SALT WINDS AND WANDERING by KATE COE
PB, 141 pages, Kristell Ink
Book four of Kate Coe’s series of Quorl novellas, and it’s actually a good place to jump in if you have yet to read any of the previous books, as it features new characters and a new setting and we don’t see any returning characters until quite late on in the book. So I won’t post any spoilers here!
This slim volume follows Obak, a Fire Mage of Taderah and an arrogant so-and-so. After an accident that may have been a suicide attempt, he is packed off to a fishing village to recuperate, where he finds solace in the sea and in sailing, and forms tentative new friendships. When he is called back to Taderah for a mission, he finds a new purpose and ability, one that may have ramifications later in the series…
The events in the story take place concurrently with the happenings in the previous three books, which are mentioned in passing for the most part. Obak, and to a slightly lesser extent his research assistant and Water Mage Iilde, grows and matures throughout the book. Initially he is bristly and hard to like, but the sea smooths away his rough edges, gradually shaping him into someone new, someone imbued with fresh compassion and a renewed zeal for discovery. He’s probably one of my favourite characters in the series so far.
The plot is light but the settings and characters are warm and engaging and it’s a welcome addition to this excellent series – looking forward to reading Empty Skies and Sunlight!