Book Review: Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

Book: Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

Published June 2018 by Imprint|384 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Sweet Black Waves #1

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Re-Telling

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, will set Branwen against her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved.

Inspired by the legend of Tristan and Eseult, this is the story of the legend’s true heroine. 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.

I ended up really liking Sweet Black Waves.  I wasn’t sure about it at first, but the more I read, the more I liked it.

I’m only vaguely familiar with the story of Tristan and Eseult, and that’s only because of the movie that came ages ago.  I think I was expecting to see things from Eseult’s perspective, and not Branwen’s.  I still liked seeing things from Branwen’s POV, and it did make for a really interesting re-telling.

Knowing how the movie ended- which I know isn’t a great comparison, but the only one I have- I wasn’t sure how things were going to go.  I was surprised by the ending and the fact that there are going to more books.  We haven’t gotten the full Tristan and Eseult story, of course, and I don’t know how much Perez can drag this story out.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m planning on continuing the series, and I really want to know how it all ends.  I’m just a little hesitant, that’s all.

It didn’t go as in-depth as I would have wanted, and it does have quite a bit of drama in it.  Which is fine, but it didn’t really go too much into the Tristan and Eseult story.  I suppose we’ll see that in the other books.  I hope so anyway.  The book does set things up, and it did a pretty good job of that.  With how the book ended, it really made me wish the next book were out to see what happens next.  Branwen is definitely out for blood.

It’s also really well-researched, and I liked the author’s note at the end of the book.  She talks a lot about the choices she made regarding language and the source material.  You don’t need to be familiar with the story to like the book, but I did like that a lot of research went into the book.  It really showed, and I felt like I was really immersed in Branwen’s world.

I loved the magic in the book, and it felt very real.  It blended into Branwen’s life and world so well, and it made so much sense.  It was easy to understand, and it added something to the book.

4 stars.  Even though I didn’t love Sweet Black Waves, I still really liked it!

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