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This book is primarily an exposition to the world of the Four Isles, and the rest really speaks for itself - it's easy to get addicted to this world and how Dow Amber is destined for great things. It's unpredictable and builds quickly. A great new story to indulge in.
There is complexity hiding in the simplicity of the story telling. A well written and engaging story, part alternative universe fiction, part nautical coming of age story.
I have seen this series categorized as Young Adult, but I feel that the appeal is much broader, and readers should not expect simplicity of plot that may characterize some young adult books. The author writes with clarity, managing to convey the feeling and emotion of sail and sea, without making the reader feel baffled the with nautical terms.
Whilst the book clearly takes place in another world, one where not all the rules of physics are the same as ours, this is treated subtly and does not detract from the story being told.
I have read the other two books in this series, and they continue on with the same quality of story telling. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Andrew McGahan has created a world that draws you in like those of C.S.Lewis and Tolkien. His mastery of word painting is such that you experience the story with all five senses and with a feeling that even the sixth sense is being caled on from tme to time. A great read for all... Can't wait for book 2!