Okay, yes, technically this week’s theme is ‘Books I’d Gladly Throw into the Ocean’, but I decided to twist it a little bit so I’m doing a nautical TTT! Featuring books set either on or around the ocean, because that sounded more fun to me, so in no particular order, here are some of my favourite sea-based stories…
The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin – an absolute classic, set in a world comprised mostly of sea and islands of varying size. I came to this series a little late, only about two or three years ago, and after a slow start, I really fell in love with it and would relish being able to explore a world like Earthsea.
The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson – though not set on an ocean of water, this definitely still counts as nautical fantasy, I think. It’s got ships, it’s got pirates, it’s got great beasts of the depths. This is a stunning first book in a series, and I reviewed it at the start of the year, if you want to know more about it.
Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb – along with the rest of the Liveship Traders series. Another classic, I think, though still the only Robin Hobb series I’ve read *looks guiltily over at Assassin’s Apprentice waiting on the shelf* and probably one of the first nautical fantasies I ever read. Definitely need to reread this series as I have very vague memories of the events.
The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell – this is a middle grade book set on an island in Papua New Guinea, and is a beautiful exploration of grief, nature, and the changing world. I reviewed this one too, and I highly recommend it.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – this one isn’t quite set on the ocean, but it’s got it in the title, and the sea does play quite an important role in the story. Besides, it’s just such a beautiful story and starts with a pirate (this book’s opening chapter is one of my all time favourites).
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge – this is a long and relatively famous poem by Coleridge. I studied it in school, and really enjoyed it at the time, and have recently reread it many times because I am writing a historical fantasy novel based on the poem. It’s a great one to read aloud!
The Bone Ships by RJ Barker – along with the rest of the Tide Child trilogy (book three out later this year!), this is definitely one of my favourite series. Fresh and magical, it also features a map full of little islands, and the sailing is phenomenal. I reviewed this one last year, if you want to find out more.
When Life Gives you Mangoes by Kereen Getten – this is another middle grade book, also set on an island, this one in the Caribbean, and it’s about Clara and the ways her life gets upended. It also has surfing, which was fun. It’s similar to The Shark Caller, which I listed earlier, dealing with similar themes with different styles.
Octopus Medicine by Becci Louise – another poetry one, this is a series of poems that tell three stories: an octopus that dreams of the stars, a fishermen who gets cursed and learns a lesson, and a misunderstood monster of the deeps. This was gifted to me by a lovely friend for Christmas last year, and it’s so so beautiful.
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart – last but not least, and it’s another one featuring an archipelago world, though these islands actually float through the ocean, which is very cool. This is the first book in a series, with The Bone Shard Emperor coming out at the end of the year. I reviewed this one last year too!