I hope you’re having a great April weekend, whatever that means to you. Over here in this part of the world, that mainly means pollen. Lots and lots of pollen.
Between sneezes, though, I’m thrilled to say that my new release, The Singing Shore I: Sea and Song, has been chosen to be featured in Barnes & Noble’s Top Indie Favorites! It’s in the Science Fiction and Fantasy section. Do come check us all out–there’s some pretty good-looking books there, if I do say so myself.
Also, it just got a pretty great editorial review from Midwest Book Reviews, which I’m sharing below.
(Of course, if you’ve already read it and you feel moved to leave a review on your platform of choice, that would be much appreciated!)
What happens when magical promises fail?
In The Singing Shore I: Sea and Song, Dasha seemed destined to bring great magical powers to the world. In reality, she can only offer visions of terror and destruction; not resolution or salvation. What use is a power that portends disaster without offering a solution?
E.P. Clark creates a vivid story of a flawed potential heroine’s journey, and the story blossoms into a coming-of-age saga that embraces an old form of untamable magic whose very unpredictability could prove the world’s salvation.
Dasha is called upon to tap her powers in different ways. But will she become the powerful sorceress she’s supposedly destined to be, or will her abilities cause the death of everything around her?
It’s unusual to see an epic fantasy saga embrace spiritual and romance components simultaneously. Sea and Song weaves these themes together with a sense of place and spirit that proves compelling as Dasha explores not just her evolving abilities and place in the world, but the presence of magic in unexpected situations: “There was no sign of any magic as Dasha had ever understood it. But she could feel there was a kind of magic being worked even so.”
Clark’s evocative descriptions power this journey as much as the strong characterization that develops between Dasha and those who interact with her: “The note she drew was higher, but even sweeter than the one before, like fresh berry juice chilled in the last of the previous winter’s ice.”
It should be noted that this is the first book of a trilogy. Though Sea and Song is a fictional story, the background for this book was drawn from the history, mythology, and geography from what is now Russia and the Nordic countries; especially Finland. From gender roles and social rules in Slavic and Russian communities to the matriarchal world of Zem and its influences and forces, this fantasy thus is embedded in the rich cultural and social inspections of the real world. Perhaps this is what lends the story its especially compelling, realistic feel within the trappings of a fantasy setting.
Clark presents all the pertinent background influences and information at the back of his book, which allows readers a smooth entry into the main story, uncluttered by the wealth of information that so neatly concludes the saga.
Sea and Song is a powerful story of love, righteousness, discovery, and growth that ends with both a surprise and a cliffhanging promise of more to come.
Fantasy libraries attracted to in-depth, world-building sagas that richly embrace Nordic heritage and matriarchal worlds, embedding both with an unexpected spiritual component, will find Sea and Song just the ticket for patron interest and discussion groups.
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
I was thrilled to get this review, and especially since it will be going out to libraries! As a reminder, you can read The Singing Shore or any of my books for free by requesting them at your local library.
Here’s the link to the B&N Top Indie Books again.