Clay's Reviews > The Rats and the Ruling Sea

The Rats and the Ruling Sea by Robert V.S. Redick
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Jan 28, 11

Read in April, 2010

Robert V. S. Redick’s “The Ruling Sea” (Ballantine, $27, 616 pages) sat on my to-read shelf for a long time. First came the preview copy, and then the hardback, but neither hefty tome tempted me to take the plunge. I’d read the first book in the series, “The Red Wolf Conspiracy”, and liked it OK, but for some reason I just wasn’t ready to dive back into a fairly dark fantasy involving some truly evil magicians, outnumbered heroes and a sea voyage (with cannon) that seemed destined for disaster upon disaster.

Eventually, though, I sort of ran out of options, and picked up “The Ruling Sea,” which turned out to be a reasonably worthy followup. In fact, it’s actually a little better than volume one, as Redick is more assured in this, his second novel, and he also manages to twist the plot in several unexpected directions. It’s still pretty grim, though, and it’s possible it will take four long books for Pazel and his friends to finally overcome the evil Arunis, who for no apparent reason wants to destroy most of the life on the planet.

Still, I’ll approach volume three with a better attitude – but as I said in my review of “The Red Wolf Conspiracy,” I’d advise readers to wait until this series is complete before spending any money on it. Besides, you’ll probably to be able to get the first volumes in paperback by then.

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