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Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends Series #1)

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Overview

Kelley Armstrong, #1 New York Times bestselling author, takes an exciting new direction with this big, breathtaking blend of fantasy, romance, horror, and pulse-pounding action, perfect for fans of Graceling and Game of Thrones.

Twin sisters Moria and Ashyn were marked at birth to become the Keeper and the Seeker of Edgewood, beginning with their sixteenth birthday. Trained in fighting and in the secret rites of the spirits, they lead an annual trip into the Forest of the Dead. ...

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Sea of Shadows: Age of Legends

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Overview

Kelley Armstrong, #1 New York Times bestselling author, takes an exciting new direction with this big, breathtaking blend of fantasy, romance, horror, and pulse-pounding action, perfect for fans of Graceling and Game of Thrones.

Twin sisters Moria and Ashyn were marked at birth to become the Keeper and the Seeker of Edgewood, beginning with their sixteenth birthday. Trained in fighting and in the secret rites of the spirits, they lead an annual trip into the Forest of the Dead. There, the veil between the living world and the beyond is thinnest, and the girls pay respect to the spirits who have passed.

But this year, their trip goes dreadfully wrong.

With all the heart-stopping romance and action that have made her a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and set in an unforgettably rich and dangerous world, this first epic book in the Age of Legends trilogy will appeal to Kelley Armstrong's legions of fans around the world and win her many new ones.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/28/2014
This promising first book in Armstrong's Age of Legends fantasy series introduces a sinister empire populated by spirits, anthropomorphic animals, and preternaturally talented humans. Chosen in a brutal ritual as infants and assigned to control the spirits that haunt the land, twin sisters Ashyn and Moria are the Seeker and Keeper of Edgewood. Their village borders the Forest of the Dead, where the Empire sends its criminals to die; venturing into the woods to purify the dead, the girls are separated by a nefarious paranormal force. When Moria and her wildcat, Daigo, find the inhabitants of Edgewood slaughtered, their children missing, and mercenaries on the march, she and Gavril Kitsune, an aristocratic warrior of a disgraced family, trek across the Wastes to find Ashyn and warn the Empire. While the narrative is at times overstuffed, resulting in sluggish pacing in the first half of the book, the antagonistic romance between the girls and their unlikely companions is sweetly tantalizing. A startling betrayal provides momentum for a sequel. Ages 13–up. Agent: Helen Heller Agency, Inc. (Apr.)
Justine Magazine
“We loved the dark fantasy and smoldering romance in this story of identical twins with very different personalities. A tale of heroes, filled with mythological creatures, valor and self-sacrifice—fans of high fantasies will happily slip into this action-packed and exciting tale.”
School Library Journal
06/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Twins are exceedingly rare and often destined for brutal death in the Empire. Luckily, 17-year-old Moria and Ashyn have sacred powers and are revered instead. Fierce, knife-wielding Moria, along with the help of her spirit beast (a large catlike creature named Daigo), is the "Keeper"—guardian of the village of Edgewood. Quiet and peaceful Ashyn, with her mystical canine Tova, assists the spirits of the dead in her role as "Seeker." The girls are still in training when Edgewood is invaded by an army of the undead. They get separated, leaving Moria paired with Gavril (a surly but attractive young guard) and Ashyn with Ronan (a prisoner sentenced to exile in the bordering Forest of the Dead). The vicious zombielike shadow stalkers kill nearly every adult in the village, turning them into undead creatures like themselves—including the sisters' father. As Ashyn and Moira continue their separate but long and dangerous treks through "the Wastes" to the nearest village of Fairview, their journeys are wrought with terrifying and legendary beasts; their loyalties are constantly tested. The first book in a series, Armstrong's tale offers a fascinating mythical world filled with danger, monsters, and betrayal at every turn. The bulk of the narrative includes quests and emerging relationships—the most exciting of which is that between Moria and Gavril. But the more subtly developed relationships—such as the bond between the sisters and the relationship they share with their respective spirit animals—are just as intriguing. Fantasy fans will enjoy the complex world but the ending may feel too abrupt considering the time spent reading this long tale.—Tara Kehoe, New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center, Trenton
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-29
Magic-wielding twins and their romantic interests fight monsters and mercenaries in this overlong but exciting series opener. Ashyn and Moria, 16, may defy tradition at every turn, beginning with their shared birth and continuing with their unauthorized weapons training, but they intend to fulfill their roles as Seeker and Keeper for the small town of Edgewood. With execution outlawed in the empire, guards regularly maroon exiles in the Forest of the Dead; the Seeker retrieves their corpses and lays their angry spirits to rest while the Keeper protects the village during the Seeking. But when Ashyn enters the forest and finds a few survivors, she also discovers monstrous creatures straight out of Moria's favorite legends. After a long—and vividly described—massacre, Ashyn and Moria flee Edgewood, trek across treacherous wastes and seek an audience with the emperor, accompanied by con man Ronan, scorned warrior Gavril Kitsune, and the girls' bonded animal companions, Daigo, a wildcat, and Tova, a Hound of the Immortals. Armstrong (The Rising, 2013, etc.) smoothly switches from her customary modern paranormal setting to a high-fantasy adventure, but she still favors relationship drama and reversals of fortune. Strong female protagonists make this trilogy opener a standout, if not a stand-alone read. (Fantasy. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062071248
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/8/2014
  • Series: Age of Legends Series , #1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 62,359
  • Age range: 13 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Kelley Armstrong

When librarians finally granted Kelley Armstrong an adult card, she made straight for the epic fantasy and horror shelves. She spent the rest of her childhood and teen years happily roaming fantastical and terrible worlds, and vowed that someday she'd write a story combining swords, sorcery, and the ravenous undead. That story begins with Sea of Shadows.

Armstrong's first works for teens were the New York Times bestselling Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising trilogies. All of her novels for teens have been New York Times bestsellers. She lives in rural Ontario with her husband, three children, and far too many pets.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Overall Sea Of Shadows was a breathtaking journey of magic, myst

    Overall Sea Of Shadows was a breathtaking journey of magic, mystery, suspense, creepiness and danger. I loved every single aspect of this book! When I was reading it it took my breath away!! The separate journeys the girls make were dangerous and deadly and the way the author described things was so creepy. She has a way with words that make you apart of the book. Its an action packed, edge of your seat book and Kelley Armstrong has created a dark and dangerous world but one I cant wait to jump back into. This is a must read and all I can say is bring on book 2!!!  I loved both Gavril and Ranon. Gavril is surly and strong but you know deep down he has feelings for Moira. Ranon is more open with his feelings for Ashyn and I loved seeing both friendships progress. Moira is more practical in her approach to romance, she sees it more logically. To her a kiss is just a kiss and it doesn't have to lead to anything, whereas Ashyn is a romantic at heart. I truly liked the idea. It’s very high fantasy with twin sisters who are completely different, but share the task of protecting their villiage, because they are the seeker and the keeper. I didn’t finish the book, but from the halfway point, I’m still not clear what those titles mean. I understand that they ward of spirits and do rituals to protect the land while connecting to their spiritual pets. Great story.     

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Sea of Shado

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***




    Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong
    Book One of the Age of Legends series
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Publication Date: April 8, 2014
    Rating: 5 stars
    Source: eARC from Edelweiss




    Summary (from Goodreads):




    They hear the spirits.They must obey.




    In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire's worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.




    Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.




    Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters' journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they've ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court--one that will alter the balance of their world forever.




    From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong comes a captivating new series that blends elements of fantasy and horror with the pulse-pounding action and romance that have earned her a devoted readership worldwide.




    What I Liked:




    People. I don't even know where to begin. I can't... I don't... THIS IS TOO MUCH. The responsibility to produce a review worthy of my feelings towards this book... I don't think I'll be able to do this book any justice. I know the rating on Goodreads is not SUPER high - usually, my rating of a book is lower than the overall rating on Goodreads - but I seriously loved this book.




    Ashyn and Moria are the Seeker and the Keeper of spirits. Twins are rare, and twin Seekers and Keepers are even more rare. The Seeking Day has arrived, and Ashyn must go into the Forest of the Dead to put the souls of those exiled into the forest to rest. Citizens of Edgewood who go into the forest (not on account of exile) always return, unharmed. But something goes wrong, something is set into motion. Soon, the two of Edgewood is destroyed, and the girls must find help. They are separated, but each girl has a companion. It is up to the four of them - Ashyn, Ronan, Moria, and Gavril - to save the children of Edgewood, and to enter court to save themselves.




    I LOVED the set of characters that Armstrong has developed. At first, I thought this book was only told from Ashyn's point-of-view, but then I quickly realized that it would be told from Ashyn AND Moria's perspectives, both third-person point-of-view. I really like this. We get to learn a good deal about each girl, and while I liked Ashyn more, I really like Moria as well. I really like all four of the main characters!




    Right. There are four. Let me start with the girls. Ashyn is the quieter of the two, the more sensible, in my opinion, but the more naive. She is the healer-type, with the calm disposition, and observant nature. She is more like my outer nature, in that sense. But Moria appeals to my inner nature. She is a warrior, a fighter, a protector. She is feisty and crafty, impulsive and quick-witted. The girls are very different, but I really like both of them. Neither girl is particularly whiny or stupid or shallow. They have their negative qualities, but the qualities aren't horrible-human-being qualities (if you see what I mean).




    The other protagonists are the two males - Gavril and Ronan. Gavril is a guard for Edgewood, and Ronan is an exile who survived while in the Forest of the Dead for months. Both are fierce and intelligent, brutal and cunning. Gavril is definitely the colder of the two, but he has his moments. Ronan is less cold, and more blunt (in general, he talks more Gavril). Gavril and Moria are travel together, and Ronan and Ashyn travel together. The four of them do not intermingle (all four, together) until the last part of the book, in Fairview. But I really enjoy reading about each one individually, and together. It is especially interesting to see what each girl thinks of the other male.




    I suppose that sort of leads me to the romance. The romance between Ashyn and Ronan is more obvious and proclaimed than that of Gavril and Moria. In the case of the former pair, they talk about potential lovers (well, Ashyn basically asks Ronan if he has a girl waiting for him). And towards the end, they actually share a really sweet and intimate scene for the briefest of seconds. But the latter pair is a little more tricky. Moria refuses to acknowledge any feelings she might have towards Gavril. Gavril, well, he has as much emotion showing as a brick wall, so we don't actually know how he feels. Except sort of, at the end. But then, the ending. Things get confusing. So we never actually see a manifestation of a relationship between Moria and Gavril, but as readers, we can totally see it coming (hopefully!).




    But I should say - the romance is very subtle, in this book. Its definitely takes a backseat to the actually plot - finding the children of Edgewood, finding each other (the girls), staying alive. There is no perceived love triangle. I hope it stays that way!




    The plot. I've seen some people say that the book is boring and slow and that the characters are walking around for the entire book. The last part is true - the two pairs travel to Fairview, where the children of Edgewood were taken. The children were taken as ransom, I believe, and possibly to be a part of the shadow army that the enemy is creating. I'm not entirely sure. But anyway. I thought the plot was actually really interesting. It's shrouded in mystery, and you have to peel back layers and layers, but things get interesting quickly, in my opinion. The beginning is a tad bit slow, but once people start dying (which is pretty soon), question emerge, and trust me - you WANT to know what is going on. 




    The fantasy part of this novel is creepy cool. There are shadow stalkers - creatures made of shadow, death worms - like a snake, but an anaconda, I suppose, thunder hawks - gigantic hawk-like bird that sounds like thunder. Spirits are a huge part of this book - they speak to Moria and Ashyn, as the Keeper and Seeker, but evil ones also can inhabit humans. Creepy cool. 




    I think I've said a lot... but seriously, this book was great. I LOVE fantasy, and this book is a really great fantasy novel. I love the story, and I love the romance between each pair (especially Ronan and Ashyn). I cannot wait to see what happens in the second book - because the ending of this book is CRAZY. I was NOT expecting that at all. Although, I was expecting something sneaky... but not THAT. I seriously cannot wait. Gimme more!




    What I Did Not Like:




    I don't think I have any legitimate complaints... I just want the second book! And then the third! And so on!




    Would I Recommend It:




    Um, YES! Clearly, if I'm giving this book five stars, then you know this book has to be good. I don't just hand out five stars like that. Also? My rating of this book is higher than the overall rating on Goodreads - that NEVER happens (my rating is always lower). So. You should read this one, if you have an ARC or eARC or copy. It's worth it, especially for those fantasy lovers out there!




    Rating:




    5 stars. I think this is my first 5-star rating of 2014? Wait no, Alienated, and Sins of A Wicked Princess. Okay, my THIRD 5-star rating of 2014, out of... forty books read for the year so far. Three out of forty. I've only read two of Armstrong's book - The Summoning, and The Awakening - and I didn't really like them. But I LOVED this book, and will definitely be reading the next book!

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2014

    I was intrigued by the idea of a Seeker and a Keeper and the top

    I was intrigued by the idea of a Seeker and a Keeper and the topic of spirits in the woods and all of that fantasy stuff. I love fantasy. This is not a secret. It’s pretty darn easy to hook me onto a book with simply the mention of spirits and hunters and dragons and other fantasy type stuff. And the cover is beautiful. Did I mention that I’m a sucker for good covers?

    The story in SEA OF SHADOWS is intriguing and very easy to get hooked on. I love the dark beginning – the prologue is so good. It leaves you super curious for the rest of the book, and the introduction to the Keeper and Seeker from someone else’s point of view is a great hook. I love the monsters and the dangers and the gritty adventure that the main cast has to wade through, as well as the sort of unknown threat that lingers throughout the book. The foreshadowing is so well done that when I did get to the parts that were foreshadowed, I literally said “OH. That’s so clever!” The ending as well catches you and throws you a bone, only to dangle it just in front of your nose where you can’t actually reach it. Wonderful. I can’t wait to see how the series develops.

    I really liked the changing of the points of view between sisters. Their voices are so different, and their views on different situations couldn’t be more different. The switches are effective and well placed so that the action doesn’t lull in any place. There are so many cliffhangers that I had to read faster just to keep from bursting with the need to know how it turned out!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong 4 of 5 st

    Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong
    4 of 5 stars

    Twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and the Seeker of the Forest of the Dead, the place where the worst criminals are exiled.  It is their job to lay the souls left wandering the forest to rest.  Something evil is lurking and the girls need to leave their home to warn the emperor. 
      
    Although twins,  Moria and Ashym, have two very different personalities, making the story all the more interesting.  The main and support characters are well done with behaviors very appropriate to the story.

    There are many paranormal and fantasy elements that are an integral part of the story.  They were seamlessly entwined into the novel.

    Sea of Shadows is a fresh story that kept me on the edge of my seat.  Kelley Armstrong created a unique and interesting world in the Age of Legends Series.  I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.  The ending left me awestruck and wanting more.

    Complimentary copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Twins are rare and when they are born they usually become Keeper

    Twins are rare and when they are born they usually become Keeper and Seeker. The Keepers job is to keep the spirits from entering the village and the Seekers job is to go into the Forest Of The Dead and put the spirits to rest. Moira is the Keeper and Ashyn is the Seeker.




    Every year the Seeker has to go into the Forest to quiet the spirits and this year is Ashyns first year doing it by herself. At the start everything goes as planned but when her companions start disappearing things start to go wrong. In the forest Ashyn meets Ranon, a criminal sent to die there. He may be her only hope of getting out alive.




    OK, this was just amazing!!! From the very first page this book had me hooked.




    Moira was a kick ass character. She was strong, stubborn, an amazing fighter and could throw a knife a hairs breath away from you. She was fierce and loyal but also kind and always looked out for her sister. Ahsyn on the other hand is quite and meek. In other words the total opposite of Moira. I loved how different both were, even though they are twins, but yet they make a complete whole. They each make the best of each other and are fiercely loyal to each other.




    I loved both Gavril and Ranon. Gavril is surly and strong but you know deep down he has feelings for Moira. Ranon is more open with his feelings for Ashyn and I loved seeing both friendships progress. Moira is more practical in her approach to romance, she sees it more logically. To her a kiss is just a kiss and it doesn't have to lead to anything, whereas Ashyn is a romantic at heart.




    The whole lore of Sea Of Shadows was unique and fascinating. The Seeker and Keepers have animals bonded to them that help them on their journeys. There is 3 pairs of these twins in the kingdom and its Ashyn and Moiras job to be at the Forest Of The Dead. This is where criminals are sent and left to die. These spirits often become vengeful which is why a Keeper and Seeker need to be there. If a spirit becomes vengeful they can become Shadow Stalkers. These spirits can then reanimate the dead and they become like zombies. We also have giant worm like things, giant Thunder Birds, warlocks and mercenaries. I absolutely loved the mythology.




    Overall Sea Of Shadows was a breathtaking journey of magic, mystery, suspense, creepiness and danger. I loved every single aspect of this book! When I was reading it it took my breath away!! The separate journeys the girls make were dangerous and deadly and the way the author described things was so creepy. She has a way with words that make you apart of the book. Its an action packed, edge of your seat book and Kelley Armstrong has created a dark and dangerous world but one I cant wait to jump back into. This is a must read and all I can say is bring on book 2!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2014

    If you like this kind of book you will like this book

    Otherwise its a mish mosh of reworked fantasy themes which are better in a comic book or grafic novel as they call them now depending on quality of paper buska

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2014

    I loved the otherworldly series....so I chose this new book base

    I loved the otherworldly series....so I chose this new book based on the fact that I loved this author. I found this book to be a very boring read, I just could not get into it:( I have 100 pages left and I am not going to finish it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2014

    Grotesque Good

    Good enough that i want the next in the series. Truly grotesque and amazingly imaginative monsters. Characterization a bit weak-- the two girls very similar in behavior and thoughts. And i didnt even bother trying to distinguish between the dog and the cat. But lots of potentially interesting possibilities for book two. Hope Armstrong takes the time to develop them carefully instead of just churning another one out fast.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2014

    Not her usual but good

    If you like throne of glass you will like this

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2014

    One of the best fantasy books I have ever read!!!!

    This book has an intresting plot line, a hint of romance, and the besst set of characters I have ever met!

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  • Posted July 7, 2014

    I expected so much more 

    I expected so much more 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2014

    Excellent

    Damn those cliff-hanger endings! I want the next book NOW!! Needless to say, it was an incredible journey of a book with plenty of twists and turns. Beautiful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved this book! It seemed to have a little of everything. Actio

    Loved this book! It seemed to have a little of everything. Action, Paranormal, Mystery, and little romance. Personally I wished there was a wee bit more romance. I loved the twins' relationship. Just overall a great read. (:

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    Twin approved!

    I have read a few of Kelley Armstrong's books before and have loved here characters and world building but she has taken a different route with this book in terms of time period. While it never says when it was taken place it is easily understood that it is back in the day unlike her modern time books like The Summoning. I love these time period books and found that Armstrong was able to pull it off.
    Some twin based books can come off as cheesey, overdone, or just plain cliche, where the twins in the story not only look exactly alike but they also seem to have the same personality, same emotions, and feelings with eachother. I was VERY happy to see Armstrong do the opposite by giving them each their own personalities so each of them can have their own ways to react to their situations. Being a identical twin myself, I know how some people assume that if we look alike then we must act alike as well, that it would seem impossible for either of us to like and do different things apart from eachother. I think Kelley Armstrong portrayed her charecters well in this fast paced, adventure story.

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  • Posted April 22, 2014

    This book has a great concept and is very well written. I couldn

    This book has a great concept and is very well written. I couldn't read it fast enough. It is loaded with lots of action, suspenful and has subtle romance that will keep you turning the pages. It is on the darker side, dealing with the spirt world and death but not so dark as to be on horror side. You will not regret reading this book!! 

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  • Posted April 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Sea of Shadows had an intriguing premise and potential to be a f

    Sea of Shadows had an intriguing premise and potential to be a fascinating series.




    Two sisters, each with their own powers are sent into a wasteland filled with evil and monsters of long ago. The sisters, Moria and Ashyn, are separated and must face their own set of perils until they reunite and discover the treachery behind the devastation of their town. Each sister has a companion, that helps them along the way. As their journey progresses, they learn more about life and themselves. When they think they finally reached their goal a most unbearable betrayal will rip apart all that they've come to know.




    I have found many hours of great paranormal reading created by Kelley Armstrong. She has an incredible imagination and creates fabulous worlds for us to explore. I really enjoyed the self discovery of both Moria and Ashyn. I found Sea Of Shadows action packed and quite suspense filled adventure but there was times that the story's flow seemed to stall. I see huge possibilities for this story line and will absolutely check out the next book in this series. 

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    Posted April 19, 2014

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    Posted August 2, 2014

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    Posted October 24, 2014

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    Posted May 17, 2014

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