Sea of Ink and Gold: A Reality of Magic and Danger


Ciara Ellis-Green

Sea of Ink and Gold is a series of three books written by Californian author Traci Chee. The trilogy starts with the book The Reader, which introduces us to the protagonist Sefia and her “aunt” Nin, who live as nomads travelling through the made-up world of Kelanna, which consists of five main islands that make up the five kingdoms of Kelanna: Deliene, Oxscini, Liccaro, Everica, and Roku.

We soon find out that Sefia and Nin are avoiding the soldiers of Oxscini, known as the Red Coats, as they live their lives as thieves. But it becomes clear that the Red Coats aren’t the real enemy when Nin is kidnapped by a group of mysterious people searching for an object that they think Nin has: a book.

You see, the strange thing about Kelanna is that there is no written language. No reading. The only book they have is “The Book,” which remains a mystery to almost everyone, including Sefia, who had come into possession of it through her parents. But she isn’t aware of the power it holds.

Sefia then begins the search for her aunt, teaching herself how to read on the way, and soon she discovers the magic held in the pages.

The following books, The Speaker and The Storyteller, surround Sefia’s journey of finding the deeper truths behind The Book and her fight against fate as she learns to use and control her magic and save the people she loves.

These books are filled with so much detail and a wonderfully elaborate storyline that it is hard to stop reading. Throughout the three books, many different characters are introduced, and they begin to connect as the story progresses. The world that these books bring the reader into is so detailed and well thought out that it feels real; it transports the reader into a reality of magic and danger.

This series has easily become one of my favorites. From its thrilling storyline to its captivating detail and exciting plot turns, it’s the type of series that is hard to put down. The characters are all so unique and fascinating that I easily became attached to them. Chee shows the good sides of the bad guys and the flaws in the protagonists, giving depth to each and every character and making them feel real.

It was difficult to finish this series because of how attached I had become to the world held within them; these are the kinds of books that I wish would just go on forever.

I highly suggest Sea of Ink and Gold to anyone who enjoys fantasy, adventure, or action books. And even if these are not your favorite genres, I still think they are worth reading even if it’s just to try something new.