I recieved a copy this book early as supported the Kickstarter. During the pandemic, Brandon Sanderson surprised us all by writing not one, not two, but four novels without anyone seeming to know what was going on. Tress of the Emeralds Sea is the first of these novels set to be released in 2023 and wow is this worth the wait. Inspired by The Princess Bride, this novel opens the scope of what worldbuilding and imagination can bring while compiling together an engaging adventure story.
The story is narrated by our good old friend Hoid. Told in a whimsical and fun tone that fans of the Cosmere will be sure to love, but you do not need any background in the Cosmere to pick up and enjoy this work. Tress lives on an island and is a collector of cups. She goes about her day doing her choirs and talking to the Duke’s son Charlie. Tress doesn’t have a care in the world and life could not be any simpler until one day it all changes. Tress learns that the Duke has sold his son to a Sorcerees on a faroff island in the Midnight Sea. Crestfallen and disheveled, Tress sets off on a mission to rescue Charlie but first she may have a run in with cargo ships, merchants, pirates, and a dragon that lives beneath the sea. Still reading?!?!?!?! Now is where the fun begins!
Although the plot seems simple enough, its the worldbuilding and magic system that takes this book to the next level. The world Tress lives on has 12 moons and one is always showing in the sky depending on where you reside. Also, there are 12 seas to go along with each moon. As Tress gets her travels underway, she notices that each sea is not made up of water but of spores of various colors The spores come from each moon and the ships travel on these spores to explore the world. The trouble comes when the spores come into contact with water as a different reaction can occur depending on which sea you travel. Tress lives around the Emerald Sea which grows vines when water touches the spores. This makes rain storms that much more dangerous for the crew that Tress travels with: A cursed captain, a talking rat, a pair of Dougs, and all else in between. Oh, and if you are reading the paperback or ebook the pictures inside are amazing and Michael Kramer killed it with the audiobook version.
This was a refreshing entry into the Cosmere Universe especially while we all wait for Stormlight #5. Although not the usually Sanderson novel we have all seen before, this offers a different style and insight into what the Cosmere has to offer. I will be updating everyone when the other three novels make their way to the my inbox, but until then enjoy the ride on the Emerald Sea.