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I'm hard to please and the YA book world is saturated with so-so badly written templates. This is a fabulous read. It's different, beautifully and elegant written in sensible prose, with realistic characters who are both flawed and complex. No incessant stream of pithy jibes whilst fighting pirates, and magical accumulation of skills overnight. Real character development and a unique system of magic pulls you into this story.
Caro is a headstrong girl who finds herself transporting unusual cargo when her father is imprisoned. This is a modern swashbuckling adventure that keeps you turning the page. She wants the God of the River, who speaks to the river people in the Language of Small Things, to acknowledge her. But it is not the river that drives her fate. More please.
Plot: Caro had her future all outlined, she would inherit the family boat and live her days on the river like a true wherryman. Her plans went to hell when she was forced to deliver a package to a neighboring kingdom and deal with a boy who clearly had never set foot on a boat. Unexpectedly, Caro found herself with unlikely allies and a key player in a political scheme.
I don't know how to start this review. I have written words and deleted words multiple times and looked up synonyms for "great." No matter what I say, it won't truly describe how much I loved this book. From the start, you could tell that Song of the Current was going to be a non-stop adventure. The plot is your basic political betrayal, but it pulled from a lot of other happenings in the Song of the Current world which I'm eagerly awaiting to learn more about in the sequel.
Characters: Be still my heart; Caro was everything and I wanted and more. Raised by her father, Caroline wasn't afraid to get down and dirty and would do anything to protect her home. She was headstrong, fearless, and unsure of her place in life. I loved her because she thought that she was destined for a quiet river life and saw herself as a "sidekick" in someone else's story.
Caro was also biracial and I found it really interesting how Tolcser handled race relations in this fantasy world. I recommend checking out this blog post the author wrote before reading Song of the Current, because it's great insight into Tolcser's intentions and hopes for Caro's portrayal.
Okay enough of that, can we talk about the kissing? Because the kissing, it killed me guys! The romance was my all-time favorite trope of "enemies-to-lovers" and those two were at each other's throats 90% of the time. The banter was witty and had me laughing out loud at times, and I absolutely adored how the author wrote their journey to each other and her subtle thoughts on love and attraction.
Worldbuilding: Sarah Tolcser wrote one of the most authentic fantasy worlds I've seen in a while. Tolcser clearly had a deep love for life on water and her passion for it spilled onto the pages. She incorporated regional dialects, traditions, and local mythologies. Song of the Current took place mostly on water but it never felt limiting. I grew to love wherryman life and easily fell into Caro's day to day motions on the river.
Short N Sweet: Song of the Current took my breath away with Caro's sass and the beauty of the river lands. This is a series I'll be talking about for a long time.
I don’t know if I would’ve picked this one up if Rachel hadn’t told me to (while comparing it to CROWN DUEL!), so let me tell you right now: don’t make the same mistake I did. SONG OF THE CURRENT is a fun adventure story, full of pirates, magic, political intrigue, and romance that reminded me a lot of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but with more feminism.
I loved Caro. She tries to present herself to the world as so sure of herself, but she’s really not. Throw in the fact that she’s on her own for the first time ever after her father is thrown into jail, and that her plans of rescuing him are thrown awry when it turns out the super secret shipment she’s carrying has severe political implications that send a fleet of pirates after her, and things get very dicey very quickly.
I don’t want to comment too much on the romance for fear of spoiling anything, but it’s my favorite part of the book. It’s a hate to love romance (MY FAVORITE), plus Caro doesn’t put up with anything from [redacted]. Plus, [redacted] is used to getting anything he wants whenever he wants it, and spends most of the book unlearning this. Plus, there is consent, explicitly on the page. Everything about it is fantastic.
And this world was just so much fun to spend time in. The way the world is developed, made me feel like I was right there in the riverlands with Caro, and in all of the different cities and towns they hid from the pirates in along the way. And the way the political landscape was woven in without it being too info dumpy was fantastic.
Overall, excellent world building, a fast-paced adventure, and political intrigue made this one of my favorite series from last year. Make sure to give this one a shot!
I loved this book - the first novel by author Sarah Tolscer was well written, detailed and a great read. I couldn't put it down.
Caro is our heroine. And she doesn't need someone to save her, thankyouverymuch. She has everything figured out, while she's waiting to hear from the river god, like the rest of her ancestors. She takes on cargo to save her father, and soon finds herself in the middle of a great adventure. The cargo isn't just any old shipment - it is a courier with a vital message to be delivered. There's pirates, fights, and a love story with Tarquin ... who isn't quite what he seems. Caro learns to trust herself, trust others, and finally finds her destiny in the sea.
I highly recommend this - I can't wait for the next one - I want to know what happens next!
What fun this was! Caro is the daughter of a wherryman, hauling cargo up and down the rivers with a Fee, a frog person as a voluntary first mate. This very plot driven adventure is launched with the arrest of her father for smuggling and a bargain for his release that would require Caro to deliver a mysterious box to a city down the river. There are twists, turns, adventure, treachery, battles, and romance ahead for our intrepid heroine. It would spoil the story to describe it in any detail. But, there are pirates, privateers, storms, magic, high seas, a drakon, frogpeople, shadowmen, gods, and more to catch your imagination. How great is that! This view of the fantasy world is primarily from the water but you can tell that there are people, kingdoms, and politics boiling on land. There is violence with blood and death, but not a lot of graphic details. There is sex and romance, but again, not a lot of graphic details. This book was a Kindle bargain and it was good entertainment. It is not a book group book and it will not change your life, but it was very entertaining. It is the kind of book that might make a reader out a young person just because the fantasy adventure keeps you turning the pages quickly and that actually might change the world.
Full disclosure: some of my books are also published by Bloomsbury, and I received a copy of this book for free from the author. That said, I rarely review books unless I love them, and this is my fair and unbiased opinion.
I had the opportunity to read SONG OF THE CURRENT before publication, and I absolutely fell in love with the characters and the writing. I've never really had any interest in sailing or boating, but this made Caro's wherry and the river itself seem like such an AWESOME place to be. I'm in awe of books where the atmosphere is so well written that you don't feel like you're being bowled over by setting, and Sarah is masterful at developing a sense of *place.* This book belongs on everyone's shelf.
This book earned 5 stars for its characters, setting, dialogue, and sheer pleasure of reading it. I love the unapologetic female characters and the male characters who let them be who they are, treating them as equal partners. There is even a bit of breaking down of the fourth wall that is a nice touch, admitting this is Caroline's story. I highly recommend this to all females who enjoy adventure and could use a reminder that the prince doesn't have to solve all the problems and a girl does not need to be a princess to carry a story or have a happy ending/beginning.
First off I'm not a regular reader of fantasy of any kind but a family member was reading this book and the cover looked intriguing. The adventure started almost immediately after introducing the setting and characters and I was hooked. The pace was perfect in my opinion and the story was credible despite some creatures but those have human characteristics so this worked for me. The themes of looking for your life adventures and not waiting for them to come to you and also the belief in a higher (even if found lower) being guiding our lives are grounding base elements often missing in today's crazy world.
An amazing pirate story where woman take control. A hate to love romance with just the right amount of tension! Constant action and a beautiful world. A perfect read for anyone who loves the sea, pirates or just wants a good fun action packed story!!