About Dark Water Daughter:
Title: Dark Water Daughter
Author: H.M. Long
Series: The Winter Sea #1
Page Length: 464
Publication Date: July 11, 2023
Publisher: Titan Books
Synopsis: A stormsinger and pirate hunter join forces against a deathless pirate lord in this swashbuckling Jacobean adventure on the high-seas.
Launching the Winter Sea series, full of magic, betrayal, redemption and fearsome women, for readers of Adrienne Young, R. J. Barker and Naomi Novik.
Mary Firth is a Stormsinger: a woman whose voice can still hurricanes and shatter armadas. Faced with servitude to pirate lord Silvanus Lirr, Mary offers her skills to his arch-rival in exchange for protection – and, more importantly, his help sending Lirr to a watery grave. But her new ally has a vendetta of his own, and Mary’s dreams are dark and full of ghistings, spectral creatures who inhabit the ancient forests of her homeland and the figureheads of ships.
Samuel Rosser is a disgraced naval officer serving aboard The Hart, an infamous privateer commissioned to bring Lirr to justice. He will stop at nothing to capture Lirr, restore his good name and reclaim the only thing that stands between himself and madness: a talisman stolen by Mary.
Finally, driven into the eternal ice at the limits of their world, Mary and Samuel must choose their loyalties and battle forces older and more powerful than the pirates who would make them slaves.
Dark Water Daughter is the first book I’ve read by H.M. Long, and it was an epic high seas adventure. Rich and atmospheric, the sea life, setting, characters, and more were brought to life with the author’s immersive storytelling, and it was easy to get swept away into this world of piracy, magic, danger, and romance.
The story is told from two points of view – Mary, the stormsinger whose voice can control the weather, and Samuel, a disgraced Naval officer and pirate hunter. Mary’s story is intense, and her life is in jeopardy from the very start of the book when she is about to be hanged for witchcraft. She is thrust into dangerous situation after dangerous situation, and she never gives up fighting to survive. She also wants to learn more about her mother, who she hasn’t seen in years and is also a stormsinger.
Samuel is intriguing too, and I like that we learn so much about his past. His reputation contrasts with the man we’re introduced to, which I found fascinating. Both Samuel and Mary’s voices are unique and compelling, and though their journeys are much different, they intersect in the most interesting ways. And their scenes together are great! There is a bit of a slow-burning romance building, but it is definitely not the focus of the story. That being said, I like where the love story is headed, and I’m curious to see how things will develop in the next book.
The worldbuilding is also great, and I was so intrigued by the magic and lore of the stormsingers, ghistlings, magni, the wold, the Other, and the many other fantastical elements. And the plot was super action-packed and kept me guessing. I love that there were several unexpected twists and that the story didn’t go exactly the way I predicted.
Filled with adventure, action, danger, secrets, treachery, and so much more, Dark Water Daughter is a great nautical fantasy! Special thanks to Titan Books for providing me with a copy of the novel. All thoughts are my own.
- The worldbuilding.
- The dual perspectives.
- The magic.
“Too often there are no honorable choices to be had. We are our circumstances, are we not?”