ARC Book Review: Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez

Book: Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez

Expected Publication Is August 27 2019 by Imprint|Expected Number Of Pages: 384 pages

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: Sweet Black Waves #2

Genre: YA

Inspired by the legend of Tristan and Iseult, Wild Savage Stars is the spellbinding sequel to Sweet Black Waves.

Branwen has a secret powerful enough to destroy two kingdoms.

Her ancient magic led to a terrible betrayal by both her best friend, the princess Essy, and her first love, Tristan. Now this same magic is changing Branwen. Adrift in a rival court, Branwen must hide the truth from the enemy king by protecting the lovers who broke her heart―and finds herself considering a darker path.

Not everyone wants the alliance with Branwen’s kingdom to succeed―peace is balanced on a knife’s edge, and her only chance may be to embrace the darkness within…

I really liked Wild Savage Stars!  It’s a great follow-up to Sweet Black Waves, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

This book picks up where the first book left off, and in this book, we see Essy and Branwen in Kernyv.  We spend quite a bit of time with Tristan’s family- especially Marc and Ruan.  Branwen’s relationship with Marc was particularly interesting, and I hope they’re able to move past everything.

I will say, though, that a lot of the characters have messy and complicated relationships with each other.  Branwen and Essy’s relationship has changed a lot as well, and there is one moment in particular that I’m really curious about.  I won’t give it away here, but it is a moment that really changes things between them.  There are a few things that change their relationship over the course of the book, and they all stand out, but this one really stands out, and I’m not sure why.

With those moments between Branwen and Essy, I did find myself wanting to see things from Essy’s point of view.  I would love to get inside her head, even for a chapter or two, just to see what’s going on in her head.

I really love the world, and I really felt immersed in it.  I don’t know what it is about this world but I really like it, and I can picture everything so clearly.  There’s just something about the world and the magic and the characters that keep me reading.  I would love to see this as a movie or tv show, especially if it focused on Branwen.

Something else I really like about this book is that it does focus on Branwen, and how she sees the story of Tristan and Isolde unfold.  It is great to see their story from someone else’s perspective, and I’m getting more interested to see how everything is going to end.  I’m assuming this series is going to be a trilogy, because the story is far from over, and I honestly can’t see how it’s going to be more than three books.

With the first book, I was a little concerned how the story would work over the course of a series, but I was worried about nothing.  Perez has broken up the story in books really, really well, and so far, the two books have ended in a pretty good place.  I want to keep reading, and even though they don’t end on cliffhangers, the endings are still really great endings that make me interested to see what will happen next.

4 stars.  I really liked Wild Savage Stars, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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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!