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Monday, June 04, 2018

Release & Review - Sweet Black Waves (Sweet Black Waves #1) by Kristina Pérez

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: Sweet Black Waves
(Sweet Black Waves #1)
Author: Kristina Pérez
Age Category/Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: June 5th, 2018
Publisher: Imprint

Not you without me, not me without you.

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them. 

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what's right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she's ever loved. 

Inspired by the star-crossed tale of Tristan and Eseult, this is the story of the legend’s true heroine: Branwen. For fans of Graceling and The Mists of Avalon, this is the first book of a lush fantasy trilogy about warring countries, family secrets, and forbidden romance.

Buy Links: Amazon
3.5. "Sea and Magic" Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Imprint

I'm not very familiar with the tale Tristan & Iseult, so I won't comment on that. Still, if you're like me, I'm sure you'll still find plenty to enjoy while reading this story.

For me, Sweet Black Waves gave me its best during the first half, especially the first third of the story. There world was described in beautiful details, the main character (Branwen) struggled with what she thought right and wrong and still managed to do the right thing, the love interest won my heart as he stole hers, the relationship between Branwen and her cousin Essy had some truly adorable moments, and all was well in the world.

Speaking of the world...Despite going with some big fantasy tropes, the author still managed to create a world that felt interesting and rich. The hatred between the people of Iveriu and the people of Kernyv served as a great background not only to the love story, but also to what seems to be the theme for the rest of the trilogy. We didn't get to see much of Kernyv, but Iveriu seemed like a beautiful place. No wonder Branwen was willing to do anything to protect it.

Now, things started getting a little weird for me when the magic system kicked in. There was nothing particularly wrong with the magic, but it influenced the plot and the characters in a way that annoyed me. Branwen started making some dubious choices that were clearly going to come back and haunt her. Her obsession with saving her country and playing with what she judged was her cousin's hapiness went way too far. To make matters worse, her cousin, Essy went from spoiled to OMG, please, someone shake some sense into this girl ASAP. Even the romance lost some of its sparkle, and let me tell you, it was a pretty swoony romance.

Not even pirates coming into the scene had the intended effect on me, which is something I never thought I'd say because PIRATES!

Then the big twist in the end happened and all I could think was, "Well, Branwen, you brought that on yourself, didn't you?", which shouldn't have been my reaction because the thing was pretty heartbreaking.

I'm afraid the second half of the story wasn't as rich, romantic and interesting as the first, but I'm still interested in learning what will happen next in the trilogy.

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

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