I gave this young adult fantasy a 4.4/5 stars. It was all written in one point of view in first person past tense and flowed so well. I’m starting the sequel right away.
Here’s my live thought while reading:
I was a bit confused in the first few pages but by the end of chapter one the events were a bit more clear. A group of attackers, maybe the Black Dogs pirate crew burned and sank a bunch of ferries at a harbor. The survivors aren’t sure why since they didn’t steal anything. Seventeen year old Caro(line) is already separated from her father and is trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Will her wherry, the Cormorant, be struck next? Will she join the civilians’ plot in revenge? Will her father come back safely? What exactly are the frogmen?
I love how the stakes are raised so early on and I feel her nerves but bravery in volunteering. She made that choice instead of being forced to which gives her agency. The ominous comments from her father and townspeople have me and Cora both wondering what exactly they mean. What’s her cargo? Will she meet a river god? Will her fate come to her on this trip? What was in the fine print of the contract? Will she earn the 10 silvers and free her father?
Why use the sleeping spell?
If the message is so important why is it shared so easily. It makes the messenger not seem vital.
Oooh what’s the letter say?
Who is the messenger’s father?
What secret does he know that Caro doesn’t?
I love that they want to do to different places. Perfect tension.
I love the adventure aspect of their journey. Even though they’re hiding, they’re making choices to move the plot forward. Their relationship is slowly building from hatred to tolerance. His spoiled and privileged attitude has shifted a little so he’s a bit more likable.
I like that’s she’s wrestling with her identity of which family she “belongs to” since her parents are so different.
At the halfway mark, Markos is growing on me. I like that he’s not a completely useless snob anymore. I’m unsure if Caro should’ve filled in her mom or not.
Oooh can we trust Kente? And the possible foreshadowing of the drakon is getting me excited. But why isn’t the river god answering Caro?
The end of chapter 26 is interesting because it felt like the end. And it was indeed not because something about it felt too easy.
The last chapter felt very abrupt with all the transitions from place to place and person to person.
But I’m very satisfied with the ending, how it both resolves the story of the first and leaves the situation set up for a sequel. I’m reading “Whisper of the Tide” next.