Tress of the Emerald Sea (2023, Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC) 4 stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson expands his Cosmere universe shared by The …

Review of 'Tress of the Emerald Sea' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

"You see, I've discovered that it's all right to need help. So long as you've lived your life as the kind of person who deserves to be rescued."

I'll be honest and say I didn't know what to make of this when I first started it. Aside from being aware that it was a Cosmere book, I went in basically blind, ready for a twisty whirlwind epic fantasy adventure. Instead, I got something a bit more thoughtful, a lot more tongue-in-cheek, and perhaps more fairy tale than epic fantasy. Temper your expectations accordingly; this is more like Sanderson-writes-Princess-Bride rather than 1000-page-Sanderson-Epic-Fantasy. Tress grew up on a small spit of rocky land in the middle of a green spore sea. No seawater, all green pollen that reacts violently when exposed to water. In the case of green spores, you get a wild vine explosion that can be rather, well, deadly if the water ends up being human water (of which, we have a lot of). There's different colored spore seas, and each of the different spore colors reacts differently when given water. So, content with her life, her crush ends up getting himself kidnapped by the Sorceress of this world, who resides all the way over in the Midnight Sea. What follows is Tress's quest to save the one dear to her, and all that she learns about herself, her resourcefulness, and the larger world she never knew along the way.It's a bit of a slow burn and took me a bit to get drawn in. I generally don't read a lot of light-hearted stuff, so when I first started this book, I thought I'd have to force myself through. Turns out, given the space and the time to tell a story, this is actually a really good one. The book is told, not from Tress's point of view, but from someone witnessing the whole thing (and who is familiar to anyone who reads Cosmere books), and we get some side commentary from them about the whole thing that I appreciated. It does read very much like The Princess Bride, but with a different take on the story (and that's mentioned in the afterword). I was really into seeing how Tress would get through her next scrape, and my only real minor complaint is that maybe the tongue-in-cheek humor is laid on a bit thick in some places for my personal tastes.Still, this ended up being a really enjoyable read, and even though I guessed a part of the conclusion, there's still a lot there to be discovered. Highly recommend for Sanderson fans.