Review: Isle of Blood and Stone

Posted April 10, 2018

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Isle of Blood and Stone Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier
Series: Isle of Blood and Stone #1
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 10th April 2017
Genres: YA Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Ulises asked, "How can I look at these maps, see this riddle, and do nothing? They are my brothers."

Elias reached across the table and flicked aside two shells with a fingertip. The map curled into itself. "It's bound to be a goose chase. You know that?"

"Or a treasure hunt," Ulises countered, "and you've always been good at those."

Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar's oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way...until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.

The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias's father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king's beautiful cousin by his side—whether he wants her there or not—Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried...and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.

I’d been really looking forward to Isle of Blood and Stone – fantasy, maps, a dangerous treasure hunt, sounded right up my street! Oh, it was! I really enjoyed this book.

When two maps are found that seem to imply that the del Marian Kind’s two brothers survived the attack by the kingdom of Mondrago 18 years ago, King Ulises enlists his closest friend and navigating explorer, Lord Elias to help him uncover the truth. Elias has his own interest in the mystery. His late father, the Royal Navigator Lord Antoni, had been with the young princes when the attack occurred.

The King’s cousin, Mercedes, whose mother was Mondragan, joins Elias and Ulises as they attempt to find out the truth.

I loved the characters in this book. Sometimes a host of characters can feel overwhelming, but that definitely wasn’t the case here. What’s more, I felt like we actually got to know our main characters; at no point did I feel disconnected from them – a testament to Lucier’s writing.

Talking about her writing, I loved her style. It added to the feel of the book, a perfect accompaniment to the world that Lucier has created.

I found this to be a really entertaining novel. It’s easy to read, mysterious and tense at times, while wonderfully meandering at others.

When I finished reading, I actually craved more of these characters, so I was delighted to find out that there will be a second book. With the way that this book finishes, book two could go any way and I cannot wait to see what Lucier treats us to.

If you like the sound of a well-written, easy to read, fantasy treasure hunt with fantastic characters, strong females, fierce loyalty, deception and sea serpents, then this is the book for you!