The Savage Blue (The Vicious Deep #2)
The ocean is a vicious place. Deeper and darker than Tristan could have imagined. Beneath its calm blue surface, an ancient battle is churning—and no one is safe.
In the quest for the Sea Throne, Tristan has already watched one good friend die. Now he must lead the rest on a dangerous voyage in search of the trident that will make him king. But while Tristan chases his destiny, the dark forces racing against him are getting stronger, and the sea witch of his nightmares is getting closer.
Battling sea dragons and savage creatures of the deep, Tristan needs his friends' support. But they each have their secrets, and a betrayal will force Tristan to choose between his crown and his best friend Layla—the only girl he's ever loved.
Relentless action is the hallmark of this second installment in THE VICIOUS DEEP trilogy. From the first chapter, the reader is thrust into Tristan's high stakes world of mythological creatures, monsters, secrets, and a race for the trident that will test every character's limits. The danger is constant, and no one is safe. Every plot twist, every betrayal and revelation, hurtles the reader toward the epic climax, and will keep readers turning pages long into the night.
The world building is particularly fascinating in this trilogy, and serves as a vivid, magical backdrop to the non-stop action. I loved feeling so connected to classical mythology while also feeling grounded in Tristan's contemporary world. Oracles, hidden coves, sea monsters and more pepper the pages, lending a mystical, surreal quality to a story tense with conflict. The people of the sea, the mythological creatures, and the monsters living beneath the water, are all expertly delivered, leaving the reader feeling certain that a world of merpeople, monsters, and myths might just exist beneath the vast expanse of the oceans. Readers who enjoy studying Greek mythology or fairy tale lore will find familiar ground in much of the world building, but Cordova always adds her own unique twist, which makes the mythology of this story feel like a constant discovery of fascinating gifts for the reader.
The characters are distinctly rendered and come to life on the page. Flawed, driven, and intriguing, the main characters continue to draw the reader in the way they did in THE VICIOUS DEEP. Readers will enjoy seeing Tristan grow and change throughout the story as he discovers the lengths he'll go to keep those he loves safe, and the cost he'll have to bear to win the competition. Readers will also feel connected to many of the secondary characters, including a cast of new (and equally fascinating) secondary characters introduced in this novel.
What Left Me Wanting More:
My only issue was the lack of "catch up the reader" offered in the beginning chapters. We hit the ground running and rarely pause to look back. I understand it's very difficult to balance the need to re-acclimate readers to the characters, world, and previous story while still providing enough forward momentum to keep them reading, and now that all three books are available, there's no need to wait between stories. Readers will want to devour THE VICIOUS DEEP and have THE SAVAGE BLUE and THE VAST AND BRUTAL SEA lined up and ready to read! That will remove any difficulty in enjoying the first part of the book due to memory gaps.
Relentless action, fascinating mythology, epic stakes, and swoony romance make THE SAVAGE BLUE a solid sophomore hit destined to satisfy fans.
First off, Zoraida Cordova has excellent taste in poetry - each part of the book opens with a snippet of the poem that personifies the book and they are stunning sections. You cannot go wrong with Yeats and Rossetti.
There is no time to play catch up inbetween books 1 and 2, since The Savage Blue starts off with a sprint, and doesn't let down for a moment. It took me a bit to get back into the story since it had been a year since I last visited Tristan's world, but once I got situated, I was in love.
Zoraida Cordova really focuses in on the fact there is no black and white - The Savage Blue is all about the varying shades of grey, since even the villains have their moments where you sympathize with them.
I loved the characters - there is such diversity among them. They all have such different personalities, and there are even a plethora of different creatures that make their appearances. Not only do we get to see characters back from The Vicious Deep, but The Savage Blue introduces many new characters to the storyline!
The Savage Blue is an epic adventure. The plot raced along at a speed that was intense and I wouldn't have it any other way. I absolutely adored this read from Zoraida Cordova and I already cannot wait to read more from her! Can I have some more, please? Because I am essentially dying for book 3!