated it it was amazing
Not quite a sequel. The next generation and those elusive overseas islands.
Haldoor42
Jun 23, 2014 Haldoor42 rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed all of Tanya Huff's Kigh series. They're beautifully written and it's so easy to get swept up in the story. I was really rooting for benedikt throughout the story, and glad to see him and Bannon acknowledge their feelings for each other, if somewhat slowly, in this story.
Shae
Aug 16, 2016 Shae rated it really liked it
This one was quite a bit darker than pretty much anything else Tanya Huff has written (that I've read so far) but it was still really good. About the time I was sick of the main character's whining, the whining stopped and it all served a purpose. Definitely still like these books a lot.
Neeuqdrazil
These are so delightful and fluffy and really lovely.
Atenea-Nike
Jan 30, 2010 Atenea-Nike rated it liked it
The final book in the Quarters fantasy series. I was sorry to see the series end; after 4 books I had grown to love the world the story is set up in and I think there are a lot more of histories about that world waiting to be told.
Omly
Dec 03, 2009 Omly rated it it was ok
Not my favorite of the series, I suspect because the main character is a bit emo for my taste. I am still happy to have had something new to read in this series.

For those who care, there are references to same-sex romance.
Genevieve Heinrich
Feb 05, 2008 Genevieve Heinrich rated it liked it
Probably my favorite in the series, even though it's probably not technically as good as some of the earlier ones. I can't help it - I LOVE Tanya Huff!
Beth Tidman
Sep 02, 2015 Beth Tidman rated it liked it
This was an OK book, I just couldn't get into it like I did the previous books in the series. Probably because it's been awhile since I read them.
Cmfish
Mar 05, 2010 Cmfish rated it liked it
Enjoyed the book, but the Quartered books are not my favorites of Tanya Huff's.
Helen
Mar 31, 2011 Helen rated it it was amazing
Benedikt in the land of the sun sings only water
Cristina
Nov 07, 2010 Cristina rated it it was amazing
She brought back the great writing in this one.
Amy
Amy rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2016
BookDB
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2016
Susan
Susan rated it it was ok
Sep 13, 2016
John Wilk
John Wilk rated it really liked it
Sep 13, 2016
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1967
"Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia: Although I haven't actually lived "down east" since just before my fourth birthday, I still consider myself a Maritimer. I think it's something to do with being born in sight of the ocean. Or possibly with the fact that almost no one admits to being from Ontario…

Raised, for the most part, in Kingston, Ontario. It was the late sixties, early to mid seventies. Enough s
...more
More about Tanya Huff...

Other Books in the Series

Quarters (7 books)
  • Sing the Four Quarters (Quarters #1)
  • Fifth Quarter (Quarters, #2)
  • No Quarter (Quarters #3)
  • Three Quarters: A Quarters Collection
  • Assassin Fantastic
  • Relative Magic

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“Safe from what? she'd asked.
And under her touch, Kovar's kigh had answered, "Change".”
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