Wow! What a book. I literally ran right out and bought the sequel, even though it's still in hardcover, and I almost never do that. Of course, chances are The Ruling Sea will also leave off in a huge damn cliffhanger, and I'll be out of luck until the next one comes out. There's always a next one, isn't there?
Anyhoo, here's the Amazon link if you want to check it out, which you should, although the synopsis there (copied below) doesn't really give you the full scope of it. It's enough to say that the main characters are all sympathetic and engaging, the baddies, while a little vague, are suitably bad, the worldbuilding is effortless, the technical detail is fantastic, and the magic is quirky without being... overly fanciful.
Insane god-kings, miniature warriors and sentient animals fight over a powerful ancient artifact in Redick's dramatic, complex debut. The Mzithrin and Arquali Empires have been locked in a 40-year cold war over the resources and riches of the Crownless Lands on their common frontier. Now the Chathrand, a floating city built as much by sorcerer as shipwright, bears young Thasha, an unwilling bride to an enemy prince. No one seems sure whether this is a sincere attempt to bind the two empires together in peace or merely a gambit in their political games. The tense atmosphere soon erupts as various factions struggle to find and control the myth-wrapped Red Wolf. Both adult and young adult readers will find much to enjoy in this tale of sea-faring and bloody diplomacy.