I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Farthest Shore by Marian Perera
Series: Eden #3
Published: 2014 by Samhain
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk
Source: the author
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The Farthest Shore by Marian Perera is the latest in the Eden series, a set of standalone romance novels set in a fantasy world on the brink of its Industrial Revolution. Captain Alyster Juell is on his first command, and he’s been assigned to compete in an international boat race with a new type of ship that’s powered by steam engines instead of wind and sails. On the night before he leaves, he is interviewed by a reporter named Miri.
Miri has a secret. She’s half Turean. Alyster’s country has been at war with the Turean pirates for years, and the Tureans and the Denalait hate each other. In fact, their genetic separation has been going on for so long that the Tureans have evolved in such a way that they can drink salt water without any ill effects. When Miri’s coworker discovers that she’s a half salt, he tries to kill her. Desperate to preserve her life, Miri stows away on Alyster’s ship and begins to win his heart.
Alyster doesn’t know Miri’s secret, and when he finds out, he’s bound to feel threatened. Meanwhile the Tureans want to get their hands on a steamship, and advances in their own technology have allowed them to bio-engineer a submersible that’s attached to a real live kraken. (At this point, y’all know I can’t resist making an obligatory RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!! reference).
Miri is hard-working, curious, and doesn’t take no for an answer. She refuses to be ashamed of who she is, and keeps her cool in the face of adversity.
Weirdly, I like the fact that Alyster doesn’t immediately accept Miri for who she is once she tells him her secret. He’s been taught since he was a kid that Tureans are evil, and so it takes him a while to realize his own prejudice and get over it. Changing your entire belief system isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time and effort. And while it was frustrating that he could have such backward views about race/nationality, it was very heartening to see the way that he changed as he spent more time with Miri and learned to see her for who she was.
I’m extremely impressed by the Eden series. Marian Perera has a knack for writing a feel-good pick-me-up romance that’s set in a fascinating world in a time of transition. I hope she intends to write more!