Tress of the Emerald Sea Book Review

Mickel Bailey, Student Life Reporter

On March 1, a well-established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson posted a video on his Youtube channel titled “It’s Time to Come Clean”. The video starts off as what seems like a standard apology video, with Sanderson making comments about how he has been “lying” to the audience and that “it was time to admit the truth”. Then, as the tension is stretched to the max, Sanderson, with a noticeable smile, plops down on the table before him a manuscript, and declares that he had written an extra novel.
The video continued with Sanderson explaining how the novel came to be, and how the time restraints he had before Covid were suddenly gone, and that 2020 was possibly his most productive year yet. All of this was established before Sanderson, still with a smirk of glee, plops down four more manuscripts.
Thus, what was now declared as “The Year of Sanderson”, was born, and with 2023 came new expectations for avid fantasy readers. Every three months of the year a new book was released; the titles are being kept secret until the novel’s release.
“Tress of the Emerald Sea” was the first of these secret projects and was released on January 1. “Tress of the Emerald Sea”. Sanderson went on to say that this novel is closer to the YA category of reading level, making the fanbase all the more grown for all ages.
“Tress was such a whimsical and cozy read,” Chemistry teacher Mr. Bertram said. “It was so easy to sit there and explore this absolutely insane magical world and just feel really good about life. I smiled, I laughed, the narrator particularly was extra witty. It was quite an enjoyable read.”
“Tress of the Emerald Sea” is set in Sanderson’s Cosmere universe, where multiple stories are told throughout different planets, but are interconnected in some way. The novel is set on the planet of Lumar, a planet that is inhabited by islands and spores. Spores are the main characteristic of the world; instead of a sea filled with salty water, it’s filled with deadly spores that are dense enough to carry ships.
As fascinating as the world sounds, what really shines in this novel is not only the amount of Cosmere references, but the characters themselves. Tress is not the perfect protagonist. In the pursuit of saving her love interest, Charlie, from an evil sorceress, she makes mistakes and bad calls, but unlike most, she doesn’t just jump to conclusions, but mulls over the information at hand before doing anything rash.
The entire story is told from another character’s point of view, funnily enough. It is told from the perspective of Hoid, a huge character within the Cosmere that many fans will find charming and hilarious. The change of perspective doesn’t take away from the story; it only seems to enhance it in a whimsical way that Sanderson has seemed to master throughout his career.
The majority of the story takes place in the spore filled seas, following the crew that Tress accidentally joins. The leader of the crew, Captain Crow, is the main antagonist, who is using the crew as a tool to get rid of some sort of curse that allows spores to live inside her in some symbiotic relationship.
The story flows a lot like The Princess Bride, which is what Sanderson intended. Sanderson has also gone out and said in one of his later videos that it was one of his main inspirations for the story.
Filled with whimsical prose and characters that seem to be as colorful and creative as the world itself, “Tress of the Emerald Sea” is a must-read for those who enjoy a fun adventure in the swashbuckling seas with a zesty fantasy twist.

Mr. Bertram with his E-Reader