The Ruling Sea
Robert V. S. Redick
Del Rey, Feb 16 2010, $27.00
Almost everyone believes that the ship Chathrand sunk at sea. However, the vessel did not, but chances are great it will sink as Thasha Isiq and her two companions Pazel and Neeps know they must cross The Ruling Sea; something no ship has ever done and their Captain Nilus Rose refuses to try. They have no choice if a world war is to be avoided as they possess the powerful Nilstone.
Others want to gain the Nilstone in order to use its power for personal gain. In particular the wizard Arunis, irate over his defeat at the hands of vanished peer Ramachni and the sea travelers (see the Red Wolf Conspiracy), chases after the Chathrand because the Nilstone will enable this spell-caster to ignite a war between empires. Others like Felthrup the Rat and emperors and queens with more ambition than sense also wants the Nilstone. However, there remains one even more insidious evil lurking in the bowels of the ship that makes the wizard, the rat, the emperor and the queen look benign at the same time the heroes know their goal may not exist.
This is a super sea quest fantasy sequel that continues the adventures of Thasha and her comrades, but their most powerful ally Ramachni has left to heal. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action, but it is the cast who make The Ruling Sea a great thriller. Thasha and her allies know the risk they take sailing on water in which no one has allegedly crossed to a land that probably does not exist except in mythology. At the same time there are plenty on board and giving chase who want what they possess. Robert V. S. Redick writes a great tale of heroes and villains as the second Chathrand Voyage heads south into the dangerous uncharted sea.