Book Review: The Maiden Ship (The Maiden Ship #1)

Title: The Maiden Ship

Author: Micheline Ryckman

Pub. Date: February 7, 2020

Pages: 364

Pub: Whimsical Publishing

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Dain Alloway was only nine years old when he began a new life with his father, sailing aboard The Maiden. Eight years later, the aristocratic city-boy turned merchant-sailor feels like he lives with one foot on land, and one foot in the sea. Life floats smoothly by until the night he wakes to find a mysterious woman in his cabin.

The events that unfold after her appearance transform Dain’s world. Now, hunted by empty-faced demons, he finds himself thrown into a dangerous web of intrigue and magic. As the crisis grows, the young sailor discovers powerful gifts buried deep within, talents that might shift the tide of a centuries-old war. Whether or not he’s ready, Dain will have to risk it all for the salvation and freedom of those he loves.

This will be a short spoiler free review. It took me almost five weeks to read this book and I finally finished it while on vacation.

I’d been dying to read this for ages – it sat on my shelf for who knows how long. I’m a sucker for pirates and this sounded really good. I loved the cover and couldn’t wait to read it. Then I got busy – so busy at work for months and I just never got around to it. Then I saw the FaeCrate Illustrated dustjacket and the art renewed my desire to read it. So, I started it the first week I went on vacation – wasn’t able to finish it because of work, so it sat for 3 weeks untouched.

It literally sat on the floor by my bed begging for me to pick it up. So, it came with me on my next vacation.

I picked up where I left off, which wasn’t very far into the book at all, utterly fried and had very little energy to read. So, it took me days to finish the book. Being mentally drained from work and just exhausted kind of killed my desire to read the book. Which was a really big bummer and annoyance because I knew my mood was going to hurt my enjoyment of the book. And instead of – I don’t know, doing the smart thing and putting it down for later, I pushed through.

I would pick it up, read a handful of pages/maybe a couple of chapters and then either fall asleep, or find something else infinitely more interesting.

I will say that it took a little bit for this book to get interesting. It took me a bit to get to liking the characters. The writing was pretty good, everything came to life, but I was still having issues connecting. It’s a pretty slow start to the book, but I can understand that, and I appreciated the care that Ryckman took in introducing the world. I enjoyed the world, the lore and the action scenes. I just know my mood and lack of energy was making me apathetic to what I was reading.

The end of the book definitely had me the most invested. By the second half I was definitely more interested – I cared what was happening to Dain and Sable. I actually wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I enjoyed the two of them together, but I do wish the romance was a little more pronounced. Idk, maybe I had Swan and Turner on the brain and wanted that. Or maybe the art I had seen had led me to believe the romance was going to be more prevalent.

Overall, I ended up enjoying it, just not as much as I expected. I’m glad I pushed through, because I did end up enjoying it. I’m already planning on reading book 2 – I just need to go buy it!

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