Cover Image: The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea

The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea

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"The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea" is a fantasy in which our heroine, Margrete, reared in a deeply abusive household by her father, is about to enter an arranged marriage. Lo, a pirate-y stranger and his crew suddenly invade and in the fray, Margrete ends up taken off to the kingdom of said pirate, who has the unfortunate name of Bash. (Why? Why??) 

What's good: This book knows its real point is the tension between the leads. The fantasy elements are interesting and not ones I could immediately identify. 

What's iffier: This is the first book in a series, so the end is clearly left open. Also, the male lead is named Bash and I cannot get over that name.
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Margrete would like nothing more than to escape her father - a cruel pirate - but fears leaving her 7-year-old sister behind.  An arranged marriage could get the girls out of harms way, but an attack on her wedding and a kidnapping leave Margrete in the hands of sea captain Bash - who is also the king of a magical island realm.  Although the two are drawn to one another - Bash needs Margrete as a hostage and Magrete needs to get back to her sister.  They will clash until they learn to work together to save the world.

Magrete is a great character - full of fire with a sharp tongue and a degree of recklessness that only fascinates Bash.  Bash is a king among chaos, trying to balance his needs with those of his people.  It was quite amusing to watch these two verbally spar.  I can't wait to see what happens in the second installment of the trilogy.
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Margrete Wood has a hard time with her father. Her father is a mean captain who takes pleasure in hurting her. Locking her in an iron box happens regularly. Since she was young, she has always felt a connection to the sea, but unfortunately she cannot swim. When she is married off to Count Casbian, she thinks she's finally free. On the day of her wedding, a raid takes place and she is kidnapped by a pirate named Bash. Bash turns out to be king of Azantian, a forgotten, almost mythical island. Bash kidnaps her in order to get back what her father stole all those years ago, but soon learns that Margrete's father cares little about her and that it will be a difficult quest. Slowly but surely they get to know each other and realize that the enemy might not be so bad after all.

Margrete grows into a heroine. She gets a backbone, didn't stay behind as a damsel in distress, but really tried to escape and make something of her life. Bash unfortunately felt a little too perfect. He said exactly what Margrete wanted to hear and which, naturally, made us happy as a reader. I expected him to be a little tougher and more villainous, since he was presented as a pirate. He lacked some depth.

Unfortunately, I found the first part of the book to be very slow. Very little happened and we as readers remained somewhat in the dark. It felt a bit repetitive: Margrete trying to escape again and again. In the end, it only started to get exciting about half way through. Secrets were unraveled and something finally happened. My only regret was that the book often couldn't keep my attention. Some things were predictable and in other events I expected more excitement and sensation. Still, I have to admit that I was really hooked at the end, because suddenly so much happened that I had to keep on reading.

This is a good debut. The history of Azantian is very interesting to read and I noticed that I wanted to know more and more. There are a few steamy scenes that I think are very well written. The writing style can even be called poetic at times, which I am a huge fan of! However, I believe that there are some areas that have fallen short. The first part lost my attention enormously, and this should be the part that has to be interesting. This could have been faster and more exciting where necessary. Overall, this is a good introduction to the story and getting to know the characters. I'm really curious to find out where the story is going.
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Series Info/Source:  This is the first book in the Azantian trilogy.  I got an eGalley of this book through NetGalley to review.

Thoughts:  This book was impossible to put down and an absolutely fantastic fantasy read.  This is an incredible adult fantasy that will send you on a magical adventure and then twist your heart into knots.  

Margrete is being forced into marriage by her abusive father.  That is until her wedding is interrupted by a band of pirates who kidnap her.  The pirates are led by a captain, named Bash, who as it turns out is not a pirate at all but the King of the Azantian.  He only wants Margrete in order to force Margrete’s dad to return a powerful relic to him; he doesn’t realize Margrete has her own agenda.

This story is full of magic, adventure, battling gods, and a sweet romance (with some explicit sex scenes).  The chemistry between the two leads is off the charts and absolutely sucks you in.  I loved every minute of this book and just could not put it down.  A lot of this book reminded me of the early books in “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series by Sarah Maas.

My Summary (5/5):  Overall this was an amazing fantasy romance story and I absolutely loved the two leads and the chemistry between them.  This is some great world-building here and an engaging story as well.  I would highly recommend this series if you enjoy fantasy romance stories with solid world-building and an engaging story.  I loved it and can't wait to read the next book in the series.
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First, to anyone describing this book as "swashbuckling," please read more pirate books.

Second, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book, starting with the fact that I was very confused about where everything was headed when I was going in. I was promised high-fantasy adventure, but I was a bit turned off by the romance-y language from the start (the writing wasn't horrible, it just didn't fit my expectation going in). I shouldn't have been surprised when this turned out to be a steamy romance.

It was almost like this book was trying too hard to be a lot of different things and therefore didn't put enough work into any of them. The world-building, while intriguing, was lacking. The pirate aspects got a bit overshadowed by the fae-like god aspect—or whatever. The plot should have been exciting, but instead, it dragged. Romance works best for me when I'm really invested in the characters and buy their love, but that didn't happen as much with this one. 

Now, I guess I'm being really harsh. I didn't hate this book. I made it through. I finished the dang thing. I enjoyed the characters and plot enough to keep reading and the steam was certainly entertaining. But I just wasn't invested enough to rate it higher or really think about continuing this series in the future.

I understand the initial hype for this debut. The premise is really captivating. But I have to admit I was a little surprised by the onslaught of 5-star reviews. Even if all your boxes are checked with this one, it's just an okay book.
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A king? Pirate? Magical Island? Sign me up! 

I had high hopes when I started this book and it certainly lived up to my expectations. 

Now I can't say for sure that this was an enemies to lovers because it was pretty obvious from the start but the romance was still on point and I absolutely loved it. 

The plot was predictable but it didn't take away from the fun of reading it, I was still curious to find out how it would unfold and it unfolded beautifully. 

I don't read many fantasies but this...I can't wait to read the rest of this trilogy. 

Thank you @netgalley & @cityowlbooks for this ARC in exchange for an honest review💕
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3.75 stars

This was hard for me to rate. It was mostly a pretty good book, but it really lacked something that I'm having trouble putting a finger on. The concept is good. All the pieces are there, but it still feels like something's missing. There wasn't enough flavour for me. I never got excited. I never had a point where I couldn't put it down. I never had anyone I was rooting for, no one I truly hated either. I didn't get excited over things I should get excited about.

Still, I didn't dislike Margrete, though her constant escape attempts were kind of ridiculous, and at some point I was like REALLY? 

It's possible that I'm just oversaturated right now, and I've read a few really good ones lately, which tends to skew my vision for a while afterwards. A few others have also recently suffered the wrath of the Really Good One.
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'The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea': 4⭐

(Unpaid Review: thank you to Netgalley, Katherine Quinn and the publishers for allowing me to read this eArc copy in exchange for a review.)

This book was so good, it's so hard to believe it's a debut novel! I'm the biggest fan of books set or related to the sea, so I knew I had to get my hands on this one! I absolutely adored how the author incorporated a beautiful setting to such a powerful story! An author I will be reading from more!
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I think i have never read before a book with pirates😳 until this book, and what a good start! 

You need to read this if you like:
-Romance / enemies to lovers
-enchanted cities (islands in this case jajaja)
-Spicy scenes 

In the beginning I was scared about the relationship between the main character’s and even I did feel a insta love* that if had not been, I would have loved the book more, but it didn’t make me hate it either, since later it developed into something that I really liked!💖 
The characters, mi fav is Adrian and Margrete✨ 
I liked very much the world created, and the end 👁👄👁 I had imagined something totally different. I am already really excited to read the next book🤩

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I immediately found myself immersed in this incredible world full of all things seaside!  I was intrigued by the plot and the lovely creation that came to life with the descriptive world filled with seaside intrigue.  The magic--the pirates--the slow burn romance journey you take while reading this combine to make it something I was unable to put down.  Margrete's quest to find a better life accompanied by the tension she encounters with Bash made this near perfection for me.  The world-building was exceptional and I am already eagerly anticipating book 2!
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I really liked this book.
I enjoyed the characters, the writing and the fast pace.
Unfortunately, it reminded me of another book series and another author (I'm not gonna drop names).
The concept is similar, but that is ok. However, when Bash started calling Margrete "Princess" and "little creature" I almost checked out.
I might continue with the series, but I was a bit put out by this.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Owl press publishers for the eARC. 

As soon as I saw the cover and the synopsis of this book, I knew it was one I wanted to read. 
A war of two gods sees Margrete gifted with powers from the sea. Tortured by her father for years, she finally thinks she’s escaping an arranged marriage. When she’s kidnapped by a pirate, who lives on a magical island with sea monsters trapped under it. Bash and Margrete form a bond as they try to battle situations together. 
     I loved the writing style in this book! Though I found the pace a bit slow in parts but it did pick up. 
 The plot was great and the tales about the gods was a good insight. Bash and Margrete have a enemies to lovers relationship which progressed quite quickly.
All of the characters I thought were good and felt like they all had a purpose, I can’t wait to see more of the side characters and how they evolve, are they as they seem or is there an underlying agenda. 
I loved the book. It’s an amazing debut and I can't wait to read the next one in the triology.
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Who doesn’t love a good book with a seaside setting? This one in particular was really interesting, I really grew into the characters.
Would recommend!
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Pause for a moment to appreciate the beauty of this cover. It is one of the most stunning covers I've ever seen. I cant wait to own it, as superficial as that sounds. 

The story itself was a tad slow for me, though I really enjoyed the world the author created, I wanted to know more. 

Where Bash was a little "too perfect" I loved Margrete, she was a fierce female lead. I appreciated she wasnt just another damsel in distress-- she was the hero of her own story. 

Overall the book was a good debut, and a good jumping off place for a more plot, adventure centered book 2.
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I really wanted to like this one, but found it difficult to get into and around the 70% mark some strange stuff happened with the plot making everything way too easy. This book just wasn't for me.

I don’t think I’ll be continuing with this series. It’s just not for me, but I can understand why a lot of people have enjoyed it.

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing me with this read.
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Thank you to NetGalley and City Owl Press for my e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

WOW. This book has it all. I requested the title simple based on the synopsis and went in very blind on the plot and the author’s writing style. Quinn weaves together a beautifully descriptive world of Magic, Pirates, slow burn romance, and self-discovery. I was honestly enthralled after the storyline picked up after the first few chapters and couldn’t put it down. I appreciated the action starting early in the book and the character development coming without any lulls in the plot. I adored Margrete and her journey towards finding a better life and her tension with Bash was just perfect. There’s definitely a good amount of spice in the story and those two resisting each other just made it all the more worth it! The world-building was very impressive and the ending has me so excited for book 2!
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Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea in exchange for an honest review.

First off, big props to the author here. While I think the plot of The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea was very generic YA Fantasy Romance, the narration was anything but. This was really competently written especially for a genre that's normally able to skate by on character relationships and bland narration. It is a bit insta-lovey in romance and I don't think the plot brings anything particularly new to the genre, but the narration was a treat to read and kept me enjoying it from beginning to end.
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𝙊𝙣𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣 𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙣 𝙗𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙂𝙤𝙙 𝙤𝙛 𝙎𝙚𝙖. 𝘼 𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙗𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙤𝙣 𝙨𝙖𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙢𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙞𝙨𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙝𝙤𝙢𝙚. 𝘼𝙣𝙙 𝙖 𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙗𝙞𝙙𝙙𝙚𝙣 𝙧𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙙𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙢 𝙖𝙡𝙡.

I have to be honest here, this is the first NetGalley ARC that I truly loved from the beginning until the end. Katherine did an amazing job creating a world so rich and full of details that immediately 
immerses the readers into the story and let them wanting for more. If you love sea adventures as much as I do, and a good steamy enemy-to-lovers romance, this book is for you. Margrete and Bash´s romance was so well written. The controversial emotions and the forbidden feelings for one another only made their relationship more real and fascinating. And even though I loved the sexual tension and the high level of chemistry between them, what impressed me the most was Margrete´s 
development during the course of this book. Not because of how much she changed from a girl who suffered child abuse to this strong female character she became, but how consistent this change was with the story, and how, even after all her growth, the character didn´t lose her essence, it only sharpened her more into a believable and lovable character. This, for me, is a very rare quality in a debut novel.

Speaking of which, I still can´t believe this is a debut novel. It was so good! If you are a fan of Sarah J Maas and Adrienne Young, you should totally try this one!

The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea it´s the first book of a trilogy and it will be released tomorrow. Special thank you to @netgalley , @cityowlbooks and @katherinequinnwrites for this eARC in 
exchange for an honest review
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The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea is a is a wonderful and incredibly rich fantasy novel, so well built and fast paced that I wasn't able to put it down till I reached the end. I was absolutely captivated by the atmosphere, and the characters.

This novel submerges the reader in a landscape so imaginative and detailed that the information of the world building/plot never feels forced, and is never difficult to understand or picture in one's mind. I had an enjoyable time reading this and it held my attention the entire way through that I finished it within the day! I enjoyed every page and thought that the plot/story was very unique. Would recommend to anyone!
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Fans of Caraval and To Kill a Kingdom will love this book. We've got magic and unique lore and monsters of the sea, plus an enemies-to-lovers romance that is to die for. (Fair warning though because I was a little surprised: I would not put this under YA because Quinn does not skimp on the sex scenes!)

My love for this book really snuck up on me. I wasn't sold on it in the beginning, mostly because our initial antagonist, Margrete's father, came off as too overwhelmingly evil, which is a common complaint I have with YA stories (I just like some villain depth guys!) but this story actually addressed it and made it all make sense! Can't get into details with spoiling but it was very satisfying.

I loved our love interest, Bash, and the complexity of this story. The romance is fabulous, but there is so much more to the story than that. We have warring gods, fascinating magic, and secrets of the past that are woven together to make an incredibly rich tale.

The only place I wasn't completely sold was with the characters. Margrete came off a touch Mary-sue-ish to me - everyone loves her immediately despite her constant escape attempts - but she does have some decent character growth that almost makes up for it. There were also a few too many side characters in my opinion - a few were too similar and could have been combined into one. But Ihope that these too issues will be handled by the next books :)
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