Tress of the Emerald Sea - A Very Cosmere Fairy Tale

Vaibhav Sharma


April 08, 2024

Tress of the Emerald Sea - A Very Cosmere Fairy Tale

So, diving into “Tress of the Emerald Sea” was like stepping into a different Sanderson universe, right? It’s got this light, fairy-tale vibe that’s not what you’d expect after books like Mistborn or Warbreaker. And Tress, she’s not your typical hero with crazy powers. She’s just super practical and thoughtful, which totally makes sense since she’s used to chilling on her own while washing windows.

Warning: May Contain Mild Spoilers

I totally loved how Sanderson showed us Tress’s uniqueness without making her “the chosen one.” And her dad! Instead of the usual unsupportive parent angle, we get this beautiful moment that really shows why Tress is so full of love and empathy.

It might seem that the person who can feel for others is doomed in life. Isn’t one person’s pain enough? Why must a person like Tress feel for two, or more? Yet I’ve found that the people who are the happiest are the ones who learn best how to feel. It takes practice, you know. Effort. And those who (late in life) have been feeling for two, three, or a thousand different people…well, turns out they’ve had a leg up on everyone else all along.

Empathy is an emotional loss leader. It pays for itself eventually.

It’s refreshing to see a character like Tress who’s confident and self-assured. We’re so used to seeing characters who have to overcome self-doubt, but Tress? She grows without losing herself, and she’s never arrogant because she’s always thinking of others.

Like a firm handshake in human form.

The world-building blew my mind! The spores, the seas, and the whole sciencey feel to it? Genius. And the Crow’s Song? Gave me major “One Piece” vibes. Captain Crow was basically Pirate Alvida in my head, no joke.

Tress would have made an excellent philosopher. In fact, she had already determined that philosophy wasn’t as valuable as she’d assumed — something that takes most great philosophers at least three decades to realize.

For someone new to the Cosmere, seeing Hoid in all his glory was super exciting. It’s tough to dodge spoilers, but man, the theories are flying! And the Dougs, Fort’s quest for his “HUNT,” and the twist with Ulaam being a Kandra? Mind. Blown.

That stupid shapeshifter was enjoying this. I swear, they’ve all been getting weirder ever since Sazed released them.

Okay, the Tosher story might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but hey, variety is the spice of life, right? And the tension with the spores, the sorceress showdown, and that gut-punch with Pakson’s death? Classic Sanderson, keeping us on our toes.

Heroism is often the seemingly spontaneous result of a lifetime of preparation.

I was rooting for Tress to take over the kitchen from the start, and when it finally happened, it felt like a key piece of her journey. And that dragon encounter? Handled with finesse. Plus, the whole Midnight’s Essence thing? As someone with Thalassophobia, that was intense.

Indeed, the path to a life without empathy is a long and painful one, full of bartered humanity sold at a steep discount.

The Phallic Tower being the Sorceress’s spaceship, the “Laptop,” “Tablet,” “Screens,” and “Hacking” stuff? I’m betting they’ll pop up again, maybe in Mistborn Era 3 - Ghostbloods.

Don’t wake me up unless Death himself has shown up, nails in his eyes.

If I had to nitpick, Riian’s motivation was a bit fuzzy, which isn’t like Sanderson at all. But the coolest part? I didn’t hate a single character, not even the baddies. And yes, not to forget the Cosmere Cat! I’m dying to know if they’re different like Loth cats or just regular Earth kitties.

Memories have a way of changing on us. Souring or sweetening over time—like a brew we drink, then recreate later by taste, only getting the ingredients mostly right. You can’t taste a memory without tainting it with who you have become.

So, that’s my take on “Tress of the Emerald Sea.” It’s a book that’s as fun as it is deep, and it’s got that Sanderson magic that makes you think, laugh, and gasp all the way through. What about you? What did you think?

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