The Sunken City by Emma V.R. Noyes (The Sunken City Trilogy; 1)

Book Blurb:

Amare Bellamy is not a witch. Orphaned as a child and raised on a ship by the most dangerous men in the Caribbean, Amare is one thing and one thing alone: a pirate. And pirates hate magic.

After a fateful storm plunges her to the depths of the ocean, Amare wakes to find herself in a strange new world: an underwater kingdom, where magic exists, but is strictly outlawed by the King—a man who claims to be her true father.

As Amare struggles to fit into her new role as Princess of the Sunken City, she finds herself tangled in a web of love between two brothers—one good, one not so good. And as strange powers manifest within her, she must question everything she was raised to believe—especially if she has any hope of stopping the evil brewing at the bottom of the ocean.

I received this book from the author via BookSirens. All comments and opinions are entirely my own and this review is voluntary.

Rayleigh’s Review:

“Home is sunshowers on the Atlantic. A bed made of life jackets. Liar’s Dice with Ian and Callum. Home is thimbles of rum, battered schoolbooks, fish and chips every night for a week.”

The Sunken City is everything a pirate fantasy should be, and so much more. I devoured this book in nearly a single day and probably could have binged right on to book two, The Fallen Witch, if I had a copy in my possession! If you enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean, Atlantis: The Lost City, or heck, just pirates in general, this book is worth adding to your collection!

Plot-wise, The Sunken City is pure brilliance. It twists and turns with as much predictability as a school of fish, and with just as much splendor. The need to know what happens next pulls the reader through the book at such a fast pace, which is why I finished it all in nearly one sitting. It really did not feel like it was 376 pages long because the scene breaks are quick, concise, and rapidly fired. Just, wow, very well written and well planned out. One thing that I especially liked about the plot, is that The Sunken City merges Historic pirates with fantasy pirates. The story opens with Amare Bellamy (a nod to Captain Samuel Bellamy perhaps??) sailing during the Golden Age of Piracy before her fantasy story begins. And as a pirate nerd, I LOVED that.

“We made port in Nassau, the capital of New Providence. Dubbed ‘The Republic of Pirates’–where bribes are welcome and buccaneers roam free–Nassau is a cozy beachfront hamlet of depravity.”

Now we get to the characters, and I hope you know that I have SO much to say here…Amare is everything a girl who grew up on a pirate ship should be! She is rude, passionate, a spitfire of opinions, and every bit the girl that yearns to be free. I really liked Amare. Her decisions made sense and I just really liked her. Shoa was so perfect! I loved her, she was such a sweet best friend.

“When you have best friends, things just don’t seem so bleak anymore.”

Finn was a cutie. I actually really liked Finn throughout most of the book…until he started talking about his broken and flawed older brother. I could feel myself losing interest in Finn the more Lukas was brought up, but I was determined to stay with Finn throughout the whole book, no matter how tall, dark, and handsome Lukas turned out to be! I had made up my mind! And I held out for a LONG time, reminding myself much like Cora reminded Amare: “No, Amare! You’re supposed to end up with Finn. The nice brother! Remember him?” But in the end, I failed. I still fiercely love Finn. He is one of the few “nice” guys that actually has some spunk and snark, so depending on Lukas’s actions in book two, there’s still a VERY good chance that I may actually love the NICE guy (which would be a first?). So, we shall see in the next book!

“You don’t have a bed here, Lukas. You have a couch.” -Finn

Content disclaimers: Romance is only a few mild kissing scenes. One lesbian character, but no on-screen romance. Action/gore is pretty mild, only describing a few injuries. And cursing is extremely high. Lots of GDs and F-bombs.


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