Title: Sweet Black Waves
Author: Kristina Pérez
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.
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.
Y’all know that I struggle with fantasy sometimes, but this… This is what I want fantasy to be all the time. The sweeping romance and lush setting captured my heart in a way that fantasy doesn’t usually manage. The writing is gorgeous and almost aching in a way. You feel the character’s desperate need for each other, and for their circumstances to be different. I read this book in just a few sittings, and if I’m being honest with myself, I stretched out my reading time purposefully. I think I could have finished in one sitting if I had the time and opportunity. Sweet Black Waves is truly a beautiful book, and I urge all readers to experience it.
I’ll be totally honest here and say that I’m not at all familiar with the story of Tristan and Eseult. Honestly, all that I knew about that particular tale is the fact that it’s a quite melancholic story, rather than rainbows and butterflies. So, going into this book I figured I was about to be in pain. Right away I could feel the almost… desperate tone of the story and I knew something tragic and horrible was coming. YEAH. I wasn’t prepared for the pure heartbreak that the end of this book brought me. Prep some tissues, y’all. You’ll need them.
I give this book a solid 5 out of 5 stars, and I plan on rereading it again. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a truly heartbreaking but beautiful reading experience.