My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Burning Sea is the first in a cycle of six books called The Warlock’s Child. Written by two of Australia’s foremost science fiction/fantasy authors, this novel has a quality pedigree and it will not disappoint. Aimed at an upper primary audience, the story moves at a good pace, with a minimum of set-up, and the momentum continues throughout.
Lowly cabin boy, Dantar, is the son of a respected warlock, Calabras, and his sister, Velza, is a shapecasting warrior. Everyone in Dantar’s family, it seems, is a high achiever – except him. They all serve on the warship, Invincible, where dodging dragons is a daily activity and treachery is a common hazard.
This novel is a great introduction to all the main players in the series.
I will be interested to see how the next volume plays out as this one left the reader with an absolute cliffhanger. Velza, I hope, will figure as much as Dantar and I really hope she has a chance to shine as she has had a really rough time in this installment. No doubt Dantar will prove himself a hero as the bigger story unfolds.
I really liked the idea of the fractured magic and the idea of a mystery around it, and I hope we learn more about that too. If I have one criticism of this book, it is that I found it a little too short – I would have liked to have had a little more about the history of this world painted in for me to have more context. I am sure that all will be revealed eventually and I look forward to reading the rest of the series; eagerly awaiting the publication of volume 2!
Recommended for ages 9 and up.