Published by Crab Apple Books
AN HEIR ON THE RUN
In one month, Aoife Cascade will turn twenty and take her seat on the Council of Cregah, an honor she’s been preparing for her whole life. But when she lets a secret slip to her mother with devastating consequences, all her plans for the future crumble. Believing her people to be better off without her, she flees Cregah, stowing away aboard a pirate ship bound for dangerous waters.
A PIRATE CAPTAIN WHO NEEDS HER HELP
Captain Declan McCallagh is young compared to the pirate lords, but after twelve years on the grueling sea, he has earned a well-respected ship and the attention of the lords, who’d like nothing better than to see his ruin. All he wants is to leave the Aisling Sea—and his past—behind him. But when his sister demands he find the enchanted dagger her rebel faction needs to overthrow the ruling Council, he’ll have to decide whether to cast off all family ties or take the perilous voyage to waters guarded by sirens, only passable with the help of the last remaining fae, currently imprisoned by the Council.
With murder and betrayal at every turn, can Aoife and Declan learn to rely on one another? Or will the secrets they carry destroy their people—and each other?
On These Black Sands is the first book in the Aisling Sea series by Vanessa Rasanen. It is marked as a new adult fantasy, but I think this first book was very safe for young adult readers. The steam level was mild and there were not many graphic scenes. The spice level might ramp up in future books. In fact, I am hoping it does.
Our main character is Aoife, who along with her two sisters is being groomed as a council heir. The council is the ruling body in Cregah, and when Aoife learns about their seedy underbelly she runs away…straight onto a pirate ship. On These Black Sands started out on choppy waters for me, because I really did not agree with one of the early decisions that Aoife made, so I didn’t love her off the bat. But this book kept building, and building and getting better as it went on. I ended up really enjoying it and there were so really cool reveals, twists and turns towards the end that made me super excited to dive into book 2! I think now that I know the characters and and have my world bearings, I will enjoy the next installment even more than this one. And yes, Aoife did win me over in the end. Overall, if you are a fan of pirate based fantasies with epic quests and plenty of political secrets, then On These Black Shores is a good book for you to check out. It is out now.
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