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The Ruling Sea (Chathrand Voyage) Kindle Edition

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Length: 641 pages

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This exciting follow-up to 2009's The Red Wolf Conspiracy features enough plot twists and double-crosses to satisfy the most demanding lover of suspense. The powerful Nilstone, most recently held by a living statue who was once an insane god-king, is sought by a wizard who wishes to destroy humanity by sparking war between empires. The whole world believes the ship Chathrand to be sunk, but it secretly survives and carries the Nilstone to the fabled lands of the south beyond the Ruling Sea, while a ragtag group of conspirators battle not only the wizard but their own empire and captain in a desperate attempt to preserve the world. Vivid characterizations and Reddick's brilliant depiction of the microcosmic world aboard Chathrand will captivate readers. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The second book in an appealing trilogy continues the adventures on and around the great ship Chathrand. Imperial Princess Thasha stands with her bridegroom before the priest for a wedding that is supposed to seal peace between longstanding enemies. She is not expected to survive, for behind the nuptials seethe multiple plots and intrigues. The imperial spymaster is trying to start a civil war; the Chathrand’s captain is mad and serves an evil sorcerer; the tiny Ixchel have their own plans. After escaping death by a hair, Thasha and her comrades face a voyage across the Ruling Sea, which is so vast that only the Chathrand can cross it, and whose southern border is unknown. Redick keeps a good grip on characters and the vast, detailed, action-packed story, and it isn’t quite necessary to have read The Red Wolf Conspiracy (2008) to keep track of who is doing what to whom. --Frieda Murray

Product Details

  • File Size: 1075 KB
  • Print Length: 641 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345508858
  • Publisher: Del Rey (February 9, 2010)
  • Publication Date: February 16, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036S4BIK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,689 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Robert V.S. Redick is the author of the forthcoming epic fantasy THE NIGHT OF THE SWARM, which concludes THE CHATHRAND VOYAGE QUARTET. The other three books, in order, are THE RED WOLF CONSPIRACY, THE RATS AND THE RULING SEA (U.S. title, THE RULING SEA) and THE RIVER OF SHADOWS.


I have two beloved home towns: Charlottesville, Virginia, and Iowa City, Iowa. I've been writing since I could hold a pen, and began my first novel, about purple monsters invading a Chicago apartment complex, when I was twelve. I studied literature and Russian at the University of Virginia, tropical conservation and development at the University of Florida, and fiction writing in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Among my wonderful former mentors are Jim Shepard, John Casey, Wilton Barnhardt, Judith Grossman, David Haynes and Chuck Wachtel.

I've had the good fortune to live and travel extensively in Latin America. In Cali, Colombia, I worked with a human rights foundation and taught in a bilingual school. In Argentina I interviewed park rangers, park administrators, superintendents and biologists across the country and wrote an in-depth study of ranger training in Argentina and elsewhere. My first (serious) novel, Conquistadors, is set during the Argentinian dictatorship of the late 1970s. The book was a finalist for the 2002 AWP/Thomas Dunne Novel Award.

For four years I worked as a stage critic for two New England newspapers--a nice job to have if you're dating. I've also worked as a baker, translator, Paso Fino horse handler and lab technician in an acid rain study.

For more information please visit my blog:

I live in rural western Massachusetts with my compañera, Kiran Asher, and an assortment of mammals and reptiles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mennonite Medievalist on March 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Look, Redick's fantasy series is intriguing. Very. Perhaps my favorite developing out there now not written by Patrick Rothfuss. About two thirds of the way through The Ruling Sea, I thought to myself, you know, I hope I don't get in a car crash or acquire fast-moving cancer or something and not live to see the end of the story (currently projected as the Night of the Swarm, two books down the line, although we know how fantasy series projections go). That's a high compliment, obviously. And that was before I read the fantastic end of The Ruling Sea, less a cliffhanger than a "well, now that we've unexpectedly fallen off a cliff and hit bottom..." The series isn't driven by moral themes or philosophical statements about how the world works or high literary ambition: just good, solid, cleverly written, richly imaginative fantasy, unfolding plot twist after plot twist, filling the same niche in my reading repertoire that Greg Keyes used to do but filling it better. I don't put it down feeling healthier for having read it, but satisfied nonetheless. Plenty of enjoyable narrative calories that don't burn off immediately.

A few seams show. There's a little plot sloppiness in TRS. For instance, the reasons given for the estrangement between Pazel and Thasha, between Thasha and the Polylex, seem rather strained and artificial. As if something's coming in book 3 that would have come much earlier had the author not forced these actors apart. TRS does substantially improves the main problem I felt in The Red Wolf Conspiracy: that we were experiencing the fantasy world widely but not deeply. TRWC flagged when the characters got off the ship. TRS stays on the ship, mostly: good.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Captain on June 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I agree with all the points made so eloquently by the previous reviewer (Too Ambitious). Rather than repeating those points, I will just say that I ordered this sequel when I was half way through the first book, which was going along well at the time. I sail a lot and the idea of a fantasy set on such a grand sailing vessel intrigued me. The author really knows his sailing terms and seems familiar with the subject. But fantasy writing, not so much. The good guys never win, and when they lose the bad guys never finish them off and actually end up helping them in a few pages. This circular narrative repeats over and over and that's all that happens. New villains keep cropping up, old ones never go away, and it's too confused. But most of all, I don't care what happens to Pazel and Thasha and Neeps. I don't want to continue with the third book because the same stuff will keep happening, and it's tough to continue reading the same story line over and over. Never a resolution or explanation of what's happened, just an immediate jump to the next dilemma. Disjointed, confused, not at all satisfying at any point. I have no qualms about never knowing what happens. I have a hunch the author has no idea what's going to happen either.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amy J. Violante on May 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I saw the reviews for this book, I was very eager to read it and based on the raves of other readers, went on ahead and purchased both "The Conspiracy" and "The Ruling Sea". I was disappointed. The author just seems to be trying to juggle too many characters, without any of them being truly fleshed out. It almost feels as though the author is trying too hard to make the story more complicated than it needs to be. I never really felt strongly about any of the characters and because of that, found that I was actually forgetting who the characters were and what happened in earlier parts of the book. The premise of the book was good and the plot was intriguing, but honestly, the book would have been better with more time spent on developing fewer more memorable characters. There were parts of the book I just found annoying, that I think were supposed to be plot twists, and surprises, but I felt were never really clearly represented, so that I had to ask myself "What just happened here?" and go back and read a section again.

This book was just too ambitious a project. It felt too contrived, and was confusing in parts, and after a while I just found myself not caring. This book needed a couple more re-writes, better editing and perhaps more time spent on fewer characters. There is nothing wrong with a complicated and long story, but the story has to be engaging and you have to care about the characters. He is most certainly no Robin Hobb or George R.R. Martin, both masters at complex world-building and creating memorable characters. This book was a tough slog, not because it didn't have enough action, but because it had too much action and not much else.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scott Knight on January 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The Ruling Sea, by Robert V.S. Redick, is the second book of four in The Chathrand Voyage. The Chathrand is the last of a fleet of ships that are extraordinarily large. The great majority of this book, as well as the previous volume, take place on the ship at sea. As such, it makes the setting rather unique in fantasy books. The main characters, Pazel Pathkendle, Tasha Isiq, and Neeps, are all teenagers. Together with a few others, they are tasked to prevent the evil sorcerer Arunis from acquiring the Nilstone and ruling the world.

Much of this, other than the setting, sounds familiar to readers of fantasy. Redick does a nice job of keeping his story fresh. He adds "woken" animals (they can talk and think), the Ixchel (a race of 12 inch tall people that resemble humans), mermaids (rather vicious), a wise shape-changing mink/wizard from another dimension, and multiple twists and turns. As The Ruling Sea progresses, the reader is introduced to the larger world, expanding on the little we learned in The Red Wolf Conspiracy (the first book). As new lands are explored, new dangers arise. This causes new alliances to form, sometimes along the lines of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Also, Redick does not shy away from killing off characters, and not just the ones on the periphery. The novel ends on a major plot twist that doesn't just set up the next book, but offers up a paradigm shift. The characters learn that what they are battling against is so much bigger than they thought.

I have a couple of minor complaints. There seems to be some repetitiveness due to the length of the book. I feel like it could have been trimmed somewhat. Also, several of the characters become almost unlikable. I prefer to have some characters I can root for and like, not be annoyed by.
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