Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellision

Goodreads blurb:

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

The cover of Jennifer Ellison's Threats of Sky and Sea

Superlative world-building

Review by Katy Haye:

Threats of Sky and Sea is an entertaining fantasy novel. It uses familiar tropes, but handles them well, and there is a really good twist I thoroughly enjoyed catching onto before it was revealed to the characters.

I liked how complex and tangled the story was. I enjoyed speculating how it might all work out. And the world-building was superlative: rich and detailed without being overwhelming. I really felt as though I was there.

The one weakness I have to mention was the pacing. Threats of Sky and Sea has clearly been well edited from a line and spelling point of view and was blissfully free of typos, but (and I know I bang on about this, but it’s a valid point) for me, it needed a stronger structural edit, which would have pointed out that the slow pace had the unfortunate effect of making Bree come across as a passive character, waiting for things to happen rather than making them happen, or at least preparing to play her part when they did.

But, there’s a series (it’s okay, you can read this one singly, it ends properly without a cliffhanger in sight) so there’s scope for Bree to develop.

I dithered so much on scoring because pace is very important to me, but overall, I want to return to this world and find out how these characters get on in the future, so it gets a 4.

Many thanks to Jennifer Ellision, who provided me with a free copy of Threats of Sky and Sea in exchange for an honest review.

Katy Haye writes fast-paced fantasy for YA readers. Her new release, Rising Tides, goes live on June 24th. It’s available for pre-order now at the reduced price of 99c/p (will be $2.99/£2.49 after launch).

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