My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary provided by publisher:
Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.
Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.
From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.
Okay, so when I first started reading this book, I couldn’t help but think of Veronica Roth‘s book Carve the Mark because of it’s constant mention of a ‘current’ that is revered for the individual gifts it bestows upon the people of CtM‘s world. So, when I hear people using the phrase ‘current carry them‘ in a religious context (after the death of a couple the MC knows), my mind couldn’t help but go back to the Roth book and its talk of the current. When I’d read other reviews for this book, no one else mentioned the similarities regarding the use of currents as a basis of power, so am I the only one who thought so after reading both books? I am? Okay, then I’ll move on…
This book didn’t quite draw me in until the MC Caro opens this mysterious box she’s been tasked with transporting from point A to point B – amidst dangers of pirates, and having to deal with some nosy family members – but that’s understandable, since action can breed more excitement and honestly, I still wasn’t too sure about this book (this book came in my Uppercasebox subscription, so who knows how soon I would have even picked up this book otherwise?), so it took the element of surprise to snare me. But once it did, I was hooked!
The story was engaging with all its action and Caro’s cleverness. But I will admit that all the boat (skiff? Not sure, shrug) terms were lost on me, and though I’d watched a video the author did for Uppercase, in which she explains the different terminology and locations of said boat (skiff? Whatever, it’s a boat from now on), I not only forgot everything, but had no idea what was going on when Caro would get into the boat stuff. A diagram or glossary would have helped tremendously for those boat-illiterate like me.
Seriously, though, I did enjoy the plot and would hate if I deterred you from reading this just because I personally was stumped by all the boat terms.
I feel like this review has been all over the place, ha ha, but I can’t forget to mention the characters before I actually finish, so I’ll start off with Caro, who was strong, smart, and very cool. Though her father isn’t able to be there to instruct her, she’s able to captain his boat, as well as deal with Tarquin, the boy who seems to tests her at every opportunity. She’s just a really interesting character, and I can’t wait to read more of her adventures!
I won’t go into Tarquin’s role, because there’s some spoilery mysteries that surround him, so I’d rather not give anything away, but I will say that he was perfect in his role, and I love him to pieces.
Minor characters abound, including Caro’s cousin Kenté, who brought an interesting dynamic to the boat. Oh, and could I forget Fee the frogman? If you read the book, you’ll learn more about these peoples, and the loyalty Fee brings to the story.
Well, now that I’ve rambled all over the place, I’ll conclude by saying that I really enjoyed this book and would be more than happy to recommend it!