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The Sea Thy Mistress (The Edda of Burdens, #3)
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The Sea Thy Mistress (The Edda of Burdens #3)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  182 ratings  ·  31 reviews
This direct sequel to Elizabeth Bear’s highly acclaimed All the Windwracked Stars picks up the story some fifty years after Muire went into the sea and became the new Bearer of Burdens.

Beautiful Cathoair, now an immortal warrior angel, has been called back to the city of Eiledon to raise his son--Muire’s son as well, cast up on shore as an infant. It is seemingly a quiet l
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Tor Books (first published January 25th 2011)
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The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick RothfussTorment by Lindsay Anne KendalRevelations by Lindsay Anne KendalA Dance with Dragons by George R.R. MartinThe Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
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43rd out of 63 books — 94 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 422)
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With The Sea Thy Mistress, Elizabeth Bear concludes The Edda of Burdens trilogy by going forward in time to about fifty years after Muire's sacrifice and completes this post-apocalyptic trilogy by returning -- to a lesser extent -- to the cyberpunk fantasy style and atmosphere found in the first book. She seamlessly joins the story lines from the two previous books and focuses on Cathoair as the central character.

As with the first two books in the trilogy, there's a dark, doom-like sense and atm
Rosu Aquabutts
1.5 -- "I didn't like it."/"It was okay."

The only reason this is getting a 2 instead of a 1 is because, as always, Bear's prose is gloriously wonderful to read and so I enjoyed it despite itself.

Lordy, though.


I loved All the Windracked Stars. I loved the huge, fascinating world with all its complexities and different moving parts and it felt so large and real and amazingly world built. I loved By The Mountain Bound and how well it told a story that we'd already seen the end of, how it used
Another uneven sequel - after liking All the Windwracked Stars so much, and thoroughly enjoying the prequel, this was somewhat disappointing. The characterizations were inconsistent; some of the backstories were referenced in ways that made them seem as though they should be important, then largely ignored for the rest of the book; the changes of tone and register in characters' dialog (probably meant to draw attention to the fact that some of them spanned different centuries or even millennia) ...more
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A fulfilling final book in the Eda of Burdens series. I really enjoyed that the timing of the three books in the series was not chronological. It was interesting going back to the future after reading the prequel as the second book in the series. I would probably like to go back and read these books more closely together at some point. Bear's prose is so image heavy and non-linear that I had trouble remembering exactly what happened in the first book. In some ways, this was the first book in the ...more
This is the conclusion to the Edda of Burdens trilogy, and I think it was the easiest read. I've rarely read a trilogy where the first book is a bit of a slog and the books get better and better.

Where By the Mountain Bound was more of a pseudo Norse fantasy The Sea Thy Mistress goes back to the urban fantasy/pseudo Norse saga of All the Windwracked Stars. I'm not quite sure how one would classify this. It's fantasy, mostly, but taking place on a planet with two moons. It's not my favourite Bear
c2011: Yay - I understood this book a lot better. Ms Bear has the most beguiling style of writing - sparse yet full of meaning and intent. I believe that this sequel was supposed to have been published in 2009 so it is quite late - and I wonder when the 3rd is due out. Mind you - conflicting thoughts whether I would prefer Ms Bear to concentrate on finishing this sequel or finishing the wolf trilogy written with Sarah Monette. I didn't even find the names confusing this time - another yay. FWFTB ...more
...Bear uses a lot of tropes, ideas and styles that don't usually show up in a single trilogy, making it something of an experiment. In fact, I am a little surprised Tor, not a publisher to take too many risks, has been persuaded to publish it. Although Bear is a very skilled writer, I don't think much of her work appeals to large groups of readers. In this case, that is clearly a shame. Bear presents some of the most original, well written and challenging speculative fiction of recent years in ...more
All the Windwracked Stars was a great book, but By the Mountain Bound was even better. I thought this final installment in the trilogy was just about as good as the middle/prequel volume. It had some beautiful writing, characters with a lot of depth, and I especially loved how Elizabeth Bear took parts of Norse mythology and really made them her own. Lovely books, and someday I am going to have to reread them all back to back to get the most out of all the connections.

Full Review
Kate O'Hanlon
The tension I felt reading this book was perhaps not quite as bad as when I felt reading By the Mountain Bound, but I still had to put it down for long stretches to stop myself freaking out or drowning under all of the doom.

If you're going to write a trilogy about the Ragnarök then doom should be what you're aiming for. Well done Bear, well done.

I cannot imagine a more perfect ending to this story. Very satisfied I am.
3 and a half stars.
Samuel Lubell
I thought this less interesting than the previous two books, although it was a sequel to both. It struck me as more of a coda. Heythe seemed less of a villainess who is a major threat to what is left of the world and more a petty seducer trying to shame a rival's lover and their son. The writing is still excellent but it would have benefited from a bit more reintroduction to the characters as it has been a while since I read the previous books.
Although this is the third book in the series, chronologically it takes place after the first book. Many of the characters from the previous two books make their appearance, along with a few new ones, and I really enjoyed seeing the different reactions to Muire's sacrifice. Although it is not my favorite book of the three (that would be the first book), it was definitely an enjoyable read, and the source of one of my all-time favorite quotes.
It's hard to write about teenage angst in an original and true manner that doesn't repel adults, but Elizabeth Bear manages it. This is a dark, complex, riveting adaptation of Norse mythology, and it was a heck of a lot of fun to read.
Nice wrap up to the general story with Heythe, but a little short on the fantastical side. The characters seemed more human in this than they did in the previous two novels, and the constant fluctuation between love interests became frustrating. I personally prefer "All the Windwracked Stars" the best, and this one the least, but for need of closure, this novel will do.
I always get a bit scared about picking up a book by Bear, because I end up either loving them or wishing I could unread them, but happily this is in the "love" category.

Great depth of characters, except possibly for Heythe, but I may be missing that because I didn't read By The Mountain Bound. Love Mingan's role in this one.
Lillian Wheeler
For my money, this was a very strong ending to the trilogy. If you liked the first two, you'll like this one. I want to re-read them back to back some time; I have the feeling that will bring out a lot of nuances I missed this time around.

Even still, I think this may be my favourite Elizabeth Bear book that I've read to date.
I loved All the Windwracked Stars, but neither of the sequels has really done it for me. The pacing of this one was frustrating -- it seemed like nothing much happened until the very end. And it was all about Cathoair and his angst/manpain, and I didn't really care about him.
I'm actually not exactly sure what was missing in this trilogy for me. The books are beautifully written, and yet... Maybe it was the pacing? Some of the characters? I really can't pinpoint the problem. I just didn't enjoy them as much as I had hoped.
4.5 stars - This book is a stunning conclusion to an amazing trilogy.

Read my full review here:
It took me a while to get to this one, but I really enjoyed it. It was a magnificent finale to the Edda of Burdens cycle, and it was sharp in all the right places.
Not as lyrical as the first novel in this series, but on the other hand it's a lot more accessible. I'm so happy I stumbled across these books.
I mostly read this just to finish out the story, it seems to have wandered so far from the Norse mythology that peppered the "prequel".
A much quicker read than either of its companion novels, but still beautiful and a satisfying conclusion.
Somewhat overwrought, some adult situations that made me uncomfortable. That said, great book.
Jun 30, 2013 Sofie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
It was a nice finish but the book felt very much like a long conclusion to two great books.
"The Sea Thy Mistress" is a fine conclusion to the story starting with "By the Mountain Bound."
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Excellent finish to the series.
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Elizabeth Bear was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but in a different year. This, coupled with a childhood tendency to read the dictionary for fun, led her inevitably to penury, intransigence, the mispronunciation of common English words, and the writing of speculative fiction.

She lives in Massachusetts with a Giant Ridiculous Dog. Her partner, acclaimed fantasy author Scott Lynch
More about Elizabeth Bear...

Other Books in the Series

The Edda of Burdens (3 books)
  • All the Windwracked Stars (The Edda of Burdens, #1)
  • By the Mountain Bound (The Edda of Burdens, #2)
Range of Ghosts (Eternal Sky, #1) Hammered (Jenny Casey, #1) Dust (Jacob's Ladder, #1) Karen Memory New Amsterdam (New Amsterdam, #1)

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