REVIEW by EN Blake: The Turning Tide by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Some dreams become nightmares . . .

An invasion is headed for Crosspointe, but three friends will find themselves at war long before the first enemy touches the shore.

One man will betray her.

Fairlie, a master metalsmith, is discovered to have a rare magical talent that could save Crosspointe from destruction. Against her will, she is forced to make a monstrous sacrifice. What happens next could tear the world apart.

One man will risk everything to save her

The future hangs in the balance. Everything depends on Fairlie. Driven to the edge of sanity and endurance, she must choose who will live and who will die.

One man will come face to face with his worst nightmare.

The enemy is coming to Crosspointe, but a worse one lurks within. As secrets get ripped open and truths are revealed, Crosspointe’s future looks ever bleaker.

 

 

 

 

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About the Book

The Turning Tide
by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Series
Crosspointe Book Three

Genre
Adult
Historical Fantasy
Romantic Fantasy

Publisher
Bell Bridge Books

Publication Date
December 13, 2018

Purchase Your Copy Today!
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EN’s Review

The Turning Tide is fast-paced, character driven and continues with the intricate world-building begun in the previous two books of the Crosspointe Chronicles. The book opens with an introduction to a small, well-developed cast of characters who quickly become embroiled in personal and political chaos.

Fairlie is an amazing character, her relationship with Ryland and Shaye is compelling and nuanced, and so is her personal history and motivations. From the opening scene with Shaye, her character and his are thrown into sharp contrast, and she continually proves who she is, while also developing over the course of the novel into a version of herself that is truly extraordinary. Her love interest (who shall remain unnamed to avoid spoilers) is dedicated and respectful, and there was even a scene that specifically addressed the fact that if she did not return [REDACTED]’s interest, that it would be fine, and everything could continue as normal.

Why isn’t there more of this in fantasy? Why do so many books act like love or attraction are a switch you can flip on, and if you choose not to then you’re a monster? Fairlie’s relationship does seems to develop rather abruptly, but with the amount of high-stakes action that takes place in The Turning Tide any drawn-out angst or relationship drama would seem trite in contrast.

Fairlie’s actually a great character for several reasons. She’s kind and compassionate, while never being less than strong. She possesses traditionally feminine traits, yet remains self-assured, confident and effective.

Ryland is also a strong character—solidly motivated, likeable for the most part, and one last thing, what was it? Oh yeah, he goes through hell. The book opens on a fairly difficult time for him, and things only get worse. Character development only really happens when characters get put through the wringer, and traumatic things pretty much never stop happening to Ryland. He has some tough decisions to make, and reacts in some admirable and definitely-not-admirable ways—it makes for great reading.

And of course, if we’re discussing characters, Shaye can’t be ignored. He’s not always likeable, but he’s always sympathetic. The way he interacts with various characters is entertaining, and elegantly reveals his character and back story.

The Turning Tide also features several characters from previous books, including a long-awaited reunion between two characters from a previous book (not a spoiler—there’s a lot of people from previous books that are estranged, missing or presumed dead) that fans of the series will appreciate.

King William becomes a genuine character in this book for the first time in the series, adding depth to Ryland’s character, and the world and politics of Crosspointe. The world-building and scene descriptions never falter, making The Turning Tide (and the previous two novels) engaging to an extent that you only get with well-written sci-fi or fantasy. This book also gives more detail on the religion of Crosspointe gets fleshed out a little more, and I am intrigued. Bracken and Meris were mentioned to an extent in The Black Ship, but The Turning Tide gives a myriad of details about Chayos (who is fascinating) and her priestesses (likewise).

Religion in novels can at times seem like it’s only included as a way to have PG swearing, but that’s definitely not the case in The Turning Tide. Crosspointe’s religion ties into the magic, political, and environmental systems, and directly influences the plot without ever lessening the agency of the characters. The depth and internal consistency of the intertwined systems of magic, religion and politics was reminiscent of Anne Bishop’s Dark Jewels series, in the best way.

The Turning Tide also develops the structure and abilities of magisters, weaving threads from both The Cipher and The Black Ship into the plot, providing an over-arching storyline that is satisfying, while still leaving plenty to be explored in future novels.

If you’ve read the previous Crosspointe books; enjoy fantasy with strong characters with complex, believably written relationships; or just like well-crafted fantasy worlds that get richer with every instalment, you should read The Turning Tide.

See All Reviews by EN Blake

Disclaimer

The review copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All titles reviewed on this blog are a fair and honest assessment of the book. No monetary compensation was received in exchange for this review. For more information regarding our review process, please visit our Review Policy & Review Request Submission page.

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