Tress of the Emerald Sea
By: THE Brandon Sanderson
My Rating: FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS (If only there were more stars to give! ALL THE STARS!)
Best for: 12 and up
What’s better than The Princess Bride? BrandoSando is.
Ah, Brandon Sanderson. Thank you for sharing your stories. This was one of your best.
If you’re not a fan of Brandon Sanderson, you might not know Tress of the Emerald Sea has a history. Here’s the quick version:
During the down time of 2020, Brandon wrote 5 secret novels. He didn’t tell anyone–his team, his publisher, his fans. He wrote the novels for his wife and kids and shared them with them, but only revealed the existence of these novels in a now famous YouTube vid in March 2022. (–>See the original reveal here.<–) In the video–in the goofy, tongue-in-cheek way of Brandon–he “apologized” for being dishonest with his fans by hiding the novels and announced we could all get them via non-traditional publishing by backing a Kickstarter campaign. His Kickstarter goal was to raise $1 Million in 30 days to get the books published. The result? Brandon’s campaign made $1 Million in less than 24 hours, then went on to destroy all records with the largest Kickstarter campaign in history: over $42 Million in 30 days.
That was March 1st, 2022. Tress was delivered to my Kindle at midnight on January 1st, 2023! Happy New Year from Brandon Sanderson!
Tress of the Emerald Sea was simply spectacular–there’s no other way to describe the experience. Brandon was inspired by The Princess Bride when he wrote Tress, and you’ll find a similar tone and a fun twist with this story’s Buttercup–Tress–becoming pirate to rescue her “Westley.” The adventure! The characters! The dialogue! The voice! The art! French kiss. I don’t think I could have enjoyed the story more.
And if you’re a Cosmere fan…well…there’s an entire other level to love. Surprises and nuggets around on every page and around every corner. Just wait until you figure out who the narrator is!
Like the rest of the Cosmere books (Secret History, excluded!), Tress of the Emerald Sea can be enjoyed as a stand alone adventure story without any Cosmere background. All fans, rejoice! If you’re scratching your head every time you see the word “Cosmere” and wonder which of us is crazy, go read this article over at www.OneManBookClub.com.
Bottom line: I don’t think I could have enjoyed a reading experience more than I did while reading Tress of the Emerald Sea. Maybe the anticipation and excitement of the Kickstarter campaign contributed to my experience, but I kind of think I would be just as enamored going in with no expectations. Check out Tress on Goodreads…it’s currently Brandon Sanderson’s 2nd best reviewed book–and that’s saying a whole lot.
There are zero content concerns in Tress. Best for independent readers 12 and up, but accessible to anyone who can handle a 500-page, fairly complex fantasy story. I think I’ll add it to the list of books to read aloud to my kiddos.
P.S. Check our this AWESOME vid Brandon posted today with Mark Rober explaining the science behind the magic in Tress of the Emerald Sea!