ARC Review – Air and Ash by Alex Lidell


After a lifetime of training, seventeen-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission—and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battle worthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.

AIR AND ASH is the thrilling first installment of the TIDES series.  

Price: $3.99  Pre-order: $0.99


From the moment I finished the prequel novella (go read this book right now for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited. That is an order, not a request), I needed to get my hands on this book. I was stuck in a major reading rut and this and my reread of the ACOTAR series by Sarah J Maas are the only books I’ve been able to read with ease for the past few months! Lidell has a writing style that I very much enjoy, and she weaves a fun and heart pounding tale in this first installment of the Tides series. I imagine my appreciation of her characters and writing stems from our common admiration of Tamora Pierce.

Nile is not your typical princess and I loved her character. She was well balanced and flawed. Incredibly realistic. The other characters too, were lovable or loathable (respective to what they were intended to be), but all felt natural and not exaggerated.

The world building is so subtle yet feels so thorough and not overbearing. Over all I was incredibly impressed with the level of detail in the scenes at sea, which account for most of the book’s setting. The romance is a slow burn and feels entirely realistic.

This book lost a star for me because the ending was a bit lackluster for me. But it does set up for book two very well, so I can’t complain too much. I cannot wait to get my hands on that one when it eventually releases, to rejoin Nile on her quest!

If you’re looking for a sea-faring fantasy read, with an amazing line up of characters, pick this one up!

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Alex Lidell

Alex Lidell is the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books. Alex is represented by Leigh Feldman of Leigh Feldman Literary. She lives in Washington, DC.

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