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The Forever Sea

(The Forever Sea #1)

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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  759 ratings  ·  211 reviews
The first book in a new environmental epic fantasy series set in a world where ships kept afloat by magical hearthfires sail an endless grass sea.

On the never-ending, miles-high expanse of prairie grasses known as the Forever Sea, Kindred Greyreach, hearthfire keeper and sailor aboard harvesting vessel The Errant, is just beginning to fit in with the crew of her new ship w
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Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published January 19th 2021 by DAW
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Siavahda The main character is bisexual and has a romance with another woman over the course of the book!
Galina Yep, you could stop reading after the first book, surely there is a cliffhanger because we are yet to know what has happened to that world but the end…moreYep, you could stop reading after the first book, surely there is a cliffhanger because we are yet to know what has happened to that world but the ending is sufficient enough. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  759 ratings  ·  211 reviews


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Petrik
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

ARC provided by the publisher—DAW Books—in exchange for an honest review.


2.5/5 stars

Wonderful world-building and beautifully written, but unfortunately it’s a bit lacking in characterizations and pacing.


I’ve mentioned it so often but Marc Simonetti is seriously one of my favorite cover artists, and the US edition of The Forever Sea is illustrated by him. I won’t lie, the extraordinarily wonderful cover art was the ma
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Andreas
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2021
Miles deep prairie grass with magically floating ships above it. That’s what the cover shows, and that’s the core of this rich world filled with pirates, a lost city, wilderness, the deeps, sea monsters, and many mysteries.

On board of one ship is young woman Kindred, hired as a hearth keeper, who operates the magical fire keeping the ship afloat and propelling it forward.
The story follows Kindred and the crew as a bildungsroman between adventures hunt by and hunting pirates, discovering the wil
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Mary Robinette Kowal
I can rarely remember being this excited for a debut novel. This was everything I wanted it to be. Wind-swept prairie seas, pirates, magic, and found families.
Carrie
Mar 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson is the first book in a new epic fantasy series by the same title. While one would think a pirate adventure would be reading about the endless ocean this series builds a completely creative new world in which the ships sail upon the prairie grasses.

Kindred Greyreach is a crew member aboard the Errant who is still in training and hasn’t quite yet fit in with the rest of the crew. Kindred’s job aboard the vessel is hearthfire keeper in which she uses her ma
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♠ TABI⁷ ♠
forget everything else but the AESTHETIC of this book because that's why I'm here ...more
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Kindred has just returned from a near-devastating journey on the Forever Sea when she learns her estranged grandmother has stepped into the grass and killed herself. Or has she?

"Let us escape again," the storyteller says, clapping his hands to gather their attention, "to a story of senseless violence and distrust, a story of love and hope, a story of our worst natures and the devastation a few might wreak."


Hovering between a 3.5 and a 4.

This is undeniably a book about climate change and the way
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Nils | nilsreviewsit
“Kindred closed her eyes into the prairie wind, feeling it’s familiar whisper against her cheek, neck, eyelids. The low-slung slant of late-afternoon light might have grown too warm, but the wind tempered it until Kindred’s face felt perfectly warmed, perfectly cooled.”

Joshua Johnson’s debut The Forever Sea immediately caught my eye after seeing the vibrant and quite magical cover art on both the US and UK editions. The multicoloured grass and the ship sailing upon it immediately caught my eye a
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Spencer Orey
Jul 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the whole idea of the sprawling grass, the unknowable depths far below it, and the ships floating above it. The actual story was solid enough, though not exactly surprising or fresh, full of the character choices and problems that are very familiar these days. I wish those had been as unique as the setting. But when the book shines, it really shines.
The Captain
Jan 19, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandon-ship
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

I really, really wanted to love this book.  Just look at the beautiful cover!  It features the sea!  Pirates!  Female Captains!  Magic!  Sadly, I had to abandon ship at 50% cause the story wasn't working.  I even spoiled the ending by reading other reviews to see if I should push through in case it got better.  I chose to stop.

The Pros:

- The Setting:  This featu
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imyril
Hands down one of the most original fantasy worlds I've read recently, with a strong narrative through-line about choosing your place in the world and a cast delightful for being predominantly female and casually queer. Throw in some entirely magical moments and this is an unusual and memorable debut. While there were aspects that didn't quite work for me, Joshua Phillip Johnson is definitely one to watch. A big imagination, a wild heart.

Full review

I received a free copy from the publisher in e
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Emma
May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
I had never heard of The Forever Sea until I saw it on my local bookstore's shelf the other day. The cover immediately caught my eye and as soon as I had read the synopsis I had to have it.

When I say this book is beautiful I mean it in a variety of ways. The story takes place on a prairie sea filled with colorful plants that stretch forever. On this sea, sail massive trade ships, dangerous pirates, and people who live on islands and in magical floating trees. Beyond just the content of the story
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Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
Applying the 50-page rule here. There's some interesting worldbuilding in this book, and it's likely to be of interest to those who enjoy eco-fantasy (personally I find books about people destroying the environment too depressing to enjoy). Unfortunately, after 50 pages there are only a few glimmers of plot, none of the characters were compelling to me, and the writing style feels padded and repetitive without fully fleshing out either the physical world or the internal one of the protagonist. N ...more
Michael Stewart
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favs
What a fantastic world! You’ve never seen this, instantly recognizable yet completely alien, head slapping ‘why didn’t I think of that’ awesomeness, the closest comparable might be Chuck Wendig’s Heartland Trilogy. A well thought through magic system with a ton of room to grow, pirates, strong LGBTQ+ rep, did I mention pirates? Some of whom are creepy AF (Word).

The story follows Kindred a hearthfire keeper (think magical ship’s boiler where the fuel is captains bones) in her quest to find her g
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Tammy
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The nitty-gritty: A unique seafaring story set in a brilliantly inventive world and populated with interesting characters, The Forever Sea was a feast for the senses.

Never has a book surprised me as much as The Forever Sea. What started as a slog through heavily detailed worldbuilding and a slow moving plot suddenly made a 180 at about the halfway point. I’m not sure what happened, but I’m so glad I decided to push through. I think it took half the book to get used to Johnson’s style, which I re
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ReadBecca
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fromtbr, lgbt, library
Imagine it with me. A Sea so deep that none who walked above had ever seen its floor. A Sea reaching so far east that none who had set sail for its end ever returned. Well, almost none. As large as it was unknowable; that was the Forever Sea in those days, and those wild enough, or mad enough, would sail on it.

A storyteller recounts a story of the past, the story of Kindred the Hearthkeeper for the crew of The Errant and granddaughter of the Marchess. When Kindred's grandmother walks off the sid
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Geordie Clark
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When rating a book, I don't consider 1-5 stars to be a scale of how close to fundamentally perfect it is (though that does play a role). I ask myself the question 'did this book achieve what is set out to achieve?' If it's a horror novel, I think about if it scared me or not. If it's a thriller, I think about whether or not it had me on the edge of my seat. If it's fantasy, among other things, I ask myself this: "Did I enjoy my stay in this world?"

If the answer is yes, I consider it good fantas
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Renee Godding
3/5 stars

On the never-ending, miles-high expanse of prairie grasses known as the Forever Sea, Kindred Greyreach, hearthfire keeper and sailor aboard harvesting vessel The Errant, is just beginning to fit in with the crew of her new ship when she receives devastating news. Her grandmother--The Marchess, legendary captain and hearthfire keeper--has stepped from her vessel and disappeared into the sea.
But the note she leaves Kindred suggests this was not an act of suicide. Something waits in th
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Arina, The Reading Rogue
I made swift work of this book and well, that's my year off to a great start!

This book is so extremely imaginative that I loved every second of it. It’s rooted in ecological metaphors, creating interesting allegories. It’s got that very timely, very intriguing ecological discourse wrapped up in a world that’s so intensely magical, and explores many personal messages that will touch the readers' hearts.

All the loving tropes of fantasy like floating cities, ravenous pirates, mythical sea beasts f
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Andorion
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has an absolutely stunning setting - a gigantic sea of grass and plants over which ships ply, powered by magical fires that are tended to by special singers. Add to that setting an island community that is in the middle of political change as resources get scarce, fiercely independent ship captains who want to sail the forever sea, fierce pirates that haunt the horizon and disturbing mysteries and rumours about something wrong with the sea and you have the recipe for a very original fa ...more
Dawn
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Can you give me half an hour while I rave about the imagination behind "The Forever Sea"? Please?! I was convinced "Joshua Phillip Johnson" was the pen name for a writing duo (minimum - it wouldn't have surprised me to find there was a whole collective of minds behind this book). The characters and world-building can't be faulted. It is an incredibly rich and vivid tale that was so easy to sink into (pardon the pun), and I can't wait for more.

My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley. Th
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Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
I enjoyed this! Don't go in expecting fast paced pirating. It's so much more about the world and the story instead. I don't think it will be for everyone but it was for me. A few lulls in the pace but the world was just so interesting and adding the element that the story is being told in the book (think the way The Princess Bride movie has the grandpa telling the story) just made it better. The conflict of fighting over resources is definitely something we can all relate to.

I will definitely be
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Meghan
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: collection
This book was received as an ARC from DAW in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I absolutely loved this book. I especially love books where every chapter there is a new exciting event taking place. The ambition Kindred had for finding her grandma and continuing her task as the hearthfire keeper in swimming along the majestic seas to find her grandma and save their kingdom. Little does Kindred know that beyond the waters are two cul
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Runalong
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extremely impressive start to a new series that mixes ships, pirates and an endless five mile deep sea of grass they sail on.

Full review - https://www.runalongtheshelves.net/bl...
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Rilee Moulton
Apr 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Poetic and lyrical.
A 456 page love poem to the prairie filled with adventure, wonder, and unapologetic love.
Julia
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Imagine yourself on a ship in the middle of a sea of miles deep prairie grass, pirates, a war over water between two floating cities. These are the ideas I had, when I read the blurb and saw the cover of the book.

Alas, that’s not what I got. Instead of a fantasy adventure, I got a Bildungsroman with a heavy climate change moral tale that could have been so much better with a bit of pruning from an experienced editor.

Kindred, the main character, is a hearth keeper on a harvesting vessel crossing
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Karen
The Forever Sea is an unusual and unique book and I haven’t read anything quite like it before. The whole concept, if somewhat odd, is completely captivating. A pirate inspired adventure in which ships sail on an endless and fathomless sea of prairie grass. Creatures lurk beneath and it is hinted there may be an undiscovered world below. The world and magic system are fascinating and richly described and I particularly enjoyed reading about the flora and fauna in this magical setting, as well as ...more
A.R. Hellbender
DNFed at 25%. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling this book. I was really looking forward to it because the premise sounded so interesting, but the lack of any character depth right from the start really made my interest dwindle.
A big part of this book is the mystery of what exists beneath the sea of grass, because no one has been able to find that out, and everyone assumes that someone who goes into it dies. However, we're not given any real reason why this mystery needs to be solved, which is par
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Rowena Andrews
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is no other way to start this review off than with that stunning cover. It’s absolutely beautiful, and from the moment I say it, I knew that I wanted to read this book. I love ships, the colours had me…and it was a ship on a sea of grass…what more do I need to say?

Even more importantly the book is just as beautiful inside, both in terms of the worldbuilding and the writing.

The worldbuilding is my favourite part of the book, and this has to be one of the most beautifully crafted and imagine
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Jordan (Forever Lost in Literature)
*4.25
This book was an explosion of imaginative and world-building and I loved it. Can't wait for the sequel! Full review to come.
...more
Maria
Jun 04, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Ohhhh, dear...
(A sentiment I had reason to feel many times during this book.)
Review and rating to come.
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