A shadow is falling on the city of Collegium and Stenwold Maker is left to pickup the pieces and prepare. The temporary truce with the Wasp Empire will not last and the Empress Seda will sink her claws in the Lowlands with a vengeance. With Che away on her mission to Khanaphes and Tynissa lost in the wind, Stenwold is left to deal with the cases of disappearing ships in the sea. All the while the spider lands lead by Teornis are seeking ways to turn the new trade war to their advantage. Unbeknownst to two either of them, the real rests beneath the sea where a new type of war will be unleashed. This will be a spoiler free review but I will be touching upon events in the previous books.
In the same vain as Book 5 being focused on Che and Thalric, The Sea Watch is the focus of Stenwold Maker, Warmaster of Collegium. With the destruction of ships, trade goods have become a necessity and Stenwold believes the Spider Kinden are involved. What Stenwold doesn’t know is that an army is mustering beneath the sea by an imperial ruler and Stenwold gets tossed right into the middle of this conflict. A long lost prince of the se kinden has been missing for years and Stenwold has to find him in order to avoid an all out invasion from the ocean floor.
I must admit that when I first read this book over a decade ago, The Sea Watch was my least favorite entry in the series. It felt like a sidestory with no connection to the main plot, but how time has shifted my perspective tremendously. The connections between the Sea Kinden and how they fit into the world, where they came from, and the threat of something much worse is what drives this story home for me. We learn in The Sea Watch the true meaning of betrayals and how deep the wounds of the past go. Little threads and clues left behind in previous books will be brought to the forefront and be shined upon with new light. Everything is being built for the books to come.
Whether this is your first time through the series of doing a reread like myself, there will be no shortage of amazement and jubilance. Every revelation will lead to the next in a never-ending story of war and sacrifice. Not all of our beloved characters will make an appearance, but the anticipation for their return will keep you up at night begging for more. Adrian will not leave us hanging because the best is yet to come with Book 7, Heir of Blades (Best in the series)!