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Summary

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 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 the depths, and the Marchess has set out to find it.

To follow in her grandmother's footsteps, Kindred must embroil herself in conflicts bigger than she could imagine: a water war simmering below the surface of two cultures; the politics of a mythic pirate city floating beyond the edges of safe seas; battles against beasts of the deep, driven to the brink of madness; and the elusive promise of a world below the waves.

Kindred finds that she will sacrifice almost everything--ship, crew, and a life sailing in the sun--to discover the truth of the darkness that waits below the Forever Sea.

©2021 Joshua Phillip Johnson (P)2021 W. F. Howes Ltd

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What listeners say about The Forever Sea

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  • Mc
  • 25-03-21

Fascinating world and story with excellent narration

I enjoyed this story immensely. The world that the author builds is incredibly imagined - the forever sea is a unique idea, but the way the world works shares enough similarities with our own for a reader to connect to it. The characters were well drawn and I liked them, especially of course the protagonist, Kindred. Although clearly the story will go on after this book, I do feel that the ending left at a place that was satisfying.

Unlike some other reviewers, I thought the narration was extremely good. The main narrator’s voice was really lovely and soothing to listen to, but appropriately expressive, with consistent use of character voices; I grew to recognise these as I listened on. To me, the female narrator was far from flat; gentle, perhaps, which is my preference, as this tone allows me to follow and be absorbed by the story rather than be distracted by extreme performance. I did also enjoy the more emphatic storyteller’s narration, but was glad of the more even-toned female narrator carrying me through the bulk of the story.

I’m not normally drawn to fantasy fiction, but overall I’d really recommend this as a good book that you can get very pleasantly lost in.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved the female narrator,really enjoyed listening

Highly recommend... I especially enjoyed listening to the female narrator. Really enjoyable to listen to and what a wonderfully written book.

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The Forever Sea Review

An interesting world built here by the author. An interesting but slowly paced story. Which I enjoyed. But I wanted more of a satisfying wrap up/conclusion then we got. This is the first book in a trilogy and I’m in two minds if I want to read the next book in the series.

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Lovely book

Exciting story. Very pictorially written, easy to keep up with. The female narrative voice felt a little flat at times, but overall a lovely story. Highly recommended.

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Can't wait for the sequel!

I found this addictive. Couldn't stop listening! Could really picture the magical world and loved Kindred. The narrators did a great job at holding my attention and building intrigue. Without giving spoilers, I can't wait to see what is discovered next!

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A really interesting story, frustrating narration.

I really enjoyed this story, it is weird and wonderful and the concept of the forever sea is genius. I liked and disliked almost all of the characters, so I was definitely drawn in to the story.

There was some repetition of quotes which I found a little odd, not bad, but maybe it was just the way the narrator presented them.

The narration... I found really weird. The male narrator was good for his small parts, but the main female narrator lacked energy. It was confusing as I actually really liked her voice, I could have (and did) listen to her for hours. But she had no energy; whether it be a terrifying situation, an exciting one or, really, anything at all, the narrator kept a steady pace.

It was odd in the extreme and definitely detracted from the experience, but the story was good enough for me to overcome her casual narration and now I am looking forward to the next book eagerly!

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10 out of 10!

Fantastic story and excellently narrated with perfect pacing. Belinda has a beautifully soothing voice that transports you effortlessly into this magical world. The characters she depicts are vibrant and engaging. I couldn’t stop listening to this audiobook and highly recommend it!

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  • Kristopher F Grows
  • 02-03-21

Fantastic imagery, fair story, nonsense characters

One problem with the audiobook, specifically, is that the narrator would often end statements with a rising intonation that mis-labeled them as questions. Often, but not consistently, so it was impossible to adapt to.
As to the book: beautiful descriptions of a unique setting. World building was fine if you don't look too hard, but the rate at which they burn the fuel for their ships (not discussed to avoid spoilers) is so massively out of synch with any plausible replacement rate that the setting couldn't exist under its own rules for more than a week. Economics is an odd thing to pull one out of the story, but this did it.
The characters are passible on the whole, but several of the major figures, especially the main character, make nonsense decisions that tend to make a fairly decent plot come across as contrived. We are told there is a reason, but it always ends up being some vagery that doesn't hold up with that character's own motivations, even inside their own interior monologue.
I did enjoy the setting, I might even continue or re-listen, but the cast borders on insufferable so it depends.