I was recently given the chance to read Watersmeet by Rachel Cotterill and I jumped at the chance but not for the reasons you’d think! Watersmeet is the first book in The Twelve Baronies series and focuses on a girl named Ailith (Yes, you read correctly a girl! How many female leads are there in fantasy books? Now you can see why I wanted to read it right?!) Ailith thinks she is like everyone else until a stranger talks to her in her grandmother’s garden and she is led into a world of danger and magic in a quest to find the local priest’s missing son but not everything is as it should be.
I really enjoyed this book and, after looking back on my goodreads account (yeah I’m useless at remembering things), it only took me 4 days to read it. Now that’s not because it was short but I couldn’t put the book down! No jokes, I stayed up till 4am on a Saturday night to finish it.
I was captivated by both the characters and the writing of them. Especially the way that the characters had their flaws hidden from the reader at the start of the book. This was the case mainly for Garrick. At the start of the book I found him to be intriguing and I wondered how his character would play out and if there would be a relationship between him and Ailith but as the story progressed his selfish and self-important persona emerged and my earlier liking of him quickly vanished. I suppose in a sense that was how Ailith’s perception of him changed as well.
I found Ailith to be a refreshingly strong minded and independent character and also well rounded. Although she is incredibly powerful it isn’t only her power wit magic that is her asset, she is also intelligent and is able to use the two combined to unlock the secrets of a more powerful type of magic than anyone has been able to use for centuries. Now some people may find this to be far fetched but I think it worked because it showed that the strength of the magic doesn’t mean anything without the intelligence to work out how to use it. Surely that is more realistic than some things? Also, I got the impression that the magic, in this world, came from your own inner strength and the more powerful you are shows how strong you are as a person. It also helps that we find out Ailith’s grandmother was also a strong and powerful wielder of the magic.
I don’t want to give too much of the story away as I think it is one of those books that is better off without being spoiled and you really should be allowed to read it freely without having already heard too much! (And I fear that I may have already told too much!)
The book is available on e-readers and I think that some paperback versions of it have just been printed but I suggest going to amazon or wherever you normally buy your e-books from to check it out, especially if you are a lover of fantasy and want to read more strong female leads!
Rating 4.5/5 stars