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Publisher's Summary

Master and Commander meets Sarah J Maas in a seafaring adventure of duty, love, magic, and a princess's quest to protect her kingdom on her own terms.

After a lifetime of training, 17-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. Recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Tamora Pierce, and David Weber.

©2017 Alex Lidell (P)2017 Alex Lidell

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bloody Amazing!

Nile Greysik of Ashing isn't a typical princess. Nearly the last of her siblings in line to inherit the throne, she's been training since she was eight years old to be an officer in Ashing's respected naval fleet. Her dream is to be appointed to an Admiral position, and with her discipline and training she might someday achieve it. But a battle at sea causes Nile to lose her position and the respect of Ashing's allies.

Returning home, Nile's only solace is her twin brother Clay. Clay is Gifted, able to attract an element to him, but at a horrific cost to his mind. When Nile learns that her only value to her kingdom is as a brood mare, she decides it's time to find a cure for Clay. She enlists as a seaman on the warship Aurora.

THIS BOOK WAS BLOODY AMAZING!! I'm trying to write a review and the only coherent thought sloshing around in my head is how awesome this book was! It kept me so enthralled that I finished it in one marathon listening session. The plot was action packed and fascinating, but I think it was the author's writing style that had me hooked. Her pacing was perfect, and the elements of action, magic, character development, world building, and the little bit of romance were all there in perfect proportions.

Nile was a strong female lead who consistently stood up for those around her. She didn't achieve things too easily, each small victory was hard won and more worth it. She'd make a powerful role model for teens, and the misogyny shown by several of the characters (and the patriarchal countries) would make great talking points for teen readers. The magic system was interesting. Rather than a trope that could be used to get Nile out of bad situations, this magic took its toll on the user.

I absolutely loved Nile and Domenic's connection. It was so subtle it couldn't even really be called a romance. So many books rely on the female character's inner dialogue gushing about the male character's looks to build a semblance of romance with no true foundation. This book was different, Nile didn't dwell on Domenic's looks, and she didn't even think or wonder if she's attracted to him. That's just not how she's built. They had a connection built on mutual respect. It was really well written.

The narration was expertly done. Kaitlin Bellamy performed dramatically and with an animation in her voice that kept the action fresh. She performed different speaking voices for each character, as well as accents that were consistent for each country. It was a really impressive performance. I requested a copy of this audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review. I'm going to resist picking up the second book in the series now, and wait for it to come out on audio, because this narrator/author combo is worth the wait!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible start for newcomers!

I was all set to play a Critical Role and give this audiobook a lower rating due to the fact that this is the first audiobook for both the author and narrator, but was denied the opportunity by how well they both did. Alex Lidell did a great job. She told an incredible story that made me care about most of the characters and not just to main characters. She did an awesome job of making a runaway princess trope into a story about someone who clawed and scraped her way TO THE BOTTOM so she could fight her way back up. I didn't expect to be as moved by Nile's development. I think I'm going to have to get the prequel novella so I can learn more about her time on her first ship.

Alex Lidell also did a great job with the magic system she employed. So many times authors use it as a crutch and make the whole story about the magic. Alex used the magic the way a chef uses salt, in just the right proportion and at the proper time. She also did something that a lot of young authors forget. She made magic have a consequence. In fact, the consequences were arguably more important the story than the magic was. Incredibly well done!

As for Kaitlin Bellamy's performance, all I can say is WOW!!!! The story was very good, but she truly brought it to life. She had a cast of characters to deal with and somehow she was able to give each one a unique and (most importantly) consistent voice. There are narrators with much more experience that have a hard time with that feat. I can't wait to listen to the next audiobook she narrates. If Matt Mercer were to listen to her performance, I'm sure he'd ask Kaitlin, "How do you want to do this?" because she killed it!

If I had to give the book any criticism, I would say it felt like it was 3/4s of a story. The hook at the end of the book was unexpected and absolutely vital to the story, but it felt like the next part of the series should have been part of this one. But then again, I'm going to buy the next audiobook as soon as it comes out, so maybe Alex Lidell knows exactly what she's doing and I just need to not be critical. :-)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely LOVE this story!

I absolutely loved this audiobook, and I can't wait to hear the rest of the story. The concept of an alternative world where being gifted is actually a curse is unique and interesting. Nile/Ash is such an incredible character. I enjoy a kick-a** heroine, and Nile certainly fits the bill. She is strong, fearless, bold, smart, and loyal. The other characters are equally engaging and well-drawn. The action and adventure are exciting, and the writing really hooked me in and made me care about what happens to the characters (except maybe the captain; he's a jerk. LOL). It doesn't matter your age either - I think whether you are 9 or 99, you will love this story. (Let's just say I am well past the YA stage;D)

The narration was fantastic and really added to my enjoyment of the story. The delivery was well-paced and flowed extremely smoothly. I thought Ms. Bellamy did an excellent job of voicing both the female and male characters.

Storms and Hail, indeed!

I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Left Wanting More!

I really enjoyed this novel! Lidell does a great job of providing an exciting and thrilling fantasy adventure novel. I was really excited about her concept of magic and how it has drawbacks on the person using it. It teaches one to be more careful rather then just jumping into situations. I also found the cliffhanger to be perfect for this story. I was certainly left wanting more, but not feeling outraged over the last thing in the book. So while I definitely feel I need the next story now I’m not upset that I’ll have to wait a little before continuing.

As for the audio Bellamy does a great job with voices! She’s very steady and consistent with her characters. Not every voice actor is like that and I truly appreciate when I can tell who’s talking based on certain little inflections in their voices. She also was great with her tone. I found myself feeling the very emotions the story wished to evoke with Bellamy’s voice. She is one of my favorite audio narrators so far.

Overall I would give this story a 5/5 Stars!!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exciting adventure and excellent performance

I received a free copy of this audiobook from Audiobookworm Promotions in return for an honest review. The gift of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Nile Greysik is an independent young woman accustomed to command, so it does not sit well with her when she learns that her mother is arranging a marriage for her with a prince from another country. Of course, in light of the same character traits, running away to enlist as an ordinary seaman with a rag-tag League crew commanded by a nepotist captain who fails to keep his ship in proper order may not have been her best idea ever…

Air and Ash is written in first person, present tense. While it usually takes me a little while to get into the rhythm of books written in present tense (I’m rather accustomed to past tense), I was hooked almost immediately listening to Kaitlin Bellamy’s excellent performance. Whereas other narrators read the story (with varying levels of energy for the narrative), Ms. Bellamy truly acts it, giving constant, natural energy and expression to the narration. She also does a fantastic job with the many different voices and accents in the story.

The book is very well written, and I found myself drawn in by the smooth pace and the tense action sequences.

Although most of the expressions of frustration by characters in this book are limited to “Storms and hail!”, there is a little bit of language in this book, which means that I can’t listen to it without headphones if my little ones are around. This cost it a half star, for a resulting 4.5 stars, because I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I can’t wait for the expected release of War and Wind, the second book in the Tides series, in audiobook format - I look forward to purchasing it and listening to Kaitlin Bellamy perform the next part of Nile’s adventure!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It kept me on the edge of my seat

I loved this story from the beginning to end, it practically sucked me into its Universe. It was very well written, with interesting and well developed characters. The plot was excellent, and the pace was fast with many twists and turns.

At the beginning there were some moments which got me slightly confused due to many new characters and unknown universe, but the feeling quickly disappeared and all the puzzle pieces fell into place. The author explained the set up of the world fully, without going into unnecessary details.

The universe was fascinating, a bit of a fairy tale, magic, and harsh reality of the life of seamen. I loved Nile and I was holding me breath while following her struggles, decisions, suffering and triumphs. The graphic descriptions of punishments and cruelty on board of 'Aurora' made me want to cry. All the different characters, villains, good guys and those in between were given complicated personalities, none of them seemed like a cartoon cut out. Through the events of the story everyone had a chance to prove their worth or depth of his depravity. I found their fight to preserve their dignity, loyalty and honor fascinating.

I highly recommend this fast paced action book with a healthy dose of romance. Just a little warning, after I had finished this book, I had to start Book 2 immediately, though it was very late at night. So exercise caution.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very Engaging and Entertaining Story

Where does Air and Ash rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I was very pleasantly surprised to find I just couldn't stop listening to this engaging story with a wonderfully strong female lead. I just kept my earbuds in at all possible times only to get to the end where I found a cliff hanger. Looking forward to jumping into the next book. The narrator was terrific, bringing the characters to life by giving each wonderful accents.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Fun and Exciting Listen

If you haven’t heard of this book yet, I have no idea why – it’s amazing, it’s fun, and it features a kick ass heroine (and seafaring adventures, guys) that you will instantly fall in love with the book, the characters, and if you listen to the audiobook, you’ll also fall in love with the narrator because she does such a fantastic time bringing the story to life.

The whole plot of this book is so much fun – I’m always on the lookout for something new, and fantasy is my absolute favorite, so I was super stoked to check this book out, and I was definitely not disappointed. There are both magic and curses tangled within a complicated sea adventure that you really can’t put down.

The characters, especially the main character, Nile. She was fierce, she was determined to protect her people the best way she could, and she was so full of courage that I couldn’t help but find myself drawn into her. The way she is written and how the narrator voiced her was incredibly well done. She did such a great job on the other characters in the book too – some of them really made me smile, too. I would love to listen to other audiobooks by this narrator.

This is one of those books that really takes you out of the real world and along for an adventure. While I never really listened to that many audiobooks until recently, this is one that I really loved and was able to get into with no problem. I usually find my mind wandering and drifting when I listen to audiobooks, so when I find one that really captures my attention, it makes me so happy!

I also loved how detailed this story was – the author put a lot of time and creativity into this book, and it made it such a good read (or listen, in this case!).

The world building is amazing – there is so much detail and it paints such a beautiful picture of everything – the ocean, the ships – everything.

Definitely check this one out if you’re a fan of fantasy. This is probably one of the most interesting ones that I’ve picked up!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Magic Meets Adventure on the High Sea

Nile loves being second in command on the Ashling Royal fleet, her job as Princess​ means learning how to be a sailor first and foremost, and Nile would prefer to be at sea than anywhere else. But after waking in her own bed after an attack, Nile is told she has no new order and needs to remain at home. But when her "gifted" twin brother Clay repeats that she is to be married off to form an alliance, Nile realizes she needs to escape to attempt to find a cure for Clay. Disguising herself, Nile makes her way onto an anonymous vessel to work as a deck hand. But her hasty thrown together plan has so many holes in it that she may not be able to overcome, mainly being her new 2nd in command Dominick and her searing headaches.

​I purchased an ebook copy of this book that I stumbled across when it first came out in May and my interest was piqued by the cover as well as the synopsis, but I did not get a chance to read it and I may have inadvertently forgotten it was there. It sat lonely in my ereader until I saw that there was an audiobook tour for the book and I knew that I really wanted to read this story. I am so glad that I got the chance to experience the book, be it audio or not and I am glad I did not put it off again. Ash and Air was such a nice blend of well developed characters and fast, engaging plot. Once I started the book, it was nearly impossible to put it down until I reached the end. I was instantly absorbed by this story, right from the first chapter, lost in the action that comprised most of the book. ​The synopsis said this was for fans of Sarah J. Maas, which sure that is true, but I feel this would be perfect for Susan Dennard fans especially since this had the adventure magic mix that reminded me of Truthwitch (which is one of my favorite YA fantasy reads).

​I really, really enjoyed this audiobook, the narrator was fantastic, probably the best I have listened to recently and I am glad that I got to listen to the story as opposed to just reading (which is usually my favorite- and I am sure the book by itself is fantastic, I am just in love with the performance here). The narrator was able to create so many personalities and accents to go along with the characters, I was so immersed by her storytelling as if I was there right in the middle of the action.​ I felt everything right along with Nile, be it her anxiety, her growing powers, the confusion over her relationship with Dominic, her desire to help the ship- all signs of a great author as well as the narrator at how caught up I was in this world. I would listen to more audiobooks narrated by Kaitlin in a heartbeat, in fact I have already added a bunch to my audible wishlist.

Then ending of the story was right in the middle of a situation, making this a cliffhanger. I would love to get my hands on the next book as soon as possible, but I think I will wait until December when I read that book 2 will be available as an audiobook because I absolutely loved this experience. I highly recommend this story for anyone who likes strong female characters, adventure, magic and just a hint of romance. I will check out anything written by Alex in the future.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell and gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

High seas adventure & forbidden magic - I'm in!

I was pretty impressed with this story. It’s got high seas adventure, family turmoil, a hero on the run, inner demons, and impending war. Nile Greysik, AKA Nile Ash, had me sitting on the edge of my seat more than once. She comes from a family of proud naval service and she has a warrior’s heart. Her brother Clay can’t uphold the family honor so it’s left to Nile. Yet the thing I liked best is that Nile comes from a society were men and women can hold equal rank and take on any job. Yet because of her brother’s impairment, she has a great weight on her shoulders to carry on the family tradition.

Politics force Nile to flee from family and duty to try to make her own destiny. On the surface, the plot has a very familiar path. Lidell’s genius is in taking this well-trodden story backbone and putting a beautiful, entertaining face on it. Nile has all this training from a young age, as many young girls and ladies do, coming from a society that has a great amount of equality. However, then she steps into a culture that isn’t so equality-minded when she signs up on the first ship she comes across, the Aurora. There’s still women sailors, but with an incompetent captain and leaders who hand out harsh punishments, Nile has quite a bit to get used to.

Then there’s the magic in this world. Those that have magic are treated as the cursed, the magic often making them addled and unfit for any regular work. Nile’s brother Clay suffers from this and Nile is driven to find a cure. This becomes far more important as the story unfolds. The sheer potential for this magic to both tear apart or save Nile’s world is captivating. There were times when I was talking out loud to Nile, wanting her to win out over the magic.

There’s several other interesting characters. Catsper was my favorite. He’s a warrior both in heart and in training. He trains the young crew on hand to hand combat and provides extra training to Nile. While he has a rough outer countenance, he can also keep a secret. He does his best to keep the ship running smoothly despite Rima, the incompetent captain, and Johsina (who has quite the cruel streak). Anna makes an interesting counterpoint to Nile, since she wants to settle down and make babies.

Domenic Jana serves as the First Officer. While he’s known for handing out harsh punishments, he also tries to be fair about it. Since I first met him off the ship in a moment of weakness, I expected him to be a warm, fuzzy character on board ship. Not so! And this intrigued me. I want to know more about Domenic. While I didn’t really care for the romance angle, I still found this character worthy. Kendrick, a young lad of a sailor, starts to come into his own and I really hope we get to see more of him in Book 2.

In short, this is a fast-paced wind whipping tale of magic and duty. Despite the typical forbidden romance bit, I really enjoyed this tale. I want more! Luckily, I hear that Book 2 is coming to audiobook soon.

The Narration: Kaitlin Bellamy was so darn good! She really brought these characters to life. I feel she threw herself into this story living out each part of it. Her voice for Nile was perfect, capturing the myriad of emotions that Nile goes through. I found each of her characters distinct and her male voices believable. I especially liked her voice for Catsper, sounding so tightly controlled like he’s on the edge of violence. I also liked her voice for Clay, who often mimics those around him. She had to perform different accents for various cultures in this fantasy world and she did them well. Great narration all around!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KT Booklover
  • 12-17-17

Fabulous fantasy

The story is fabulous, with a kickass heroine in Ash and a simply gorgeous world. Kaitlin's narration was excellent and easy to listen to. Highly recommended.

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  • Lolah
  • 10-18-17

An excellent book, fabulously narrated. Highly recommended!

I listened to this as an audiobook, narrated by Kaitlin Bellamy, and she was an excellent narrator, really bringing the story to life. It's a great story, well-written, with characters that really help to drive the action, and full of drama. I really enjoyed the book, and would definitely recommend it to others who like fantasy books, or are just looking for something a bit different. And I'll definitely be reading or listening to the rest of the series as soon as I get the chance!
NB I received a complimentary copy of this book, but I always give an HONEST review based wholly on my own opinions