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Literature / Across a Jade Sea

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"Moon-eyed is when you invent a character for someone so that you can dream silly dreams about a perfect future with him. If I say you are the sort of man who refuses to burden others with his troubles, who will always treat me with respect and courtesy even when your are exhausted or in pain, who listens to my ideas, who won't abandon me when things get rough, and who will give up even his own needs in order to see to mine- what part of that did I invent?"

Batiya is working on an ocean liner as an apprentice engineer, when she helps rescue some foreigners stranded in a lifeboat. Among them is Chunru Dachahl Pralahnru, a mysterious man on a diplomatic mission to Xercalis from the Changali empire. But the men that originally sunk his ship are not willing to leave it at that, and attack the ship that rescued him. Batiya finds herself castaway at sea in a lifeboat with the stranger who's life she just saved.

As the two of them face death rescuing each other from pirates and assassins, Batiya finds herself falling for Chunru, even though she doesn't know much about his personal life. He too has romantic feelings towards her, but this has an unfortunate side effect of making Batiya a target too.

Across a Jade Sea is a trilogy of adventure romance novels, set in an original world without magic. Books in the series are:

  1. Serendipity's Tide
  2. Treachery's Harbor
  3. Fealty's Shore

This series contains examples of

  • All There in the Manual: There's a lot of background information about the world in the glossary.
  • Anchored Ship: Forang is living in shame, and Chloys' status is too lowly to be worthy of a noble. Anything that would make one feel worthy of the other would make the other feel even less worthy, so the relationship goes nowhere even though they're both interested in each other.
  • Assassination Attempt: Several attempts are made on Chunru's life.
  • Attempted Rape: Batiya gets captured by pirates after diverting their attention away from Chunru. Fortunately, Chunru is able to rescue her before anything happens.
  • False Flag Operation: The initial attack that left Chunru shipwrecked was done by a Tertar ship wearing the flag of a different Tertar faction.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Changali, where Chunru is from, has parallels with east Asia, while Batiya's country feels more European.
  • Foreign Queasine: Chunru seems to have experience with this trope, and so he refuses to tell Batiya what's in the food she's eating from his country so that it will taste better.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: Batiya and Chunru get married after having known each other for only a couple of weeks, and they spent most of that time too injured to do much.
  • Given Name Reveal: Chunru is a title reserved for the imperial heir. Dachahl is actually his given name.
  • Important Haircut: Anytime anyone from Changali cuts their hair, it is significant because cut hair is a sign of disgrace.
  • Inside Job: The masterminds behind the attacks on Chunru come from his own country. One of the dangers of the scholar's revolt is that they have this power.
  • Internal Retcon: In the third book, a man shoots his brother to save their family. Dachahl has it reported as a suicide.
  • Killing in Self-Defense: It frustrates Chunru just how bothered people get when he kills people that are trying to kill him and his wife.
  • Leave Behind a Pistol: Chunru tries to offer this to a traitor, since it would spare the traitor's family from being executed.
  • Lost at Sea: In the first book, Batiya and Chunru end up lost at sea when their ship is attacked. The lifeboat they're in is understocked, leaving them with a water shortage and no easy means of attracting the attention of another ship.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Batiya and Chunru are of two different races, which some people have issues with. A whole lot of people, since Chunru is the son of the emperor.
  • Married at Sea: Batiya and Chunru get married at sea, since otherwise they'd have trouble getting into different foreign countries and this allows them to stay together.
  • Marry for Love: One of the royal families in Changali supposedly has a curse that bad luck will fall on any member that doesn't do this.
  • Massively Numbered Siblings: Batiya comes from a large family and has two sisters and four brothers.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Chunru never doubts Batiya's fidelity, however much he enjoys being jealous over her. Chunru's father on the other hand is perfectly willing to take reports of Batiya embracing other men at face value.
  • The Mole: Foha, the translator, is deliberately trying to sever relationships between Xercalis and Changali.
  • Morning Sickness: One of the first signs of Batiya's pregnancy is morning sickness. She initially attributes it to seasickness since she's been traveling by boat.
  • Not My Driver: The people driving the car were actually the ones who were supposed to be driving it, but Chunru wasn't expecting the assassins after him to include his own people.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Chunru's father objects to his marriage with Batiya, which is a problem because Chunru isn't considered legally married in his home country unless his father approves it.
  • Pocket Protector: At one point, Batiya is saved from a bullet by the prayer tokens she was wearing as part of her wedding celebration in Changali. It does crack her ribs.
  • Rescue Romance: Chunru and Batiya fall in love after spending most of their time together saving each others life.
  • Royal Brat: Princess Lulahn doesn't do much besides deliberately ignoring Batiya or otherwise acting like a spoiled brat.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Emperor of Changali is working to modernize his country by installing telegraph lines and introducing public schools. Since Chunru is the imperial heir, he definitely qualifies for this too.
  • Threatening Shark: Batiya nearly looses her hand to a shark while lost at sea when she tries to wash Chunru's bloodstained shirt.
  • Translation with an Agenda: The Changali embassy's letters are deliberately altered by the translator to sabotage the relationship between Changali and Xercalis.
  • Wrench Wench: Batiya is a female engineer that works with ship engines. Chunru gives her a broken clockwork box as a present since he knows how much she'd enjoy fixing it.