The Sea of Zemira

The Zemiran Chronicles Book 1

Romance - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
425 Pages
Reviewed on 07/07/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jennifer Ibiam for Readers' Favorite

King Matthias of Zemira hated magic, so he banished all who held it to the Eastland forest. At about the same time, a childless couple in the remote village of Baylin found a baby in the river and named her Finola. She was half Fae and half Siren, with magical powers. Finola grew up watching her people suffer from the cruelty of King Matthias. The people could barely feed themselves, and the land was desolate. Finola also lost her loved ones to the same king. She would fight, but not before reconnecting with the Fae and Elven kingdom to seek help from her people. Finola’s journey took her through the Portland Sea, lands, and Undersea, where she fought for her life. Will Finola succeed in her quest? Find out in The Sea of Zemira by D. L. Blade.

If you got the opportunity to travel into the past, would you take it? The Sea of Zemira by D. L. Blade is the first book of The Zemiran Chronicles, a tale of love, lust, loss, survival, deceit, magic, webs of lies, and power-mongering. I loved the effortless combination of two worlds (magical and human) and multiple species. Imagine a world where humans cohabited peacefully with Fairies, Elves, Trolls, and the like. Wouldn’t it be beautiful? I loved the plot, development, and storyline. This novel had twists and turns that made it unpredictable and drew me in. I was more drawn to Mazie because, although arrogant, she was fearless, formidable, and didn’t depend on magical powers to handle situations. I also loved Nola, Lincoln, and Elijah. Hills was a liability, while King Matthias showed that power intoxicates and corrupts. Blade is a talented writer, and I can’t wait to read Elijah’s story.

Jamie Michele

The Sea of Zemira: A Fantasy Pirate Romance by D.L. Blade is a myth and folklore speculative adventure novel that centers around a young woman named Finola “Nola” Lardbrak, who is rescued as a baby following the extermination of her species by the despotic King Matthias. Nola is a siren, raised by Duncan and Val Lardbrak as human, and their very own as an entire kingdom forgets Elven, Fae, dragons, sirens and all other creatures that are more than mere lore. After years of training, Nola must leave her beloved parents and magic-less childhood home for The Eastland Forest, where the magic she needs lives on. Aboard a pirate ship where Captain Lincoln is in charge, the journey proves to be dangerous to the lives and souls of the crew and Lincoln's and Nola's hearts.

D.L. Blade delivers a fantastic new fantasy world with a compelling undercurrent of evil in The Sea of Zemira. The plot is ripe and each character is allowed the space to develop fully for a wonderfully engrossing reading experience. The love and protection Nola is raised with radiates through the pages, and Lincoln's distrust and fear, based on a shattered past, provide a believable resistance to what is ultimately irresistible. Nola's lineage makes her both a target and the best possible ally. I really enjoyed being able to see D.L. Blade's story unfold from alternate point of view characters, particularly through the eyes of Prince Elijah, and the use of gems as something of a barometer in the struggle for power. There are punches of cliché on the pirate ship where the dialogue is written phonetically and phrases like “Shiver me timbers” make their appearance, but it is clear they are totally intentional and that makes them a lot of fun in a story that needs those moments of levity to balance its ominous weight. I am new to Blade as an author and am now a bonafide fan. Very highly recommended.

Stephanie Chapman

A land suffering from the exile of all magic sets the stage for D.L. Blade’s The Sea of Zemira. King Mathias hates the Fae and banishes them to the Eastland Forest. However, his people protest against his decree so he uses a magical jewel to blind the people from being able to see magic. A year later, the land dies, and the people are starving. King Mathias discovers his wife is using their son, Tristan, to send a warning to the Fae King Argon about her husband’s war. He poisons his wife and orders his guards to murder Tristan. Meanwhile, a fisherman rescues a baby siren and raises her as a human. Nola realizes she must go to the Eastland Forest to ask for help to save Zemira. She stows away on the notorious Captain Lincoln’s ship and finds herself among a crew of pirates.

D.L. Blade weaves a story of adventure filled with love, betrayal, and discovery. Nola is the primary focus of the story, and her insecurities are clear when she doubts her abilities. Captain Lincoln has an automatic attraction to her, but he doesn’t act upon his desires. I found this to be the opposite of what I would expect of a pirate. However, as the details of the story unfold, his behavior’s explanation falls in place. Amazing imagery makes the surroundings Nola finds herself in easy to envision. The distinct personalities of each character are well-developed. I took a liking to King Mathias’ youngest son, Elijah. I hoped he would avenge the murder of his mother and brother. The unpredictable twists in this book held me captive. The end of the book was shocking and leaves an opening for a sequel. Readers who enjoy stories with multiple adventures and enemies who are difficult to discern from heroes will appreciate The Sea of Zemira.

Liz Konkel

The Sea of Zemira by D.L. Blade is the first book in the Zemiran Chronicles. King Matthias declares that all magic is to be banished from the kingdom with the only magic left being in the crystal in his crown. Twenty years later, Nola keeps her identity as a siren secret but a meeting with the king's son, Prince Elijah, leads to a warning from a pirate. She devises a plan to go against the king but to do so she'll need to embark on an adventure to Eastland Forest. To get there she'll first have to cross the sea. Her journey begins with a plan to stow away on a pirate ship which brings her face-to-face with a familiar pirate. Embarking across the ocean with Lincoln and his crew, they face various dangers including sea monsters, other pirates, and dragons. The connection between the two grows into a surprising romance but each of them has a secret that will soon be revealed.

The story begins with setting up the history of the world as you dive into the plot, witnessing King Matthias as he declares war against all magical creatures. This opening sparks the book's setting, which later finds the characters living with the consequences of this decision. The confrontation between Matthias and a fae – Argon – creates the catalyst to exile all magic to the Eastland Forest. D.L. Blade uses these opening chapters to create a map for Nola's eventual quest for the fae queen. The banishment and hatred that the fae undergoes spark the passion and determination of those with magic to fight back against the injustice they experience at the hands of a cruel king. The shift in Zemira is evident through lovely and subtle details of the background with the lack of magic taking away a certain life the land once had. The story progresses through time, going from this origin to the war to twenty years later with Nola facing the world as a magical being in a land that banishes her kind.

Nola has been hiding to survive which has created a distance from her true origin of being a siren that has never left the land. D.L. Blade weaves a world with a variety of magical creatures with those that she serves to help such as the fae and pixies, and others that she fights against such as the sea monsters, ghosts, and dragons. Stowing away on a pirate ship, she meets Lincoln whose dynamic with her creates a romantic element in the story. Their dynamic has witty dialogue and sizzling chemistry which adds a nice balance to the epic adventure. The crew consists of a variety of delightful pirate personalities. The Sea of Zemira takes you on an epic quest across the oceans in a pirate fantasy; a fast-paced adventure with romance, magic, and a vivid fantasy world.

K.C. Finn

The Sea of Zemira: The Zemiran Chronicles Book 1 is a work of fiction in the fantasy and romance subgenres. The novel is intended for the mature reading audience owing to its explicit language, sexual scenes, and some violence, and was penned by D. L. Blade. In this thrilling story of surviving captivity and the search for freedom, we meet protagonist Nola when she is desperate to escape the oppression of the king of her homeland, Zemira, who has destroyed all magic except that which lies in his crown, or so he thinks. But Nola has a power of her own, and a journey with a dangerous pirate may just help her to unlock it and discover her true self.

I sincerely enjoyed everything about this slow-burning romance novel, which was very well balanced in its worldbuilding, overarching plot, and fantastic character dynamics. D. L. Blade knows how to create tension, and I felt it from the moment Captain Lincoln and Nola first set eyes on one another. Every circumstance is cinematically described to make everything vivid in the reader’s imagination, and there’s a unique quality to the dialogue that allows tension to build and gives the reader time to feel every high emotion in Nola’s heart before the action unfolds. The Sea of Zemira is a superb series opener that introduces readers to an incredible new fantasy world of possibilities and I would highly recommend it to fans of romantic drama everywhere.

Delene Vrey

Do you love fantasy with dragons, magic, and a good old-fashioned love story in between sword fights and rum-drinking pirates? Then The Sea of Zemira: The Zemiran Chronicles Book 1 is a book that you must read. D.L. Blade has written a high fantasy adventure that covers it all, from an evil king, conspiracies, and lost heirs to a lost treasure that could change the world. Nola flees from her homeland of Zemira to find the Elves and other magical creatures who were banished to the Eastland Forest across the Portland Sea. Her mission is to convince the Elves and Fae to fight with the people of Zemira to free themselves from King Matthias. When she is forced to make a quick decision, she chooses a path that will change her life forever. She hides on a pirate ship, hoping they will not harm her, but take her to the Elves. When she meets the ship's captain, she realizes she is in deep trouble, even more so when he declares she will be his captive for the journey and share his cabin. En route to the Eastern Forest, she has the adventure of a lifetime.

D.L. Blade has produced a book filled with action, adventure, and romance. In a time when many writers divide their books into smaller bites, ending a story on a cliffhanger and forcing the reader to wait for months for the next book, it is refreshing to have a thick fantasy novel containing a complete story. There will be more stories from the same world, but when done with The Sea of Zemira, you will feel content that a chapter has been concluded and it was fulfilling. This story reminded me of the Throne of Glass series, especially in how detailed the worldbuilding is and the complexity of the storylines that come together in the end. The author touches on themes of oppression, the fight to be free, and the age-old theme of good and evil. This is a New Adult fantasy and contains graphic violence and some explicit sex scenes that complement the story. Though it is a romance, the action and adventures drive the storytelling.

Sophie Koufes

The Sea of Zemira: A Fantasy Romance is a phenomenal fast paced story that will have you craving more. D.L. Blade has created a fantasy realm that is vividly detailed and described making it easy to vision in your head. Bursting with adventure, betrayal and romance, a pirate fantasy that is sovereign. I absolutely love the fairies, elves, magic, monsters, pirates, siren mermaids and the other creatures. An exceptional written story with unique twists and an awesome pirate crew. I absolutely loved the ending and hope there will be a sequel. A must read for all fantasy romance lovers.

Pat labrie

I have read this story twice now and I still love every second of it. It keeps you hooked from the beginning to the end with twists and surprises. This one I will read many many times. Can't wait for book two.