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The Marauders' Island

(Hen & Chick #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  24 reviews
A YA Fantasy Novel by Tristan J. Tarwater

Azria is a mage of Miz, born with magic in her blood. When her mother, alleged pirate Apzana, offers to take her away on the HEN & CHICK, Azria jumps at the chance for adventure. But their first family outing proves to be more than Azria bargained for. Joined by a ragtag crew from all over the Floating Chain, Azria must do the i
Paperback, 1st, 275 pages
Published July 1st 2016 by Back That Elf Up
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Naz (Read Diverse Books)
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
For the in-depth review, visit my blog: Read Diverse Books

The Marauders’ Island earns my earnest recommendation because it is the kind of fun, feel-good story more teenagers should be reading. Yes, there is conflict and difficult moral choices the characters must face, but I closed the book with a big smile on my face because the story’s just so damn delightful. I highly recommend it to parents and teachers who are looking for light, family-friendly swashbuckling adventures for young readers. Th
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, diverse-books, lgbt
I'm really not even sure where to begin with this book.

No, I do know where to begin. If you haven't read this book, you need to go do so. Right now. Buy this book.

I hadn't heard much about The Marauders' Island until I saw it on twitter and even though the person had given it a glowing review, I didn't think that I would be as entertained by the book as I was. You will fall in love with these characters as you get to know them but there will also be times where you dislike their actions. I mea
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
* I received an e-Arc of this book in exchange of an honest review*

Full detailed review on my blog: Word Wonders

For starters, the writing is gorgeous, I don’t know how to describe it other than I felt the magic seeping through it, really! It had this mystical resounding to it that I just couldn’t help but love. One thing though that was really disconcerting to me, is that it read like a Middle-grade. I don’t know if it is just me or other people have noticed, but that really is how I felt abo
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the concept of this book right from the start but was absolutely blown away by its execution. The heart of the story, the mother and daughter relationship between Azria and Apzana, was so wonderful, warming and refreshing. I loved their familial bond and how the flaws of both of them were acknowledged, how they bonded and worked together despite conflicts and the overall development that both of them went thro
Miri Castor
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Awesome, heartwarming, and my favorite type of book! Beautifully written, incredibly descriptive, and Azria is such a sweetheart and Apzana is such a motherly badass if that makes sense. The worldbuilding is almost flawless, and really drove the story forward. I especially loved the way Tarwater described things, such a vivid, clear, and concise style. I enjoyed this story and I'm waiting for Book 2!
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great adventure story in such a rich world. Not to mention magic and pirates! I look forward to the next in the series.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"All I'm trying to say is one person's traitor is another person's hero, Azria." // p. 195
"The Marauder's Island" was a book I enjoyed a lot. The setting is great, the characters are diverse and wonderful, there is an interesting backstory and a grand aventure waiting for the heroine.

I really liked the setting. It was the first fantasy story I've read that takes place on tropical islands and deals with pirates. In addition, the world building was great. The descriptions were so detailed that I c
Jodie Humphrey
Aug 29, 2016 rated it liked it
"It's easy to say what you want with ink and paper. It's another thing altogether to carry it out."

I really wanted to fall in love with this book, and I guess in some smaller ways I did.
But not as much as I wanted to.

The setting was, of course, fantastic.
A fantasy set among palm trees, sandy beaches, exotic places and with a whole host of pirates filling the cast, is definitely something different. And it worked really well.
It gave me the urge to set sail on a sparkling topaz ocean, and I g
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Looking for a YA novel to read? Looking for a book that is the epitome of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag? Looking for a title that includes brown folks, magic, adventure, danger that is also a coming of age story? Look no further! Author Tristan J. Tarwater has crafted a tale of young Azria, a young teenage mage who like, all young people is anticipating her future--she's on the cusps of becoming an adult in the land that she's grown up in and is ever anxious to begin it. She's also been waitin ...more
Lee Blauersouth
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
First off, who doesn't like a good pirate adventure? If you love a classic adventure story in a lushly written setting you can stop reading reviews right now and just get this book. But, if you need more convincing, I'll add that it has a diverse cast of characters, casual queerness, and relationships and interactions as intimate, human as relatable as the setting is grand and fantastic. The story follows a young mage as she reunites with her mysterious pirate captain of a mother, introducing us ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
A fun and welcome entry to the middle grade fantasy genre. Though this is very much a first in a series, I look forward to reading the rest of the volumes. I think that this series would be a hit for kids who are fans of Brandon Mull's Fablehaven books and/or Rick Riordan's series.

As others have likely mentioned, this book nonchalantly includes not only a female character whose love interest is another female character, but also a trans character. However, it was refreshing for me to read a work
This reminded me of Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic series, with mages, a well realized fantasy world, and adventure. I liked Azria quite a bit, and would probably recommend this to fans of both Circle of Magic and Celia Rees' Pirates!.
Tim Childree
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Absolutely loved the story! The open seas are a wonderful place for adventure with a beautifully diverse crew of adventurers, and the villain of the story is delightfully terrifying.

Get a copy! You won't be sorry.
Lee Gibson
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read. Want more!

I like the setting and the characters and their voices. Looking forward to seeing what they're up to next. Solid YA story.
Unique magic system, diverse cast and setting, but it all felt rather rushed. Wish it had been expanded, more time taken to allow us to understand Azria, her mother, and the crew, before gallivanting off on their final epic quest. It did read rather young, which might be a good thing, as then it’d allow for a wider audience (Azria seemed more 12-13 than 16 years old).

This was definitely entertaining and enjoyable and I’ll be searching for the monthly updates!
Jul 28, 2017 added it
My attention span has been real bad but this was a cute fun read
Lora Shouse
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Earlier this year I had an opportunity to read for review Tristan J. Tarwater’s book Thieves Like Us. I liked that story well enough to purchase the rest of the series, which was even better. So, when the opportunity to review The Marauders’ Island came up, I jumped at the chance.

The Marauders’ Island is the story of Azria, a young girl just finishing her training as a mage of Miz, a tropical island country. Azria has felt an o
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh rare of rare treasures! A mother-daughter adventure story with just enough peril and misunderstanding, but a ton of heart.

" 'I'll say this, and hopefully you're not too young to heed an old woman's words,' Nana said. 'Pack light. You often find the things you need on other shores. All you really need to take with you is the love of those you leave behind.' "

Azria, newly-minted mage of Miz, fears being caught up in beauracracy that threathens her magical status when her sea-faring mother, Apz
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was great. It's a really interesting, unique fantasy novel, one that avoids most of the cliches and tropes of the genre. It's an all-black cast (by a black writer), to start with, rather than all the white people who dominate the genre. It doesn't draw from European culture to people the world. The cultures in the book are unique, but if there's any real-world inspiration, it's from the Caribbean. The main relationship in the book is between a girl and her mother, with all the love and tens ...more
Suzanne Johnson
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing

This was a really good story. A diverse set of characters in a compelling setting. I really enjoyed reading this. It's a fun lighthearted adventure with enough magic and darkness to keep it from being fluffy. The sections of this world we've been introduced to so far wonderful and I'm sure there's a lot more in store for us! My only criticism is that I wish there was pronunciation guide included for the names... I'm certain I got more than a few of them wrong ;)

I'm very excited to see how the re
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: diversebooks, fantasy, ya
The colorful ocean and island world with wizards and ghosts has lots of possibilities, but the emotional truths and relationships were flat and unbelievable: teen Azria's mom blows in after pirating the seas for years, and Azria just goes off with her without being mad at her. Um hello? Abandonment issues anyone? And how did Azria discover her magical abilities? And her mom's back story didn't make any sense. All in all, this was unsatisfying
Kayla Blevins
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 ⭐. A fun book reminiscent of Disney’s Treasure Planet and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Fun characters and an interesting premise. My only downsides are 1) not enough time spent with the crew to develop emotions and a connection with them, and 2) no map. I’d love a map to be able to see this world; hopefully there will be one in the next volume. ...more
Dylan Benito
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was fun! There was adventure, magic, family, revenge, and lots of descriptions of delicious food. A+ book.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Overall, I enjoyed the book.
The relationship between the MC and her mom seemed pretty thin, though. Absent from her life for five years, she's quick to run off with her and doesn't seem to be 'homesick' for the grandmother and life she left behind. At all.
Five years would cause a rift or disconnect, which we see at one point. But the young heroine is too quick to back talk/stand up to her mom. Probably unrealistic, even in a fantasy world.
The other flaw was this newly graduated ma
Hayley Croom
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May 11, 2018
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Tristan J. Tarwater is a writer of fantasy, comics and RPG bits. Her titles include The Valley of Ten Crescents series, Shamsee: A Fistful of Lunars,Hen & Chick and Reality Makes the Best Fantasy. She has also worked for both Pelgrane Press and Onyx Path. Born and raised in NYC, she now considers Portland, OR her home. When she's not making stuff up, she is usually reading a comic book, cookin ...more