Marc reviews ‘Serpent’ by Alex Jones (Sons of the Sea 2) (Published by Skald & Raven Books on May 2nd, 2014, 58 Pages)
A while ago, we hosted Alex Jones on Rainbow Gold Reviews and she wrote a wonderful Guest Post about her love for magic, monsters and myths and I wanted to share it with you again, before you read my review for ‘Serpent’.
When I set out to write my Sons of the Sea collection, I admit I had no idea what I was getting into. At the time I was knee-deep in another novel, Rook. My characters face a challenge: they needed to get across an inlet without the benefit of the bridge they’d counted on, and by necessity they ended up on a sea-bound ship. A simple passage across the channel became several days of epic adventure for them, and when the time came for my characters to debark, I couldn’t help but feel sad. In a handful of chapters, I’d fallen in love with the sea. I wasn’t ready to give that up, but for the sake of Rook’s story, my characters moved on.
But I found I couldn’t. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to explore my newfound interest—the gallantry of the ships, the camaraderie of the crew, the mystery of the unchartered depths. That’s when the idea hit me: I didn’t have to let it go. I could spend as much time there as I wanted!
For those just meeting me, I’ve always had a soft spot for the arcane. I grew up on Arthurian legend and epic fantasy—the love of magic, monsters and myth seeped into blood long before I dreamt of writing my own stories. In my quest for seafaring adventure, it seemed natural to turn my focus to the fey of the sea: sirens, serpents, tritons and sea-wolves are just a few of the beings I poured myself into studying.
I also wanted to give the men in my stories a connection to the sea, not just circumstantial proximity. In the end, it’s what connects them to their mythical lovers. Death by Water became a swashbuckling tale of a corsair pirate and his siren. Serpent became a mythical journey through the arcane magic of the sea. Other tales, yet to be released, became their own journeys of adventure and redemption, all against the backdrop of unchartered oceans and ancient lands.
All the stories in the Sons of the Sea collection can be read as standalone tales, but the current that connects them all is the beauty, danger and magic of the sea itself.
For more information about the Sons of the Sea collection, find its homepage here:
Sons of the Sea
Bastian spent many years on the shore of the sea, salvaging trinkets and watching for storms. He learned long ago to hide from the thunder, the lightning and merciless rain. But on that evening when the storm came rolling in, something kept his feet from running. Battered by the current, he is thrown into the sea only to be rescued by an unlikely savior—a serpent who becomes a man.
Mareas, he is called: son of the sea itself, and patron of lucky fortune. Mareas brings magic into his life, waking powers Bastian never knew he possessed. Under the guidance of Mareas, the young sea mage begins learning the truth of what he is capable, while yearning for more than friendship from his mysterious fey visitor.
But Mareas guards a dangerous secret. When the truth of his tragic past descends, it is he who must rely on Bastian’s magic to save them from the storm.
Buy ‘Serpent’ @ Amazon, ARe, Goodreads
Review for Broken Wings by Alex Jones can be found here: Broken Wings
Cover: I really like the look of the cover. It drew me in and made me want to read this book, even before the first stand-alone in this collection. However, after reading ‘Serpent’ I was still waiting for a guy with that kind of sword to appear in the story…
Title: ‘Serpent’ is a simple title, but clearly and effectively evokes the image of a water snake. A monster. I found it very intriguing.
Story: Fantasy stories often have a lot of pages, to develop a new world, often numerous characters and complex and complicated plot. I love fantasy a lot and don’t mind reading a thick book, if it is well written. Initially, I did not realize that ‘Serpent’ had only roughly 60 pages, but thhat is the perfect length so nearly anyone, even slow readers, can read it in one session.
So, is a fantasy that is that short worth reading you might ask? For me it was. The book has a sort of magical quality about it. The wonder of real magic and the exploration of lost secrets in the sea made this short journey a very enjoyable one. It’s like one of the old legends and myths I loved as a child and the two male protagonists made it’s allure even more potent for me.
That is not to say that I wouldn’t have liked for it to be longer, the relationship between lovers and between teacher and student more developed. Even if a person is very powerful, the ease with which magic is learned in this tale seemed incredulous to me.
However, the focus of the story rests mainly on the two main protagonists and one location, using the majority of the story to develop their ever changing relationship. The characters are very likable and the story is magical and intriguing.
The serpent reminded me a bit of the dragons I love so much. A great, graceful, powerful being with a love for treasure 😉
It is a quick read that will take you into another world for a short time. You will taste the salty sea and hear it’s alluring call. You might just be a visitor in this world, but it’s a wondrous visit that you will not likely regret and perfect between larger books or when you have limited time.
Alex is a compulsive writer, avid reader and a geek of many stripes. She’s been a storyteller as long as she can remember, but it took a gentle nudge (okay, shove) from her husband to get her stories out into the world for others to read. Since her first publication in 2012, Alex has been going strong writing what she loves – fantasy, adventure and relationships. She’s a sucker for dark, brooding antiheroes and intense life-or-death plots.
She’s a history nerd, Tolkien geek, gamer and all-around lover of good music. Someday she hopes to have her own forge and armory (for character research, of course), but in the meantime, she contents herself in the company of her knights, monsters, villains and heroes, all of which have taken up permanent residence in her head.
2 thoughts on “‘Serpent’ by Alex Jones #LGBT #Review #Guestpost”
Oh thank you for an interesting post, I have not read this series before so thank you for bringing it and the author to my attention 🙂 As you say the cover is intriguing, but no sword got mentioned in the book? I will most definitely check this author out 🙂
Nope, no sword that I can think of… but the cover still looks cool. Knowing how expensive it can be to finance a good cover, I assume that this could be one of the character – even if a sword doesn’t get mentioned. I love the sea in the cover and it is so important for this story 😉