Review and Exclusive Giveaway: The Seahorse Legacy (Eyes of E’veria #3) by Serena Chase

 

the seahorse legacy serena chasea Pirate
bound by a centuries-old oath

a Knight
determined to prove her calling

a Legacy
demanding surrender

As Keeper of the Seahorse Legacy, Cazien de Pollis is a King among pirates, divinely appointed to dispense justice on the seas. Bound by the sacred oath of a long-dead ancestor, he must fulfill a contract to wed the green-eyed Oracle’s Daughter named therein—or risk losing everything he and his people hold dear. But at nineteen, with the identity of his betrothed only recently revealed, Cazien resents the contract—and the urgency within him to see it satisfied.

Erielle de Gladiel returned from the quest for the Remedy, changed. Not only are her formerly-blue eyes now a brilliant shade of green, but she must don gloves to hide inky evidence that her prophetically-bestowed title, the Oracle’s Daughter, demands more from her than the task already completed. Erielle’s dearest-held dream is realized when she is knighted by her King, but unbeknownst to her, that very honor jeopardizes the prophesied purpose to which she and Cazien have been called.

Just as Cazien summons the courage to collect his bride, dark rumors and darker deeds crawl up the coasts, calling its guardians, the Seahorse Pirates, into action—and Cazien away from Erielle. But even though the Oracle’s Daughter knows nothing of the contract to which she has been consigned, Cazien’s enemies have somehow learned of his interest in Erielle. And if they reach her before his ancestor’s weighty oath is executed, the Seahorse Legacy will be forfeited . . . and darkness will be given reign.

Subtly paying homage to several classic tales including Peter Pan, Robin Hood, The Little Mermaid, Much Ado About Nothing, and even The Three Little Bears, THE SEAHORSE LEGACY begins an epic re-imagining of the classic Grimm fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses which will conclude in Eyes of E’veria, Book 4: THE SUNKEN REALM.

serenachase1Serena Chase lives in Iowa with her husband, two teen daughters, and one very spoiled (but really adorable) dog, Albus. A frequent contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog, she also writes for Edgy Inspirational Romance. Serena has served as a youth leader for high school students at her church, coaches her local high school’s Color Guard, and drinks entirely too much coffee between these and her daughters’ activities.

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My Review

What is so alluring about pirates? Is it the bad boy image? The mysterious swagger and charismatic personalities? Because it certainly isn’t the rotten teeth, matted dreads and wooden limbs (thankfully none of which Cazien posses. No, he most certainly belongs to the former category rather than the latter. Those attributes Serena reserves for the vile in scent and personality Men of Duroc.) Regardless of where their allure originates, I WANT MORE PIRATES! Specifically, more of Serena Chase’s beautifully crafted pirate Cazien de Pollis.

But I digress. This story is so much more than the appeal of a singular handsome and charming swashbuckler. No, he has a formidable in wit and combat heroine to contend with who steals every page she occupies. Erielle de Gladiel encompasses the nouvelle heroine role readers have seen popularized in more recent young adult fiction. She wields her physical weapons and intellect with purpose and fights for honour and recognition in a male dominated profession. Her destiny as The Oracle’s Daughter has robbed her of her short lived peace after aiding in the quest The Remedy. Marked by the ink of the prophecies she scribes in her sleep, Erielle grows increasingly unsettled as her vivid dreams and very real threats start to press in. Unbeknownst to her, Erielle is bonded in betrothal to the magnetic pirate who stole her heart years prior in a generations old contract sealed earlier by their ancestors. The fulfillment of this serendipitous marriage contract carries the weight of the survival of nations even though Cazien is more than a little reluctant  to disclose this secret to Erielle.

The Seahorse Legacy establishes the formerly secondary characters Erielle and Cazien as individuals with intricate and distinctive growth trajectories. I love that Serena gives them the opportunity to shine separately and to face their personal obstacles (namely pride) without the interference and distraction of requisite romantic milestones. Time apart actually works in favour of this romantic fantasy! Erielle and Cazien’s face to face interactions are not frequent but their connection is ubiquitous. The book alternates between their points of view during their respective missions of intrigue, suspense and adventure that are pieces to a greater puzzle. The plot development promises an incendiary progression to their relationship, reinforced by their climatic and calamitous union at the end.  But don’t worry, their story is far from over!

Serena Chase takes the time to establish the framework of the layered and detailed story and set the groundwork for future developments in the next instalment. I am unceasingly awed at Serena’s brilliance and mastery in creating new realms with unique inhabitants, idiosyncratic elements and elaborate societies that invigorate readers’ imaginations. Even though Erielle and Cazien’s reality is foreign to our world, E’veria and all its components feels familiar which is a testament to the immersive reading experience.

A series within a series, The Seahorse Legacy can be read separate from the previous books in the Eyes of E’veria series (although I don’t know why you would want to skip the two marvellous preceding books!), and there is a handy summary of major events and people for newbies to this series. I wish I could personally hold Serena hostage until she produces the next instalment The Sunken Realm, but I suspect that would be a damper on her creativity. In the meantime I just may go back and reread some of my favourite scenes.

Don’t forget to check out my review with Serena here.

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**Disclosure: Review copy and sponsored giveaway provided by author**

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