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The Ryogan Chronicles #2

Sea of Strangers

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Know your enemy if you want to survive…

The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal.

Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.

340 pages, Paperback

First published December 5, 2017

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About the author

Erica Cameron

18 books201 followers
After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years studying psychology and creative writing, basically getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Now, she’s the author of several series for young adults. She’s also a reader, asexuality advocate, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse who loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

Her debut novel, Sing Sweet Nightingale, released March 2014 and it was the first volume of The Dream War Saga. In May 2015, Erica and her co-author Lani Woodland launched the Laguna Tides series with Taken by Chance. Riptide’s YA imprint Triton Books began the Assassins series with Discord in September 2016. The Ryogan Chronicles, a fantasy trilogy through Entangled Teen, launched in 2017 with Island of Exiles. Next up, Erica will be working with Entangled Teen to create a young adult science fiction trilogy pitched as Star Trek: Voyager meets The Expanse and Battlestar Galactica; Pax Novis is set to fly in 2018.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 36 reviews
Profile Image for Danielle's.
Author 1 book140 followers
December 16, 2017
Sea of strangers is book 2 in The Ryogan Chronicles. It's the middle child journey book of the trilogy. It's full of adventure, action and mysterious lands. The Ryogan Chronicles are continuous and cannot be read as a standalone. Sea of strangers is a fantasy, magical book with an undesirable world. It is aimed at the young adult audience. It has romance, however, there is so much more to this series.

Khya is desperate to get her brother back even if the task seems impossible. The mission will be difficult and dangerous. Luckily she has her friends to help her. Knowing the right people could help them find what they need, but also opens them up to new dangers. Varna is the ultimate enemy. His defeat seems impossible. Using magic, knowledge and their survival skills the quest to find Khya's brother continues. This book ends with a high and leaves you wanting more.

I found this a little more enjoyable than the first book, which is probably because we already know some of the characters. There is a character list at the beginning and a glossary at the back which are essential. This is not a light read and I would recommend you clear your schedule and find a quiet place to read.

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review as part of the chapter by chapter blog tour*

4 stars out of 5.
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,138 reviews1,009 followers
December 21, 2017
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

Way back in January, I read and reviewed the first book in this series, Island of Exiles . It's set in a really unique and diverse world, and I was really excited to dive back in! This sequel picks up right where book one left off, and I will be keeping this spoiler-free for both books!

What I Liked:

So. Much. Diversity. Like I said in my review of book one, this world is so full of diverse characters. It is, to our main characters, something to be celebrated. Not only is differing appearance, culture, and sexual identity/preference the norm here, but our main character Khya is clearly eager to learn about the cultures and mores of others she encounters. It's refreshing that she actively seeks to learn the way others outside her group do things, and she tries incredibly hard to honor their differences and embrace them.
Sex has always been portrayed in this series as a good, positive, normal part of life. In Khya's world, no one is judged by who they are, who they love, or who they don't love if applicable. There are three genders, and each is treated with the same dignity and respect. Khya and her group does encounter some people who don't feel the same, and I like that this was addressed, since in our own world, this is unfortunately the case.  Khya's group, especially those of the ebet gender, are forced to face some discrimination, but also use their experience to help others.
This world continues to be impressively unique. The author has basically made up an entire society, full of culture, language, and traditions. In book one, we're introduced to Khya's home, but this book ventures out a bit more and the world is profoundly expanded. Therefore, the author has created an even more spectacular, bigger set of unique elements. It's certainly like nothing I have encountered before!
There's a lot of moral gray area while Khya and her team try to do the "right thing". There isn't always a "good" choice; often there is just a choice that the group deems less awful than another. It definitely makes for some quality tense moments as the story progresses. They also often have to choice between personal desires and what is best for the group at large, something that most people will face in their lives. Again, makes for provocative storytelling.

What I Didn't:

The biggest hardship for me while reading was trying to remember/figure out all the elements of this world. It's not an easy series to read. There are a lot of words that have to be translated, and a lot of magical terminology that I needed to try to remember. A lot of "oh crap, what the hell is that again?", which did take me out of the story a bit.
Similarly, the deluge of characters made me feel a bit disconnected. As there were of course new characters added into this sequel, there were plenty of leftover characters from book one to be accounted for. Sometimes, when the characters were injured or facing death, I had a hard time remembering if I was supposed to care about them, so that was a bit of a bummer.

Will I Read the Next Book: Certainly! I definitely am excited to find out how it ends!

Bottom Line: This is a solid follow up set in an incredibly unique and diverse world!
Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,156 reviews57 followers
December 22, 2017
Khya is disappointed in herself for not saving her beloved brother Yorri, but instead barely escaping her beloved city with just a few of her trusted comrades. Khya now knows that everything she was taught and believed in is a lie, making her question her purpose and abilities. But she must put aside her doubts and failure to prepare for the bigger threat- a war that nobody saw coming.

I found myself enjoying book 2 more than book one, and I think that was due to the fact the world building was already established and the plot of this book was forever moving, no time for the self-reflection and doubt that plagued Khya the first book (sure there was some here, but not nearly as much- she was more reasonable to her limits here). There were still a LOT of words that I had not previously been exposed to before the first book (because they are made up) but I was way more comfortable with the use of them and the glossary was extremely helpful. Also, I liked that there was a small cast of characters here for me to get to know and understand, where as before I was overwhelmed by all the people, details, ect. Book 1 is 100% necessary to read before picking up Sea of Strangers for world and character building, and book 2 picks up just a few days after the events of book 1.

I believe that the word epic is ideal to summarize this leg of the adventure that Khya is on. Seriously, this was an incredible action filled journey, going from the sea to the land, all completely unknown, dangerous, treacherous, magical and mysterious. I loved how much action the small band of misfits encountered, where survival was questionable and death potentially eminent (this was one ring to rule them all level adventuring!). The new inventive uses for magic was fun to discover and very complicated.

This series is listed as YA but I would not call it YA at all, it fits more into fantasy in general. The characters are teens (at least most of the main characters) but they are independent people who care for and make decisions for themselves. The content is pretty adults as well, with sexuality being the norm (not that that is a bad thing per se for older teens to be familiar but I would not suggest for a younger teen) and there is so much death and struggle. Survival may not be an option for the characters I have grown to love, and they too have made peace with their possible future outcome.

Based on the ending, this series is at least a trilogy (maybe more!) because there is so much more to come. I feel like leg of the story was very much so needed to the plot overall, that the books are an extension of each other, one every so gently filling the gaps the other has, like puzzle pieces. I was pleasantly surprised by the direction the story took, something I could never predict, and I am really excited to see how Khya and company handles what appears to be an intense battle (most likely to the death). The author has created such a detailed, lush world with unique magic and cultures I could never have even dreamed up, completely brought to life. If you are looking for a fantastical journey I highly recommend pick up this series.

I received this title for reviewing purposes. Come visit me at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/ for a chance to win prizes!

Profile Image for Di.
384 reviews35 followers
December 21, 2017
**Any quotes used are from an advanced readers copy and may not be in the final publication**

“What is a life when it is given in protection of family?”
“The most precious thing in the world. Don’t pretend it’s worth nothing.”
“True, and it is my gift to give.”

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Sea of Strangers from Entangled and since reading Island of Exiles earlier this year, this book was one of my most anticipated releases and I'm happy to report that it did not disappoint me in any way.

There is so much attention to detail which I really appreciate that in a book and especially in a YA book. Not only this but the plot just flows so instinctively and never feels forced. The characters are faced with situations and frustrations that make so much sense and there's absolutely no deus ex machina which again, I can definitely appreciate!

World building, now let you tell me about this world building! I have to spend a moment here fan-girling about the blissful world building in this series: It's complex, diverse in so many ways and oh-so-amazing for this reader! There's culture, politics, language and so many layers and textures to everything that it's created a rich and organic experience. There's a 'Cast of Characters' in the beginning of book two which can help reacquaint you with the people of the world but I have to say that I was so glad that I re-read Island of Exiles before jumping in to this book because the plot picks up exactly where the last book left off and there's little to no recapping. These definitely cannot be read as standalones.

The character development in this series is almost on par with the world building and I loved seeing the main character, Khya grow throughout these books. For those of you that don't know, Khya is a Desosa Mage which means she can manipulate energy and in her particular case she is a fykina ward mage -able to shield herself and others from both magic and the physical world. She has spent a lot of her life with a single goal in mind and after facing a huge betrayal at the hands of those she trusted the most, her life has been a riot of turmoil ever since. Seeing her face her dilemmas and tackle the complications that life is stacking up against her is heartening and, as with the first book I couldn't help but be invested in this story. She's flawed and yet so compelling.

Speaking of compelling characters, Tessen is Khya's lifelong rival and was always one step ahead of her at getting the promotions that she so desperately was working towards and desired. Tessen is a Basaku mage which means that all five of his senses are enhanced and he can also sense the subtle changes in the desosa (the ambient magical energy of the world). I love his relationship with Khya and his pragmatic approach to life. He is a soothing calm to Khya's fiery nature and it's so nice to see a good strong male character that is also happy to be in the background and not taking the lead or forcing his alpha-ness into a situation.

It's also refreshing to have an entire series built on the compelling ties of family and of responsibility, and not just on that of romance. The romance is wonderful, don't get me wrong - it is profound and complex and subtle and is synergistic to the plot while never BEING the plot. Erica has written beautiful relationships full of sizzling chemistry and sincerity.

I also need to specifically address the diversity in these books - the diversity is amazing and what I love about it is that it is so raw and genuine without ever being forced upon the reader that 'this book is diverse'. It's not there for the sake of being diverse - it just IS. There's diversity of culture, of skin colour, of gender (there's even a third gender!!!), of sexuality (including asexuality which I've never seen featured before in a YA book/series).

There's plenty of new characters and culture in this installment and while the plot tended to move a little slower in this middle book of the trilogy I was never bored or frustrated. I think the balance between the shifting of characters into their positions for the final book and the introduction of this part of the world was a good one and there was still plenty of action sequences detailing the Itagamin's proficiency both in their magical abilities and military like training.

The only major problem that I had with the book was that CLIFFHANGER!!!!!!! Between the heartrending casualties of this book, further plot twists and revelations I'm definitely eager for the next book. Write fast please Miss Cameron!

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my annoyingly long life, it’s that you can only do what you’re capable of doing.”
“I know that.” Everyone does. What else can anyone do?
Tsua looks up from the whetstone, amusement in her eyes. “No, you don’t. Not yet. I know it sounds like an obvious lesson, but it took me a very long time to learn it. You’ve only just begun, child.”
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,157 reviews458 followers
November 30, 2017
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5


Sea of Strangers is the second installment in author Erica Cameron's The Ryogan Chronicles. Sea of Strangers is the follow up to Island of Exiles which was released earlier this year. The Ryogan Chronicles is a diverse, gritty fantasy with multiple complex cultures, and high-tension romance. Sea of Strangers picks up several weeks after the action packed finale to The Island of Exiles. The protagonist of this series is 17-year old Khya, a resident of a country called Shiara. 

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*


Profile Image for Neil.
1,401 reviews8 followers
October 30, 2018
I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
After struggling with the first book in the series I thought I would give the second book a go.
Unfortunately if anything this is worse.
The characters are boring and the story just plods along.
Not for me..
I will not be reading the third.

Profile Image for lacy white.
529 reviews54 followers
December 4, 2017
A special thank you goes out to Entangled Teen publishing for allowing me to read this early. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Even though I tried to be as non spoilery as possible, this is the second book of a series and it is pertinent to read the first book. If I do spoil anything, I am sorry and it might be best to avoid this review until the first book has been read.

This series is just so cool, for lack of better words. I should find more words other than cool or awesome. Anyway. The entire world and the world building is seriously some of the best I've seen out of dystopian/fantasy books. Granted, I haven't read a lot of fantasy books but these books make me want to check out more.

This book is all about the travel and the preparation of war. So it was a tiny bit slow in places but that was to be expected. I'm not sure there are a lot of ways to make travel fun. But this book was important for the next (which I'm sure there will be). There are a lot of answers that get resolved from the first one.

There were two things from this book that really stood out for me that I feel I can talk about without spoiling the entire thing. One is the character growth from Khya. She is really blossoming and it makes me so incredibly happy. She is learning that accepting help is completely okay and failure doesn't mean the end. It means getting up and trying again. Character growth from a character is the one thing I look for when I start a series. Erica Cameron is nailing character growth so well.

The second thing that really stood out for me in this book was the concept of sexuality and how freely it flowed through the book. Asexulity came up more and more in the convorostations. I am not an expert on asexuality but I think it was awesome that sexuality could just be. This is an #ownvoices book, which I think makes it all the more awesome. Love really is love in this book. I must point out that there was a slur (in the language used by one of the characters, but a slur none the less) about a child that was asexual but it was quickly challenged.

Overall, I am totally hooked! I can't wait to get the next book in my hands. There are still a lot of things to be resolved and I'm anxious to see how Kyah continues to grow as a person. I also would love to see where Kyah and Tessen's relationship goes. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who is looking for their next #ownvoices fantasy series.
Profile Image for books are love.
3,131 reviews24 followers
December 8, 2017
Received in exchange for a honest review.

Erica Cameron followed up the first book in the series with a sophomore book that packs a punch. The writing is fluid and really keeps you in the moment. The characters just draw you in and keep you there with them as you feel the danger like a living breathing entity. You are engaged and invested in the story from the beginning. As Khya and her group are racing against time to find a way to stop Varan but also stay alive.

they are now in Ryogan and wow so much happens. We have friendships and alliances bloom. Alliances break and betrayals that you don’t see coming happen. THey are understandable but still shocking. The attraction between Tessen and Khya grow and go to the next level. You see battles and loss of loved ones that give those around them guilt. Secrets revealed and some really wild decisions made. Khya grows into her leadership role with the help of Tessen and his unwavering faith and belief in her. But also his love for her grows and shines through. the situations this group of loyal and caring friends get into are so dangerous and just keep your heart in your throat as it beats so fast and you sit on the edge of your seat wondering if they will come out of this unscathed.

Varan’s secrets are slowly unraveling and Khya is seeing just who he is and all his lies. She is also figuring out what he did to become immortal and her power and understanding of the desosa grows. This group comes into their own and grows into a force to be reckoned with while still showing compassion for those around them. They only want to do what is right and see their loved ones come out unscathed as well.

so much danger and intrigue in this book but also friendship, love and loyalty. You do wonder though if in the end Khya will be able to lead even if it means sacrificing what got her started on this journey in the first place. Also the immortality deal and some being born with it is wild. So was that ending. Dangerous and jaw dropping. Has you wanting the next book right away.
Profile Image for Danya.
485 reviews22 followers
January 5, 2018
This review and others can be found on my blog, Fine Print.

I loved Erica Cameron’s ISLE OF EXILES, and I was very excited to see where she’d take her readers in the sequel. While I didn’t think SEA OF STRANGERS was as strong as its predecessor, it does expand the fascinating world we were introduced to in the series opener.

Forced to flee her home in search of a weapon – or magic – that can defeat her enemies, Khya along with a few members of her squadron washes up on the shores of a land they thought they’d only see in death. But Ryogo is very much alive, and its people are ill prepared for the invasion that’s coming. If Khya wants to save the ones she loves and stop the tyranny that runs rampant in her homeland, she’ll need to convince the people of Ryogo that her group of outsiders can be trusted. Just as with the first book, SEA OF STRANGERS does an excellent job building a new landscape, political structure, and cultures; seeing Khya, Tessen, and Sanii try to navigate the differences and celebrating the similarities between their peoples was my favourite part of the story.

Where SEA OF STRANGERS falters is with the actual plot itself, which is quite pared down: move from one place to another in search of magic, weapons, and allies. Compared to the wild action of the first book, the lack of excitement was a bit disappointing. I was also hoping for more from the character development: while Sanii grows substantially, I felt like Tessen’s character remained stagnant. Maybe he’ll be featured in the conclusion.

The effortless and natural diversity of the characters and the exploration of difference through a curious and compassionate lens remains the strongest part of this series. Despite my problems with this volume, I’m eager to see how Erica Cameron concludes the story.
Profile Image for J.D. DeHart.
Author 12 books44 followers
November 19, 2017
Sea of Strangers is a book written with high quality and attention to detail. What I appreciated most about the book is the way the author has crafted this world, complete with an array for characters and even a language of its own.

This brought to mind other talented and brilliant authors who not only create strange new worlds, but go the extra mile to populate them and fill them out with imaginative flourish. As a science fiction fan, I found this book fulfilling; as an avid reader of all genres, I was equally pleased.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Tesia Lewis.
Author 3 books43 followers
February 6, 2020
The Appalachian Bookworm

** I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Possible spoilers ahead. **

In the first installment of The Ryogan Chronicles by Erica Cameron, Island of Exiles, we follow the story of a young warrior and ward mage from the island of Shiara. When Khya’s brother Yorri is pronounced dead following a surprise attack by their enemies and then his body mysteriously vanishes, the truth comes out quicker than Khya is prepared for it. The leaders of the clan have lied and betrayed her people for endless centuries. In order to save her brother, and her home, Khya must team up with a rival, a person her brother had a secret relationship with as well as many other surprising characters.

Sea of Strangers, the second installment in the series, continues Khya’s story as she and her friends and allies leave Shiara and travel to a land they didn’t know existed. Ryogo is the home of Varan and the other immortals who rule over Itagami. Khya must find the secrets hidden in the mountains of Ryogo in order to kill Varan and bring her brother back alive; both of which are seemingly impossible tasks as Varan is immortal and has accumulated knowledge and power over his many years of existence. Finding the secret of immortality might help her defeat Varan but she fears she may lose something in the process - her brother, Shiara, Ryogo, or even herself. The journey she must take isn’t even half the battle.

There are so many things about this book, as well as the first, that I thoroughly enjoyed that I feel like I could write an essay about it. In fact, the only complaints I can find after reading is that at times the ranks within Itagami, the slang terms, and the use of non-gendered terms could be incredibly confusing. But as I read, these became easier to understand and pinpoint. Once I discovered the glossary in the back of the book, it was even easier to just enjoy the story.

Erica Cameron has created an incredibly complex, diverse, gritty and detailed world in these books. It is unlike anything I have ever had the honor of reading before. Especially since it doesn’t feel forced. Instead, it is incredibly realistic. The best example I can find is how we are introduced to the ebet characters. These people are non-gendered and they are considered completely normal and welcome in Shiara. It isn’t until Khya leaves that we see how they are treated in Ryogo - as if they are punishment from the gods - and realize how effortlessly Cameron has managed to normalize something that even in our society can be wrongfully deemed as unnatural. In fact, it seems like it could actually be a reflection on our own society.

It is also shown in how the citizens of Itagami have been kept isolated from the world, made to believe they are the last beings on the planet by the immortals who rule the clan. When Khya and her allies travel outside of the world they know, they learn about new cultures and people and you can visibly see the contract between her society and the new one because of how detailed the writing is. The real world is much like this.

Aside from the diversity, there is the world building which is incredibly breathtaking. There are endless descriptions of the beauty of the land, the rawness of the elements, the differences between the people. And the magical system in this world is incredibly complex and interesting to read as it is expanded on. There is also the character development. It is most seen in Khya and Sanii. Khya begins to see that asking for help does not make her weak, that she is not fully responsible for every single failure that comes up them. Sanii grows into the person you are able to see beneath the whole time, waiting to unfold and steal the show.

Although at times the story seemed to drag along, it was easy to push through because each thing that happened held importance for the story. The journey the characters take in order to discover the secrets they need to save Yorri, Shiara and Ryogo is such an important part of this story. Reading along as these characters face the elements and the prejudiced people of Ryogo made me feel a much deeper connection to it all.

I am so grateful to have been given the chance to read Sea of Strangers. This series is one I will highly recommend to those who enjoy the genre but also to those who enjoy incredible worldbuilding, diversity and characters who practically jump off the pages at you. I cannot wait to be absolutely ensnared by the next installment of this wonderful story.
Profile Image for Christine (allthingschristine).
86 reviews11 followers
December 6, 2017
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

DISCLAIMER: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and in no way have they influenced my opinions or my review. This review also contains SPOILERS so read it at your own risk.

It was a bit hard for me to jump right back into this world for the second book. It has been awhile since I read the first book in the series that I had forgotten some of the plot, a lot of the words and their meanings and even some of the magic system that was used. The world created by Cameron is such a complex and detailed world that while at first it can be hard to understand, once you do you are immediately immersed and you can’t stop reading to find out more.

This book isn’t as action packed as the first one, it is more a process of self discovery after their world has fallen apart when they learned everything they were told back home was a lie. This is further developed when they travel to Ryogan which they were told was “heaven” where they would go when they died. Only to find out that they are being chased by the very people they thought would help them and that they fear them for who they are and what they do. Also the Ryogan’s treat their people abysmally and violently which clashes with their ideal “heaven.” Their world has been upended and when they are constantly confronted with the fact when they travel through Ryogan they learn to deal with it and move past it so they can deal with the issues ahead.

We return with our cast from the previous book although we lose some more along the way. I understand plot wise why it had to happen. Tyrroh had to die so Khya could take his place as leader. But I really liked and thought this book was different by having the main protagonist Khya with a strong support system and the fact that her input was immensely important but she didn’t have to take the full responsibility for the group. But while she may not want to take up the mantle of leader, it has been thrust upon her. The only thing I would like to change about Khya is her willingness to throw away her life for the greater good or for her brother.

I still don’t understand the deaths of Chio and Tsua though. I understand why they had to do it, but why did they have to do it at that moment? They could have put it off until a bit later and still been fine. I felt so bad for Zonna, to lose his parents like that but not to be able to die himself. Personally think it is because he was born immortal and not because he was mortal and then made immortal which go against the laws of nature. That is just my theory though.

I definitely saw Osshi’s betrayl coming from a mile away. He was discontent with the way things were going practically from the start of this book. I also can’t really fault him for wanting to warn his people of what is coming. This does put Khya and her team at a disadvantage though, but she should think of the well-being of the Ryogans as well as her own people. But I can also see why they are wary after how they have seen the Ryogans treat their own people. I can’t believe he went so far in betraying them though. Spying on them to set up a trap when they are only trying to save his people? I will admit that was low, even for him.

We get some interesting new characters in the form of Lo’a and Ahta. I really like Lo’a as a character; she is interesting, family oriented, smart, secretive and is very knowledgeable and strong. The group would not have been able to survive and get near as far on their quest without Lo’a and her family I think. She is an interesting addition to the Itagami group and I’m interested in seeing how she further helps and influences them.

The only thing I didn’t see coming was Khya becoming an immortal. I also don’t understand why she wasn’t more angry when it was forced upon her. Yes, it saved her life and it is an advantage in the upcoming battle; but what about Tessen and everyone else? Is she really expecting to die in the final battle? I don’t know, but that was the one thing I was actually surprised when I read about it.

It was very refreshing to see how diverse this book is when it came to partners. There were so many different types of relationships and all were immediately accepted. There might be differences in opinion, but they don’t shame themselves or others for their desires or whatever partner or lifestyle they choose. I loved seeing all of the different pairings and how they interact with each other outside of a battle setting.

It was really interesting where the story ended, I didn’t expect it to end like that. Khya is so into throwing herself into impossible situations that I thought she and her team would definitely go help the town that was in trouble in some way. I didn’t expect them to just watch from the sidelines. It was the smart move to do what they did but I didn’t think they could sit still and watch their former family slaughter an innocent village. Also, that epilogue with Yorri! Ahhhhh! He’s awake but has no idea where he is but knows he is hidden. It seems like Varan brought the Immortals with him based on the storm he was talking about. I need more information about that as soon as possible! I can’t wait to see how he features in the next book.

While this book feels more like a filler book up to the big battle, it is important to set things up and it gives us more of a background and some history of what the group is dealing with. Sometimes a journey of self reflection is just as important as a physical battle. Knowledge is half the battle and this was a journey for knowledge. Now that they are set up though all they have to do is figure out how to stop the Miriseh with the stones and stop the Itagami army. No big deal. I still have so many questions by the end of this book though! Will Yorri be freed and reunited with Khya and Sanii? What about Varan and the stones? How will the Kaisubeh fit into the next book? So while this may not have been the most exciting book, the plot is never boring, you are always trying to figure out their next move and you are so immediately drawn into this complex world you are loathe to leave it. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next!
Profile Image for Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm).
630 reviews73 followers
December 28, 2018
Thanks to Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for giving me this book to review.

I struggled to connect with Sea of Strangers, despite me enjoying the first book Island of Exiles. This book is a dark fantasy world which has complex cultures and lots of diversity, however, it is very slow paced. I might not have liked this book as much is it has been a while since I have read Island of Exiles and I had trouble remembering what had happened and who everyone was.

Khya seems to have become a natural leader and I have always been a fan of Tessen, so these two were the highlight of the book.

Unfortunately, I just didn’t click with Sea of Strangers but I seem to be in the minority so if you enjoyed the first book, I would recommend you read this sequel.

This and my other reviews can be found at Amethyst Bookwyrm
Profile Image for Jannin (The Booknerd Dragon).
104 reviews3 followers
December 28, 2017
I got the chance to host a book tour of the second book, Sea of Strangers, and I’m excited! I liked the first book and I love this second book!

The second book started with Khya and her squad sailing through the storm on their way to Ryogo.
As I’m reading the book, I try to remember all the things that were important in the book. It was a while since I read the first book and I kind of forgot some of the things in there. But I didn’t forget the story and the main characters. And some of the things I forgot were the terms in the book. I was seriously lost but it’s a good thing that there’s a glossary or dictionary with definitions of the terms used.

I was weary the whole time I was reading the book. I kept doubting every new character the squad meet. I don’t trust them that easily. Why? Because of the phrase in the cover of the book!

Who wouldn’t be very careful who to trust if you have that in the cover? Like legit!

For me, the story in this book is better than the first. I love this world and this story better. It got better. I think because in this book, Khya is challenging her power’s limit. And, bes, she is very powerful. I can feel that she’s really the main character. There is no doubt. I mean, there are books I’ve read that the main character seemed like not the main character. And even though Khya is not as powerful as Feyre or as badass as Aelin, she is still badass and powerful to me. She’s a fykina, a mage that has the ability to protect herself and others from magic and the world. But every time Khya uses her fykina magic, she’s amazing! And she’s getting more powerful! I can’t wait to see her use her full power!

And what I like about Khya too is her relationship with Tessen, her boyfriend. He is also amazing. He’s a powerful mage as well.
Like I said in my first review about this series, I like that Khya is the one in control in their relationship. I’m not saying this to promote feminism or whatever. I’m saying this because it’s nice to read something different for a change. It’s mainstream that in a relationship, the one in control are mostly men. And I kind of like Erica’s concept that between Khya and Tessen, Khya is the one who controls. She’s even the one on top during their busy time. (If you know what I mean. Haha!) So yeah. I like that.

One more thing that is different and amazing about this book is the accommodation of the third sex. They even have a term for it in Itagami, ebet. I feel like in this book they are treated equally in whatever the Itagamins do. And I sometimes wish that there is that level of equality in the real world.
The characters in the book have improved in terms of powers and in character development. And I like them better now.

The ending though, I don’t know what to feel about that. It was kind of a cliffhanger and also not a cliffhanger. While I was reading it, I wasn’t expecting that I was already near the end of the book. Then when I flip to the next page and the big letters that formed the word “EPILOGUE” greeted me, bes, I backtracked and reread and backtracked again. I thought my Kindle was just acting up but no. It was really the end. I feel like my whole energy just got sucked out of me. The last chapter felt like it was building and then the next thing I knew it’s already the Epilogue. Like, wtf?

Still, beshy, I love and hate cliffhangers. I hate cliffhangers because, duh, they ruin the end of the book. But I also love them because cliffhangers mean the book is not over yet. It’s not the end yet.
And because of that cliffhanger that doesn’t really feel like a cliffhanger but it is nonetheless, I can’t wait to read the third book! I’m so excited since that Epilogue gave me hope about the outcome of the whole story. I just hope it’s good.

To wrap this up, the second book of the Ryogan Chronicles is amazing! For me it is better than the first book. And I highly recommend this to you, bessies! You should read it. It’s great and it has it’s own world with different cultures and languages and all that and trust me, it’s really great.
Profile Image for Alanna.
119 reviews4 followers
November 29, 2017
Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron, is the second book in an epic fantasy series titled the Ryogan Chronicals (you can find my review for Island of Exiles here), by Cameron, which will be released on December 5th, 2017. The Ryogan Chronicles is currently predicted to be a trilogy, so there's at least one more book to look forward to in this fresh and exciting fantasy series (Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Sea of Strangers from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review)!

When Entangled Teen contacted me to review Sea of Strangers, I was so excited - I had really enjoyed the first book in this series, Island of Exiles, and I couldn't wait to read the next installment in this sprawling YA fantasy series! With engaging characters, human struggles, a society that (in some ways) is reflective of our own, and an engaging mission, I couldn't imagine what I wouldn't like about this one!

As with Island of Exiles, I simply loved the sprawling nature of Sea of Strangers. Cameron immersed readers in a rich and intense culture - one that is similar but unique to the culture explored in Island of Exiles. The Ryogans have their own prejudices and problems, and they are also subject to the changing nature of their environment, just of the residents of Shiara are, but this new continent also brings with it a while new host of problems, beliefs and magical understandings. There are (seemingly) no easy solutions to this struggle, and new information emerges at every turn, quickly grabbing the reader’s attention and hanging onto it as the story progresses. Furthermore, the magic system was well established in Island of Exiles, and while complex and vast, it did not feel too overwhelming - although I would recommend a quick re-read of Island of Exiles to refresh yourself. Each new power was explained, and each caste of magic-wielder has a title and a role, making it easy to follow along.

While this was a fantastic and epic fantasy adventure that will certainly have fans of the YA Fantasy genre intrigued, it was the inclusive nature of Cameron's writing that really reeled me in. Cameron handled to topic of LGBTQ2+ characters, racial diversity and cultural diversity with ease, twisting the topics together until they felt natural within the society she has created. I especially lied how, at the beginning of the novel, Cameron had a character list. While this is not uncommon, especially in YA Fantasy novels with large casts, it was something else that Cameron included on this list that caught my eye - she included the preferred pronouns of all of her characters (he/him, she/her, em/eir). Beyond this, Cameron also tackles the topic of prejudice against individuals of supposed "deviant" sexual prejudices and different abilities/physical features. While the society in Shiara was generally accepting of these differences, the Ryogans are less so, and this is perhaps a reflection of our own society.

Overall, readers of the genre will really enjoy this addition to this fantasy series by Erica Cameron, which presents a sprawling, diverse world with complex issues and a wealth of magical power. Readers will be ensnared by the scope of the world Cameron is creating, but also by the depth of the characters, and the humanity behind their struggles (4.5/5).

And guess what? You can check out my blog, One Page at a Time Books, on December 27 for a full review (featuring spoilers) as I host the Sea of Strangers Blog Tour!
Profile Image for Ruthsic.
1,763 reviews13 followers
December 28, 2017
Khya's journey to get back her brother and stop the Miriseh has the squad going to Ryogo to seek out the secrets of how the Miriseh came to be. Most of this book is devoted to the journey to Ryogo, the hardships they face on sea and on land (having to hide from Ryogan military forces), and the search for the immortality that Varan had created, and finally them having to choose between the right thing and the smart thing.

The pacing of the story is slower than that of the first, even though it takes place over more terrain. They go from the sea, then a hidden port in the northern parts of Ryogo, come across a nomadic outcast clan (who also happen to be desosa wielders in a different way), brave treacherous climbs on sacred mountains, and race to stop Varan and his Itagamin army before they reach Ryogo. The middle third of the book feels too expansive and nothing of import happens for the most part, so I was kind of bored there, but towards the end it picks up. I liked the addition of Lo'a's clan, and how good it was for them to have at least one ally in this foreign land, but they do run into them too frequently to be entirely plausible. The distances and timeline don't make much sense but there wasn't a map to see, so...

On the character side, Khya feels distant in this book. I don't know whether it was the pacing that affected it, but I couldn't connect to her emotionally in this book. There are so many new things coming out - like to the extent they were betrayed by the Miriseh, the different social customs and community structure in Ryogo, but it doesn't seem like it is shown to affect the characters much, or they mostly take it in stride. Even for a warrior clan, they seem pretty chill about the newness of it all. And Varan's original quest for immortality seems so amazing, considering he did alone what an entire squad is struggling through. Like, I know he is a villain but I'm still impressed, yo!

I, however, liked the continued attention to how the gender and sexuality of this world are quite different; although, it must be noted that this difference is shown to be limited to Itagami and Lo'a's clan - Ryogo mostly favors a heteronormative structure and there is one instance of queermisia when an ebet (the third sex in this world) child tells of how ey and eir mother were persecuted by Ryogo. There is, on the other hand, canonical bisexual and asexual characters, three sexes, an established polyamorous relationship in the secondary character ensemble, as well as outright depiction of non-exclusive relationships in this book (hint: Khya gets another love interest), which I think is awesome for a fantasy genre book.

The ending leaves us on the cusp of an oncoming war, and I am obviously interested in how Khya will now match up against Varan. Like, even with all their awesomeness, Khya and her squad are still sort of underdogs when you consider the whole Itagamin army of desosa users they will have to face. That third book is going to be epic!

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Entangled Teen, via Netgalley.
Profile Image for Sarah.
832 reviews231 followers
December 13, 2017
Sea of Strangers is the sequel to Erica Cameron’s YA, survival oriented fantasy Island of Exiles. This is a series you definitely need to read in order, so head on over to my review of Island of Exiles if you’re not familiar with it. While Sea of Strangers had a bit of middle-of-the-trilogy slump, this is still a series I plan on continuing with.

Khya and her friends and allies have fled Shiara to travel to Ryogan, the home of Varan and the other immortals who once ruled Khya’s life. To save her brother, Khya needs to kill Varan. Which is kind of difficult given that he’s, you know, immortal. But Khya hopes that the secret of his immortality lies somewhere in the mountains of Ryogan, a country unlike anything she’s known. If she can find the secrets of immortality, maybe she can find some way (or weapon) with which she can defeat Varan and save not only her brother but all of Shiara and Ryogan.

As with Island of Exiles, a big draw of Sea of Strangers is the sexual and gender diversity. Khya’s society has a third gender, ebet, and recognizes that asexual people exist. In my review of the first book, I wondered if ebet was something that was assigned at birth to certain individuals (maybe intersex people?) and there’s enough material in Sea of Strangers to suggest this is true. Back on the subject of sexual orientation, Khya’s attracted to multiple genders (so either bi or pan), and there’s actually a female love interest introduced in Sea of Strangers. It’s not a love triangle in the traditional sense — Khya’s relationship with Tessan is still the most prominent. Rather, it’s opening the way for a polyamorous relationship somewhere down the line. Also, I think Tessan’s demisexual? There’s a section where he was talking about his attraction to Khya, and it screamed “demi” to me. Given that the author’s ace, I’d guess I’m on the right track.

I continue to enjoy the world building in this series. Moving the narrative to Ryogan expands the world in a nice way, and it actually gives an even clearer picture of the society Khya grew up in, just from the contrast. Plus, Sea of Strangers gives some nice new twists to the magic of the series and how it’s treated in Ryogan. There was a visit to a prison for mages that I found a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, I think Sea of Strangers suffers from some middle-book slump. Khya and her allies are traveling around, trying to find a weapon to kill Varan, the big bad, with. I sort of felt like the narrative was trying to kill time until the big show down in the next book. Sea of Strangers exists to bridge the gap between the high-powered introduction and what’s promising to be a wonderful finale in the third book. By contrast, it looses some of its urgency and drive.

Sea of Strangers also contains some flaws I noticed with the first book. I still hate the abundant use of conlang, which at times feels unnecessary. Additionally, I think characterization could be stronger and more compelling. Khya’s the most developed character, and even she doesn’t leap off the page and into my heart. I know, that’s very vague and unspecific! It’s just that some characters have this special quality, you know? Khya doesn’t really have it, although there’s nothing specifically objectionable about her. I had more trouble with the supporting characters, who I thought could be more developed. I’d like to see more of Tessan beyond his relationship with Khya, and I could have trouble keeping track of some of the more minor characters.

For all that, I’ll probably read the conclusion. While Sea of Strangers didn’t quite live up to its predecessor, it did manage to stoke my anticipation for the third and final book.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page.

I received an ARC in exchange for a free and honest review.
Profile Image for Lillian.
937 reviews63 followers
April 3, 2019
I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

I really enjoyed Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron, so I was excited to dive into Sea of Strangers. Unfortunately this book suffers from second-book syndrome SO bad. I struggled through a majority of the book, and eventually I put it away after I scanned the ending.

Here's what I struggled with:
• Khya and her inability to trust anyone, even Terren. I would have thought that after everything they went through together in the first book that she would trust him with her plans, but nope. She's back to the independent, do it herself, and betray everyone while she's doing it character she was at the beginning of book one. So frustrating!
• There were SO many new characters that a glossary was added to the back of the book. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I like a large, diverse, fully fleshed out cast of characters. (Under the Dome people is an example of one I love). However these were not fully fleshed out characters, instead they blended together to be one person at times and I had a hard time keeping everyone straight.
• Immortality….y'all this was like a quest for the Holy Grail. I struggled with this whole plot point. Yes I understand that it is an important aspect in the creation of the Elders and more specifically Varan as Khya knows them, but it wasn't really clear on why this was important.
• The original continent/land/kingdom...Khya and her friends travel to the birthplace of their elders, where they lived before they were cast out to die on the island Khya calls home. I expected to learn a lot about the culture and how it intertwines and differs from Khya's. But we really don't get much interaction with them at all. It is mostly told from Khya's perspective, and she and her friends keep a low profile.
• Lastly, it was boring. Island of Exiles had a slow pace, but picked up towards the end. Even with the slow pace, I found the plot and characters and world interesting enough to keep reading. Sadly, I didn't feel this way with Sea of Strangers.

Overall, Sea of Strangers was a disappointment after the excitement I had for Island of Exiles. I was truly hoping for more. Unfortunately I threw in the towel when I hit the 70% mark and skimmed to the end. I just couldn't keep reading. I tried, y'all I really did. Sadly I won't be finishing this series.
Profile Image for Alexa.
655 reviews35 followers
December 21, 2017
Honestly, the way this book is written, it’s hard to know what to say about the plot. Just like the last, it is epic and intense, plus there are higher stakes and bigger emotions, a ton of twists, surprises, and just wild things that happen, but so much of it is unknown until it happens, because it’s unknown to the main characters. You only know what they know, and frankly, they don’t know very much. They’re desperately trying to fight a war in which they are outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered, and outplanned, and when the book starts, they barely know the first thing about what they need to do to fight. A lot of the book feels very meandering, because the characters are trying to move forward, but half the time they don’t even know what forward is, and the other half there are so many obstacles, it’s almost impossible to go anywhere. Much of it ends up being waiting and discovery and failure and “let’s try this and hope it works,” and then it doesn’t, so they gotta try something else. There are a lot of ups and downs, and they’re always fighting, either a physical enemy, the elements, the facts, or themselves. The odds are against them in a crazy powerful way, but one thing I love about these characters is that they will not stay down. They have done the impossible time and time again, and though this book ends on a cliffhanger and we don’t get to see how it all goes down, I’m confident they will find a way to win. And it’ll be darn epic, a face-off like nothing I’ve read before.

If you'd like to read more of my thoughts on this book, you can find the full review on Verbosity Reviews.

Note: I voluntarily and honestly reviewed a free copy of this book.
Profile Image for Makayla Sophia.
27 reviews24 followers
June 14, 2018
I thought the plot was very exciting! I was on the edge of my seat page with every page turn. I was constantly wanting to know what was going to happen next. With such high stakes, it was a constant battle of who to trust, where to go, and how to solve their problems.

The characters were amazing! The cast of characters from the first book were ever present, and I thought Erica Cameron did a wonderful job of balancing everyone out. I especially loved a new character introduced in this book, named Lo'a! Seeing the characters we already knew learn new cultures and a new language was a breath of fresh air. The Itagamin’s are accustomed to a land where everyone gets rations and the group above self, which is a big change when they go to Ryogo. Exploring this was fantastic!

The world building was also beautiful. I loved reading the characters from Shiara exploring the snow filled areas of Ryogo. Their reactions to the cold were hilarious and added a level of humor amidst the troubles they were traipsing through. Beyond that little bit, the world was immaculate. Learning how big the world truly is was another great read.

The attention to detail was stunning. From the Itagimin, Dehitran, and Ryogan languages all the way to the cultural differences between each group… it was spectacular. The world was so immersive because of these reasons, making this read so fantastic. I loved that glossary at the beginning of the book, which helped with some of the character names and common words in the different languages.

TL;DR (too long; didn’t read)
Exciting plot, amazing characters, beautiful world building, and stunning attention to detail. Erica Cameron truly crafted a spectacular book!
Profile Image for Laurine.
19 reviews4 followers
January 12, 2018
Full review here: https://laurinebruder.tumblr.com/post...

Sea of Strangers is the sequel to Erica Cameron’s Island of Exiles. Released in December of 2017, Sea of Strangers follows the continuing struggles of Khya, a young woman who is determined to kill the leader of her former tribe and save her brother and her people. The problem is, the leader, Varan, is immortal and cannot be killed.

Along with new allies and old friends, Khya journeys to the land of Ryogo to find the source of Varan’s immortality and a way to kill him. However, by the time Khya learns his secret, an army of magical warriors, led by Varan and made up of her former clan members, have crossed the sea to destroy Khya, her allies, and all of Ryogo.

Overall, I found the plot to be engaging, with its own set of stakes that rise as the story progresses. In traveling to a new land, it spices up the setting, which gives readers (and the characters) something new to explore and new challenges to face. The land of Ryogo is so different from the deserts of Shiara, where the previous book took place, with its own people, culture, etc. making it as well formed as the setting of the first book.

Also, as a Midwesterner, Khya and her friends’ reactions to cold and snow for the first time is hilarious and I sympathized completely.
Profile Image for diana.
827 reviews117 followers
December 20, 2017
I have been obsessing over this book's release ever since I finished Island of Exiles. And dammit. Sea of Strangers is everything I hoped it would be and more.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this extraordinary, original and exciting world the author created! The new additional characters were such a delight to meet! Khya and gang are as badass as ever. Aannd I've found a new appreciation for Sanii. He's come a long way from the seemingly powerless character we met in book one. And eventhough I was expecting a lot of painful deaths in this book (because let's face it how could there not be) I was not prepared for how *that* happened.

This series is such a must-read! I cannot wait for book three! Gaah!!
Profile Image for Kim.
126 reviews1 follower
December 19, 2017
This review and many others, both german and english, can also be found on my blog.
Diese und viele weitere Rezensionen, auf deutsch und englisch, findet ihr auch auf meinem Blog.
Ravenclaw Threadsister

I stumbled upon the first book in this series by accident on NetGalley, read it last month and absolutely loved it! As I saw that the second book would be released in only a few short weeks I went back on NG and immediately requested the second book. Not only was I approved to read it, but I was also contacted shortly after and asked to be part of this blogtour. As I loved the first one and couldn’t wait to read the second one, so of course I was happy to participate.

To be honest, I don’t think I loved it as much as the first one, but it’s still a solid 5 stars book, at least for me. If you haven’t read the first one there will be spoilers for you!

In this book our heroes visit the famed land of Ryogo and things aren’t what they’ve always been told. I liked the worldbuilding here as well, but it wasn’t quite as impressive as in was on Itagami, which is probably because what we see of Ryogo and its people is a lot more similar to the real world than Itagami and its people.
The only people we really meet are Oshis friends, who seemed very fascinating to me, but while Khya, Tessen and the others spent quite a large amount of time with them, we hardly got to know anything about them.
I really wanted to learn some more about their kind of magic and their way of wielding it, maybe in the next book.

The plot continued to be action packed, fast-paced and very interesting. I loved the traveling part of the book and really enjoyed some of the places we saw. It does end with a cliffhanger, which is reeeally annoying, but that’s just something I have to accept.

I loved Khyas character development, as well as the growth her relationship with Tessen. Through all the earth-shattering revelations and the obstacles she faces Khya had the chance to grow up quite a lot and it added a lot to her character. Her relationship with Tessen stabilized a lot, which I also appreciated.

I honestly cannot wait for the next book, this is definitely one of my new favorite series and some of my favorite books of the year!
Profile Image for Lynndell.
1,526 reviews1 follower
December 6, 2017
Sea of Strangers, the sequel to Island of Exiles. I don’t understand the different use of pronouns and it’s distracting but the author’s descriptive details make a scenic world once again. On their journey, the travelers encounter magic, other cultures, dangerous terrain and poisonous birds. They become a strong team and learn to work together and Khya learns that she’s capable of so much more than she ever could have believed. The ending is interesting and intense and my favorite part! 4 stars for a sequel with as much spirit as the first book of the Ryogan Chronicles!
Profile Image for Emmyjo.
406 reviews8 followers
December 28, 2017
Another great book by this author.
This book just kept getting better. This is the second book to this series. And boy was this an adventure. Khya meets some helpful people along the way, whom at first doesn't know how to take the news that Varan is on his way with an army of more then thousands to destroy everything and everyone. All Khya wants to do is save her brother. But saving him is saving everyone right? Doing the right thing can cost mistakes. With Tessen there to help Khya things only get better. That ending to this book.... I was like wait, what??
Profile Image for Caroline.
Author 6 books56 followers
December 8, 2017
Full Review Coming Soon To The Blog

Like the first book, the names/language was hard for me to keep track of, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this story. SO much happened! So good! And that ending! Whaaaaat??? When can I read book 3???
Profile Image for Nicole M. Hewitt.
1,420 reviews283 followers
August 14, 2019
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

The second book in this series brings Khya and her allies to a world they never imagined.

What Fed My Addiction:

Serious magic.
The magic in this book was definitely kicked up a notch and Khya’s strengths become the key to saving her world. The desosa (which could be described as the source of magic) comes to life in this book almost as a character all its own. This was easily my favorite part of the book: Khya’s exploration of magic and how it differs in the new world she faces (and how it’s the same). The stakes are raised when it comes to the magical consequences of the characters’ actions as well!

Questioning beliefs.
Khya and her friends are thrown into a situation where they discover that many of their core beliefs were lies fabricated by a power-hungry man. They are rocked to the core by this realization, of course, and watching them deal with that was fascinating.

Shades of gray.
Khya discovers that, while she has come to see the leader of Shiara as a villain in many ways (and the people of Ryogan certainly view him that way), there are many ways that the Shiaran society seems to have improved on Ryogan values. For instance, In Ryogan, society has a different take on the third gender than they do in Khya’s society, and it’s much less humane. Also, their system of punishment seems unduly harsh to Khya. She realizes that Shiara’s leader has many faults, but he did try to make Shiara a better society than the one he came from in many ways.

What Left Me Hungry for More:

Less connection to the characters than in the first book.
The reason this installment gets three stars from me instead of four is that, for some reason, I never quite connected to the characters in this second book the way I did in the first. There are several reasons that I think this might have happened: First, Khyra’s brother is mostly out of the picture in this book, so her relationship with him feels more distant somehow. The gap could have been filled with other secondary characters, but I felt like there were too many of them for me to truly feel connected to any of them. (There were some moments that should have felt tragic, but they just didn’t really reach me emotionally). The main villain of the story is also missing from this installment, so the stakes didn’t feel quite as high because there was no immediate danger. And, since the romance was pretty much resolved in the first book, we didn’t have that romantic tension to draw us into the relationships either.

While this second installment didn’t quite live up to the first for me, there were aspects like the exploration of magic that I absolutely loved. And the ending hinted at an epic finale, so I’m eager to read book three! I give this second book in the series 3/5 Stars.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley and Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
2 reviews
October 7, 2019
I enjoyed reading Sea of strangers because it reminded me of the Percy Jackson book series. The author did a amazing job at combining adventure and action. I could feel the emotions that the characters are going through which is hard to find in books nowadays. I recommend this book for people looking for a memorabilia experience that they wont forget.
Profile Image for Cierra.
183 reviews59 followers
December 26, 2017
Thank you to Chapter by Chapter, Erica Cameron, and Entangled Teen for the ARC through NetGalley and the opportunity to participate in the blog tour!

"We're fighting to get home... to keep the salvageable pieces."

I've been so excited to read this book it wasn't even funny. I loved Island of Exiles and couldn't wait to see where Khya's adventure took her next. This has honestly been one of the most original and intricate series I've ever read. I adore the interesting dynamic Khya and Tessen have and welcome the refreshing break it gives readers from the old cliches.

Khya and her people have been lied to their entire lives. Yorri is not dead. The Miriseh are not gods. Ryogo is not the heaven they get to go to if they serve them well and the Miriseh do not guard its gates. Each one of these lies has been shattered to leave one truth crystal clear: they must kill Varen. However, the one thing he didn't lie about was being immortal, so Khya and allies have traveled to the real Ryogo in search of the secrets Varen had hidden there before he was exiled five-hundred years ago. Many of the Ryogans still fear magic even if they don't believe the legend of the bobasu, so Khya and her friends are being hunted even in the land they're trying to help save. In order to save Shiara, Ryogo, and her brother, Khya will have to make sacrifices and learn to be the leader she always wanted to be.

Because it's apparent that this series is going to go on for a bit, it makes sense that a lot of this book would be a set up for the ones to follow, and it was, but a lot of really important things happened too and there are a couple of interesting plot twists. I like that Erica Cameron doesn't skip steps to get to where she's going, she takes her time to build her plot which makes the world she's shaping so much more rich and developed. The only problem I had was I feel like Khya and Tessen's relationship was a little more....muted than it was in the first book. I mean, it was there and they interacted often, but it just seemed to me that something was missing. Still, they're one of my favorite pairings. I'm usually a total sucker for a hot alpha male, but this relationship was just so different and interesting. It was the epitome of an equal relationship that is so rarely seen in writing. I love that, while Khya often takes control of the romantic interactions in their budding relationship, Tessen is in no way seen as meek or submissive; he is confident and capable of holding his own. And, while Tessen was originally the one constantly pursuing the prospect of a relationship, he respects her wishes and boundaries. So, I'd love to see more of that brought back in the next book. If they survive that long. Will they make it home to save Shiara or will they remain forever adrift, hunted in Ryogo amidst a Sea of Strangers?

Check out my other reviews here and follow me please!
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