Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Boundless Sea by Nadia Scrieva

Title:  Boundless Sea
Series:  Sacred Breaths #3
Author:  Nadia Scrieva
Published:   May 15th 2012 by Createspace
Length:  230pgs
Format:  ecopy
Genre: paranormal romance/epic fantasy
Shelf:  review
Rating:  ★★★★★


An underwater kingdom. A missing queen. A modern man plunged into an ancient war...

Trevain Murphy's new wife has been forcibly taken. He must do all he can to search for her without falling apart. His love was the noble Queen Aazuria, ruler of Adlivun, and he has been burdened with all of her responsibilities. The Alaskan man is unable to cope with the political unrest of his new nation, and turns to his wife's younger sister for help. Princess Elandria is expected to assume important administrative duties, but she is overwhelmed with depression and completely useless to her endangered people.

With Adlivun facing a growing threat from the foreign submarine superpower known as the Clan of Zalcan, headstrong General Visola Ramaris becomes focused on seeking advanced military protection. Going against the ancient mermaid tradition to remain hidden from land-dwelling societies, Visola decides to reveal herself to the American public and make an eloquent appeal for assistance. But nothing comes for free. The countries of the Pacific Rim invite Adlivun's diplomats to an APEC conference to present their conditions. The price for survival is outrageous and unexpected; if Trevain agrees, the small marine kingdom will play a crucial role in changing the infrastructure and economy of the world forever. But will the proud citizens of Adlivun sacrifice their freedom and dignity for security?

Meanwhile, on a dark and desolate continent, a displaced queen has been captured and imprisoned by enemy forces. Her only concern is concealing the child she is carrying from her deranged captor. Thousands of miles from any sign of humanity, Aazuria must battle the coldest temperatures on earth in order to find her way back to her husband--but even if she lives, will she be in time to save her beloved Adlivun from itself?


There was no question that the little two-wheeled vehicle had been easily doubling the speed limit, but no one seemed to notice this as they stared spellbound at the figure of the person atop the motorized beast. It was not the silhouette one might have expected. Instead of a brawny fellow clad in a denim jacket with buttons that barely contained his beer belly, there was a slim and shapely waist swathed in black, armor-like leather.

It was a woman. If this was not shocking enough, she turned her bike into the field where the press conference had been set up, and drove directly onto the stage, using the side of the stairs as a ramp. The motorcycle was airborne for a moment before it landed. The important female political official screamed, and vaulted away from the vehicle.

Trevain crossed his arms over his chest. The woman crunched down on her brakes, locking up her wheels and causing the motorcycle to skid across the stage until it was barely an inch away from Trevain. She slammed her leather-booted foot onto the ground to stop the momentum. Trevain sighed as the scent of burnt rubber infiltrated his nostrils.

As the woman turned off her bike and dismounted, Trevain heard a familiar laugh and thought he saw a playful wink through the tinted visor of the motorcycle helmet. The woman used her boot to aggressively knock down her kickstand as she turned to look out at the massive audience. She placed her leather-gloved hands on her hipbones as she considered the crowd for a moment.

Her wide stance and erect posture oozed confidence as she reached up to remove the helmet from her head. She shook out a massive heap of tangled, unruly red curls and gave the audience a smug smile. She shoved her helmet onto one of the handlebars of her bike and began slowly sauntering up to the podium.

The tight leather clung to every contour of her long, muscled legs as she moved. When she was positioned before the podium, she studied the audience with a challenging air of superiority. Her shoulders were set back proudly and fearlessly, and she turned their scrutiny back upon them. So these are humans? her expression seemed to ask. So these are those silly insignificant beings who live and die on land, never knowing all the majesty they’re missing? No words were required to communicate that she was not a lesser animal for their entertainment. She was not to be exploited or mistreated in the common way society treated biological anomalies—she was too strong. She would never be a circus freak or a laughingstock. She was from a place of culture and sophistication, and she would tolerate no contempt.

All of this was understood before she had even parted her reddened lips in speech. Her entire audience, including those physically present and those watching from the comfort of their living rooms, was effectively mesmerized by her manner. She could feel the humming energy of their awe and fascination as though it were a physical thing she could grasp in her hand. Heat emanated from the object, warming her entire body.

Oh, how she loved an audience. The tall redhead tapped the microphone to check that it was on, before leaning forward to speak.

“I am General Visola Ramaris, the representative from the undersea kingdom of Adlivun,” she said. She paused, scanning the crowd with a poised, yet placid expression. She glanced back at Trevain and smiled at him to reassure him that she had everything under control. Trevain found himself holding his breath, almost afraid of the next thing she would say or do. Visola turned back to the audience, and cleared her throat, before delivering her carefully written speech.

“As you can see, I’ve got legs.”

She paused again for effect, allowing these words to sink deep into the eardrums of her onlookers. “I can also assure you that I know how to use them. Any questions?”

There was a silence as everyone registered her words. Everyone seemed unusually shocked and perplexed at both the simplicity and hilarity of her words. The spectators seemed to suddenly catch themselves staring, and they tightened their slack jaws. An explosion of camera flashes and excited chattering began. It hit Visola like a tsunami of adoration, and she smiled like a parading pageant queen basking in the gaudy glow of fame.

Trevain sighed and lifted his palm to press it against his forehead. Visola had completely tossed out her carefully planned speech, and had instead decided to use cheap theatrics to impress and engage her audience. And that is how my grandmother became an international sex symbol, Trevain thought to himself dryly.

My Review:

Right from the very beginning, this instalment in the Sacred Breaths series is much more emotionally charged than the rest. At the same time, it is just as exciting and fast paced as the rest of the series. Scrieva balances both aspects very neatly to create an unfathomable whole. Scrieva’s breathtaking descriptions allow you a very vivid look into this deeply touching world. This goes all the way down to the heartbreaking ending that leaves you bereft and in need of more, because you know that this can’t possibly be the way it ends.

I love how Scrieva allows her characters’ humanity to shine through, even in the most intense moments. Those glints of feeling and emotion really serve to highlight the events in question. She also takes female empowerment to a whole new level. Rather than developing a blatantly matriarchal society or spouting feministic comments she takes a cast of female characters who end up in roles of leadership solely by the accident of birth or circumstances, but they are also females who excel at those roles. That isn’t to say that her male characters are weak. There are actually quite a few alpha males in this novel, but the females easily stand their own and succeed among them.

I keep falling more and more in love with this series with each instalment. This is definitely a must read for all those who enjoy the paranormal and all things aquatic.

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About the author:

Nadia Scrieva lives in Toronto, Canada with no husband, no kids, and no pets. She does own a very attractive houseplant which she occasionally remembers to water between her all-consuming writing marathons.

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  1. I have seen these books around and they always catch my eye. Paranormal and an underwater kingdom, sounds fantastic to me. Your review confirms it for me, I must check these out.

  2. Jonel, thank you so much for reading and reviewing my books! I have eagerly read all your reviews, and I so deeply appreciate your thoughts on the novels. It means the world to me to see you enjoying them-- but not just that, you seem to really GET them! Your comments on the female empowerment in my books made my heart soar. Thank you so much for seeing not only my words, but the message behind my words. :) You are a rare and special reader!

    1. Thanks Nadia! I can't wait to read the rest of the series now (which is definitely on my TBR).

      Also, if you'd like to join the 'spotlight on Canadian authors' page pop me an email.