Well that’s a fascinating bit of worldbuilding. In a nutshell, it’s a world (or at least story) dominated by naval superiority–brought about by ships built on the literal bones of sea dragons. And what’s more, the sea dragons appear to have been hunted to extinction, making the warships all the more rare and valuable.
It’s a very cool root for the story and Barker only takes it from there with unique twists on vocab and word choice, a few other interesting bits of magic, and more naval everything than you can shake some paint at.
I do quite enjoy the characters as well. Setting the story around a prison ship? Not that unusual, but I really do love how much Barker makes the reader care for the people on it–and to see them grow together as a grow. Lucky Maes is of course awesome as well–and I do love the more alien birdman. Want to see what more is going on there for sure.
Overall, a great book and I’m glad to have read it. Onward to the sequels!