Tuesday, May 8, 2018

ARC Review: Sweet Black Waves

About The Book:

  Title:  Sweet Black Waves 
  Author: Kristina Perez 
  Pub. Date:  June 5th, 2018 
  Publisher: Macmillan 
  Pages: 448
  Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings 
  Rate: 3.5/5 stars 

Synopsis :

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 Iseult, 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.


"Odai Eti Ama - I hate and I love"

Sweet Black Waves is a new YA fantasy inspired by the tale of Tristan and Iseult. I was immediately drawn in by the summary of this book and the power dynamics between her cousin and love interest. This book was such a good fantasy and while I didn't love the romance, the conflicts and situations were so intriguing and the writing was so moving that it didn't matter. 

The world-building was so beautiful in this novel. There were so many places and characters in this novel to remember but not once did it seem overwhelming. When I opened the book there were pages upon pages of names and descriptions and I was thinking "oh gosh what am I getting myself into"? But it wasn't like that at all and I rarely had look at the descriptions of the characters. It was crafted perfectly. I didn't like the insta-love between Branwen and Tristan. I understood why it was necessary to the novel but it just left a sour taste in my mouth. I think their love was actually supposed to drive the novel, but for me it was the magic. 

I loved Branwen and her cousin Essy. Branwen was fierce and loyal, everything you would imagine  the heroine of a fantasy novel would be. Essay was a privileged brat, but her character was so well developed I loved it and it added so much to the story. Branwen's love interest, Tristan, bored the heck out of me. He blew so many compliments up Branwen's ass when they first meet that I thought my eyes were going to be lodged in the back of my head because I was rolling my eyes so much. At the end of the book, he finally got a tad bit more interesting but lets be honest, the familial relationship between Branwen and Essy is the real star of this novel. 

This novel was inspired by Tristan and Iseult, but honestly I've never even heard of that tale. So, I guess if you are familiar with that tale you would be interested in this! The fantasy in this book was rocking and the world-building was phenomenal. Branwen and Essy were beautifully developed characters, but I did not love the romance between Branwen and Tristan. Maybe it was just me but I can't get over instalove like that. I will probably pick up the second book, but I'm hoping the romance either gets better or disappears completely. Have you heard of Tristan and Iseult? Will you be pre-ordering this book? 
Thank you to Macmillan for providing
this book in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn


  1. Nice review! I was just starting to see this one more frequently around the blogosphere so I thought I'd read your review since it was the first to pop up in my feed! Now that I know what it's about, I am not so sure if it's for me. Like you, I can't handle a story surrounding an instalove affair. It just bores me. Especially instalove.

    Tristan and Iseult was like the Romeo and Juliet before Romeo and Juliet if I can remember correctly. Some odd years ago there was a movie about the story, if it's an actual story I can't say. But basically an earlier version of R&J. Never really interested me, so yeah, I didn't see it either! Lol!

    Nice review all the same! Not sure this one's for me, but glad to hear you liked parts of the story!

    1. Ohh! Thank you for letting me know! I literally have never heard of them before so I wasn't able to compare it to the original tale. I did enjoy it but I didn't like the insta-love. If you do decide to read it, I will look forward to your review :)