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ARC Review: The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson


On the never-ending, miles-high expanse of prairie grasses known as the Forever Sea, Kindred Greyreach, hearthfire keeper and sailor aboard harvesting vessel The Errant, is just beginning to fit in with the crew of her new ship when she receives devastating news. Her grandmother The Marchess, legendary captain and hearthfire keeper has stepped from her vessel and disappeared into the sea.

But the note she leaves Kindred suggests this was not an act of suicide. Something waits in the depths, and the Marchess has set out to find it.

To follow in her grandmother’s footsteps, Kindred must embroil herself in conflicts bigger than she could imagine: a water war simmering below the surface of two cultures; the politics of a mythic pirate city floating beyond the edges of safe seas; battles against beasts of the deep, driven to the brink of madness; and the elusive promise of a world below the waves.

Kindred finds that she will sacrifice almost everything ship, crew, and a life sailing in the sun to discover the truth of the darkness that waits below the Forever Sea.


The Forever Sea is an unusual and unique book and I haven’t read anything quite like it before. The whole concept, if somewhat odd, is completely captivating.  A pirate inspired adventure in which ships sail on an endless and fathomless sea of prairie grass.  Creatures lurk beneath and it is hinted there may be an undiscovered world below.  The world and magic system are fascinating and richly described and I particularly enjoyed reading about the flora and fauna in this magical setting, as well as the gorgeous descriptions of life out at sea.  The writing is beautiful, lyrical and completely spellbinding.

The story follows Kindred, who is the hearth keeper of a ship that sails on the Forever Sea harvesting plants and grubs.  It is her duty to tend to the heart fire that powers the ship across the Forever Sea. Hearth fires are made up of burning bones, with flames spurred into life and controlled by the song of the hearth keeper.  This magic system is is so interesting and I was entranced by the chapter on the hearth fire rules.

The author creates atmosphere and tension interspersed with some much slower paced scenes, but the ever changing situations and scenery keeps the reader thoroughly engaged.  I particularly liked the scene when the ship dives under the surface of the sea, the sky disappears and we are left looking at the striated dense walls of plants growing all around the ship, described in such luscious detail.  The wyrm attach was also a pretty intense scene!

The diverse cast of characters aboard The Errant caught my attention, these strong female dominated characters completely captured my heart.  There is a hint of romance in the storyline but this is very much in the background of the plot and doesn’t monopolise the main storyline.

The Forever Sea is the first book in a thrilling new fantasy series and I’m really looking forward to exploring this world further.  The world is vivid and detailed and the reader cannot help but become totally mesmerised.  The story is beautifully crafted, exciting and completely unpredictable.  Highly recommended for fantasy lovers seeking something a little bit different from the usual seafaring fantasy adventure.

Publisher: Titan Books UK
Publication Date:  26 January 2021
Series: The Forever Sea #1
Format:  Paperback
Page Count:  480 
Genre:  Fantasy
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to the publisher for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please follow me on Instagram , Goodreads or Twitter

Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊 

Happy reading!

Twisted in Pages Blog


Published by twistedinpages

Reader • Reviewer • Blogger

7 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson

  1. I’ve been eyeing this book for months, but have been a bit apprehensive about it. Your review makes it sound so beautiful, though, that I’ll probably just take the leap and pick up a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

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