Review of ‘Floodtide’ by Heather Rose Jones
This was a real quality read. This is the fourth book in Jones’ ‘Alpennia’ series. I had read the first book and liked it a lot, but due to time constraints, I had never read books two or three. As most of you know I’m really anal about reading books in order so for me to skip around like this is not normal. Plus, this series is a pretty hardcore lesbian historical fantasy book. This is not light fantasy, there are many names, places and new words to learn not to mention a religion that is part magical based. I clearly remember struggling to keep everything straight in my head while reading the beginning of book one. Eventually, everything clicked and the book was wonderful, but it’s not an easy-breezy read.
My worry with Floodtide was that missing two series books would leave me too lost to really recover. Luckily, this book is really a standalone book that takes place in the Alpennia universe. I recognized some characters from the first book, and it took me a bit to get everyone’s names straight, but once I settled into this book it was smooth sailing. While it is a book you still need to pay attention too, I think this book was even more approachable than book one. And I’m surprised and happy to say that if you are new to this series you can actually start here. If anything it might get you interested in reading the other Alpennia books.
These are historical-fantasy books. Think about that Regency-era feel in Europe when everything was about proper manners, who were marrying whom, fancy balls and even duels. Jones captures that feel but creates a religion that is based on magic. I’m not a big historical fiction fan but I like this Jane Austen-ish period and I think Jones does the mix really well.
I would also put the young adult tag on this book because we are in the eyes of a 16 to 17-year-old laundry maid who has dreams of becoming a dressmaker. It’s funny because while there are some everyday mundane tasks we read about, I was never bored for a second. The book went at a really nice pace. And while book one was about a character who had money, a woman who was expected to marry, I liked being in the point of view of someone who had to work hard every day just to stay fed and to support her family back home.
Not to keep comparing this to book one but I would not put the romance tag on this while book one was a romance. The main character in Floodtide is a lesbian who has feelings for some of the other characters but this is not a romance. I do have to admit I was hoping to see the main character find love, but she is still a teenager and with everything else she had going on, I ended up not missing the romance after all.
This was a really good read. Jones writes very well and this book was no exception. I can’t wait to have some time to be able to read the other books in this series. I would recommend this to fantasy fans and fans of the Regency era. It does take a few chapters to get used to all the new names, but this book is worth it. I’m not sure if Jones is planning a sequel to this book, but I personally would love to read more about these characters. They are still young and I think they have more stories left to be told. 4.25 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.