Friday, March 3, 2017

The Eyes of the Sea by Alberto Guaita Tello: a style analysis

This post is part of a series to augment the Tips for Writing Fiction available for free download.

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This post is also Part 2 of a series about Alberto Guaita Tello. Start with Part 1 here.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In Part 1 of this guest series, I provide the actual book review! The long-form style analysis below goes into much greater detail, diving into many aspects of storycraft, worldbuilding, and wordsmith techniques.

The Eyes of the Sea by Alberto Guaita Tello is Book One of the Twins of Telluria series, originally written in the author's native Spanish. This book was published in 2015 under the title Los Ojos del Mar with the same cover image. The English translation was released in 2016.


Five stars! This great story delivered something I've never seen before.


When a young healer chances upon an injured man outside her Cameroon village, she learns his strange appearance is because he is from another world.

As he recovers in her care, their love ignites an adventure that spans twenty years and two worlds.

This very clever book is translated from the original Spanish, and though I'm not a Spanish speaker, I could tell that the English translation of this novel kept true to Guaita Tello's original Spanish manuscript.

Each word felt pithy and well-intended, and the turns of phrase we use in English were adapted nicely from their Spanish equivalents.

Occasionally, I'd have to read a particularly long sentence over again to get its full meaning, but these instances were only because some English sentence constructions are bulkier and more long-winded than their Spanish counterparts.

The story itself goes far beyond what the novel's synopsis and book trailer lead me to believe.

The tale starts with the young healer and her grandmother assisting an injured stranger, but it quickly progresses through time. Their love is not really the focus of the story, but rather its inception.

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The true star of this story is their teenage daughter, featured on the book's cover, who attempts to unite her divided family against a growing tide of local animosity.

I loved the way Guaita Tello used verbal storytelling as an active element in his novel. Inspired by the bonfire stories of his youth in Africa, Guaita Tello expressed his tale partially in dialogue.

In contrast to the book's standard dialogue, the strange traveler told stories about his world that were vivid and flush with detail.

Vibrant modern Africa gleamed in Guaita Tello's prose as well; his colorful imagery made Cameroon come alive.

Overall, I was blown away by this epic fantasy crossover, and I look forward to more in Guaita Tello's series. I was so excited after finishing Guaita Tello's book that I emailed him my review before I'd even posted it online. Now I eagerly await Book Two!

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