K.J. Charles's Reviews > Floodtide

Floodtide by Heather Rose Jones
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bookshelves: f-f, fantasy

A fascinating look into the world of Alpennia (a sort of alt-mittelEurope with magic) from the perspective of a servant. And it really is that perspective, with a *lot* of washing and mending and very little free time. It's fascinating both in the detail and in seeing the events of the first books from such a different point of view--trivial things become important and vice versa.

Roz starts off in a very bad place--thrown out on the streets because she's caught with another female servant--and the focus is at first very much on her struggle to survive and not cause any problems or upset anyone. She doesn't have much in the way of social graces (and we can see how that is both her and an upbringing that didn't put any particular stock on such things, unlike the ladies she serves) and her narration is quite...I'm reaching for 'affectless' here though that's not quite right. She doesn't always have the words or the experience to say what she passionately feels, which is really interesting in a first person narration.

The story starts with her personal travails and slowly moves to focus on the floodtide and its consequences--river fever that devastates the poorer parts of the city. The class aspects here are inescapable, and our earlier upper class heroines of the series don't come out with entirely clean hands in their ignorance of the lives of the poor--which is very much plausible. The building tension of the sections waiting for the flood is goosebumpy, absolutely immersive. Alpennia is one of those fantasy places like Astreiant that is so real and vivid you feel like you've been there yourself and just forgot.

Not a romance but features Roz's love life and ends on a very hopeful note, plus there is a lovely secondary trans m/f romance.

I love this series--the domestic detail, the focus on the female, and the heroism of small details. Marvellous.
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Reading Progress

August 19, 2019 – Shelved
August 19, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
November 8, 2019 – Shelved as: f-f
November 8, 2019 – Shelved as: fantasy
Started Reading
November 9, 2019 – Finished Reading

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