Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

I’m a big fan of Brandon Sanderson’s—have been ever since I discovered him via The Gathering Storm—but there’s no denying that his work can be emotionally heavy. For example, during a recent Stormlight Archives re-read, I made the mistake of listening to THAT Rhythm of War death scene while out on a walk and ended up crying in public. And by crying I mean sobbing. But I digress.

Tress of the Emerald Sea, by contrast, is a work of pure delight. There are dragons! Talking animals! Pirates! Sorcery! A planet with twelve moons and seas that contain dangerous spores instead of water! (I realize that last bit sounds confusing, but trust me, it works.) Not to mention the book’s heroine, Tress, a character whom you’d have to be an alien and/or robot to dislike. She has a strong sense of right and wrong without being moralistic. She’s optimistic, yet realistic. She’s sweet but not saccharine. She’s…well I could go on and on. I loved her character, as I loved all the characters in the book. (Shout out to Ulaam, who never failed to make me laugh out loud.) This book is earnest and exciting and most refreshingly—fun! Tress of the Emerald Sea is easily the best book I’ve read all year.