The Seascape Tattoo

26114326Author: Larry Niven, Steven Barnes
Category:  AdventureFantasy
Pages: 381
Publication Date: June 28, 2016

“Aros of Azteca and Neoloth-Pteor are the deadliest of enemies: Swordsman and Sorcerer, locked in mortal combat, who have tried to kill each other more times than either can count. But when the princess Neoloth loves is kidnapped, there is only one plan that offers any hope of rescue . . . and that requires passing off the barbarian Aros as a lost princeling and infiltrating the deadliest cabal of necromancers the world has ever seen. They cannot trust each other. They will betray or kill each other the first chance they get. But they’re all each other has.”

The Seascape Tattoo is as confusing as the name of the novel is. There is one man that has a tattoo like that but it is only mentioned once, so I am not sure why that is the name. The beginning starts off slow and you get a lot of names thrown at you. There is nothing wrong with a new world with weird names but if I get a lot of them within the first chapter with no explanation then I’m gonna be confused.

Our story starts with a world where magic has been used up. There are only small traces left in the world and wizards must use them sparingly. Cool concept to base a book around right? Well it would be, but this one doesn’t really use this except for situations and fights. It is used as background noise and I thought it would be more prevalent as the story continued but it fell to the wayside.

The main characters, Aros and Neoloth-Pteor, are bitter rivals that have hated each other for years. I find this funny because they argue maybe once. Don’t get me wrong, there is tension thought the book while they have to get along but once they set out on their mission they don’t seem to interact more than once.

I am not sure if the authors were able to agree on what they wanted their book to be about. It’s a rescue mission to save the Princess (a truly bland character not worth going into detail), then its a kind of heist with tricking the general, then a bad guy comes out of no where and is trying to rule the world. When Aros is pretending to be the long lost son of powerful family is the most interesting part! He is acting but is honestly loving being a part of something. So good things were started and felt like they were dropped to make room for more confusing and slightly boring parts.

In the end, Seascape Tattoo was a jumbled mess that had a good idea but just felt like it wasn’t sure what type of book it wanted to be.


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