Isle of Blood and Stone
by Makiia Lucier
Read: March 24 - 31, 2018
Published: April 10, 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Netgalley -(TY HMH!)
Category: YA, Fantasy, Adventure, Maps, Secrets, Romance
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound
Book Description: Ulises asked, "How can I look at these maps, see this riddle, and do nothing? They are my brothers."
Elias reached across the table and flicked aside two shells with a fingertip. The map curled into itself. "It's bound to be a goose chase. You know that?"
"Or a treasure hunt," Ulises countered, "and you've always been good at those."
Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar's oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way...until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.
The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias's father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king's beautiful cousin by his side—whether he wants her there or not—Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried...and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.
What a fun story. Mystery and danger and adventure and secret clues in a map. Plus compelling characters and a sweet romance. I enjoyed this so much!
Isle of Blood and Stone is a great fantasy adventure with surprises up its sleeve. Especially in the way the clues of the story weaved together in the end. I figured out several details, but not the full picture, and I had the best time watching everything unfold. This story is not super fast paced, but I really enjoyed the measured unfolding of this tale and discovering clues and danger along with the characters.
I also loved the characters: Elias, Mercedes and my unexpected favorite Ulises. This story is mostly told in Elias' perspective, and I liked him so much. Although no one compares, he reminded me a little bit of Gen, in the way he can be comfortable in many settings. We also get a lot of Mercedes too. This girl has had to deal with a lot in her life because of her mixed heritage, but still she is fierce and sure of who she is. We don't get a lot of Ulises voice, but the scene we did get intrigued me a lot, and I'm hoping the next book gives us more of his POV (Highlight spoiler: and maybe a bit of romance for him too!).
I'm forever a fan of a good romance and this one has one that is subtle but sure in its direction, without even the hint of a triangle (you know how that makes my heart happy). It's the perfect amount and made me grin for sure.
Put this book on your list! I cannot wait for the next in this series, and the adventures these characters will discover next.
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low. Hints of where the story will go but ends solidly.