Today I am reviewing Volume 1 of Bard Of The Borrows by the amazingly talented Emma Miles!
Hold fast, my friends, we steer for the fierce winds of change through the storms of war.
Grieving for his lost friends, and battered by life and war, Temerran, the enigmatic Bard of the Borrows, sets sail on his graceful ship, the Undine. To protect those he loves, he must risk his crew and his beloved vessel, and guide them into enemy waters. Unknown lands beckon the audacious captain, and a new crew tests both his skill and patience as well as that of his loyal first mate. For not only has he taken aboard a feisty warrior-woman to help lead his crew, but also the absconded prince of Elden, who is more than a fish out of water.
Can he steer them through the perils of the sea, betrayal, and the machinations of foreign lands, or will his quest be the end of the Undine and the Bard of the Borrows?
It’s no secret that I adore Emma Miles’ books. I was heartbroken to see her main Fire Walker series come to an end, and equally as excited when I learned she was going to be writing some spin-off books. The bonus being that this particular set of spin offs focuses on one of my favourite characters, Temerran the Bard.
As is the norm with Emma’s books, the world building in this is fantastic and extremely well written. The Fire Walker world is full of different lands and islands with widely varying cultures, and as Temerran and his crew sail across their world they encounter many of these places, new and old. With each stop on the journey, I was transported along with the crew; vivid descriptions of the landscape and the people, matched up with the the main characters interactions with it all made for a super immersive read.
As well as the world building, the characters are all well-rounded individuals. There’s just the right balance of clashing personalities and friendly banter to give off a realistic image of the group, particularly when they’re all living in such close quarters on a boat! I also love that this book gives a much better insight to Temerran – He is an important side character in the Fire Walker series, but this book gives the space needed to get to know the character on a deeper level and see what makes him tick.
The storyline itself is again full of everything I’ve come to expect from Emma Miles books; action, intrigue, and adventure, with lots of laughs and a few emotional moments mixed in. Not to mention the huge cliffhanger we are left on – Time for me to go grab Volume 2 and see what happens!