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3.5 STARSI d be lying if I said I wasn t wholly enjoying all the YA pirate fantasy fiction that s being released, and the Song Of The Current series consistently has the most gorgeous covers The first book in the series was a solid debut to an intriguing twist on some of the ancient folklore in the genre, and I felt Whisper Of The Tide was just as solid of a sequel The story continues in the following of a strong female protagonist, and this plot also features mystery, action sequences, and just enough romance There was a satisfying wrap up to most of the threads that were left open in the first novel and upon finishing the book I realized just how much I ve enjoyed reading about these characters, and also just how much I ll miss them again Highly recommended to fans looking for another pirate fantasy adventure, but definitely start with Song Of The Current to keep from being confused and spoiled for the many twists and turnsI received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley. Caro Oresteia Spent Her Life Waiting To Be Called By The River God, As Those In Her Family Had Been For Generations But When She S Swept Away On An Adventure To Save The Akhaian Royal Prince, Markos, Her Destiny Is Sealed By The Sea God InsteadFor Now, Caro Is Landlocked, Helping Markos Reclaim His Throne After Nearly His Entire Family Was Assassinated In A Political Coup Without Any Financial Or Military Support, Markos Is Desperate For Allies, And Caro Has Fought Off Than One Attempt On His Life When A Powerful Archon Offers His Army In Exchange For Markos S Marriage To His Daughter, Caro Must Choose Her Love For Markos, Or The Fate Of Akhaia And Importantly How Much Is She Willing To Risk To Defy The Sea God S Wishes And Chart Her Own Course With Shipwrecks, Lost Treasure, Old And New Enemies, Dark Magic, And Breathtaking Romance, Sarah Tolcser Weaves Another Epic Story About Chasing Your Fate Not to brag but I ve already read an early version of this and it s super satisfying and super fun. Maybe 4.5 stars, but I loved it Just as in Song of the Current, Caro Markos s banter chemistry lit up the pages I really like that Caro carves out her own fate from the expectations and demands everyone else places on her Full review to come.11 7 17 crying LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL THAT COVER IS HOLY COW 4 27 17 I m about halfway through Song of the Current, and the way it s going, I m going to need the sequel ASAP ARC received from the publisher via Netgalley for a fair review A ship was not meant to sit at anchor in the harbor, and neither was I Join Caro as her adventure continues with the emparch, Markos, who is continuously being attacked as he attempts to get his country back Caro starts to question who she is and her purpose as she struggles with the idea of being emparchess and parting with the sea This swashbuckling romance will keep you turning pages to the very end.The StoryFrom the very first chapter till the end I loved following Caro as she discovers who she is and what she really wants to do with her life I couldn t help cheering Caro on while she struggled with her star crossed love life that just didn t want to be harmonious with her sea life.Even though much of the story the characters were struggling to just stay alive or were fleeing capture, the story still had a plot and direction If you re looking for an action packed pirate adventure then I would say check this series out Between the love story, actual pirating, a treasure map, and being cast away on the island you are sure to be entertained the whole way through.The World BuildingThere is so much ship jargon in this book I loved it in the first book with the wherries, and I loved it again in this book It s not an overwhelming amount that if you don t know the directions on a boat that you wouldn t be able to understand, but having the language there helped bring the feel of the ship to life.It was fun to learn a little bit about the favoritism of the various gods, but not to the point that it took away from the adventure I love that the ocean god has a snarky attitude that fits with Caro s.We also get a little bit of fun with of the shadow magic through Kente winner of cousin of the year for being so faithful to Caro Though at times I thought the shadow magic ended up being a little too convenient, I appreciated that it wasn t 100% fool proof and that there were still obstacles that interfered with it s capability.The CharactersThis book made me want to watch the first two Pirates of the Caribbean s You know when they were still good The dynamic of Caro and Melanos just reminded me so much of Elizabeth Turner and Jack Sparrow.I thought their trust hate relationship really helped drive the story along, as you tried to decide if Melanos was going to be a bad guy or not by the end of the book I was a nice way to keep you on your toes.Caro has this selfishness that she has to overcome where all her decisions seem like they re about what s best for Markos, but at the same time she just wants a bit of everything I loved that she just didn t have everything figured out, and was willing to make some sacrifices in the end.The SoundtrackEisley Currents Blog Bookstagram Instagram Twitter You can find the full review and all the fancy and or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Honestly, I was a little hesitant to start this one I liked, but didn t love the first book But I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to get into this sequel The elements that I enjoyed from the last book were still in play Caro being full of awesomeness, her banter with Markos, and the atmospheric world building There s a ton of at sea adventure in this book, and Caro sailing feels so, so right.But there was definitely at stake in this book It seemed much less safe than the first, which was actually my biggest gripe with Song of the Current So for this to seem a bit urgent, dangerous, made it a much better read for me In fact, I was pulled in almost immediately by the direness of it all The plot never lagged for me, and I was engaged the whole time.There s also some new better fleshed out side characters in the mix that made the book all the enjoyable One of my favorite aspects of this book is Caro s relationship with a villain of sorts to say any would be spoilery, but it was fabulous The banter and snark that we ve grown to love comes out in full force The only thing I wasn t totally thrilled with was a bit of predictability and a little bit of lack of communication trope from our romantic duo.The ending, if it is the ending of the series I have no idea, but it seems to be only the two books for now is definitely satisfying So if it remains a duology, I think readers will be quite pleased with the direction this book takes Bottom Line Definitely stronger than the first, I highly enjoyed this sequel set in a watery world of political chaos. 4.25 5 No Spoilers.I really enjoyed the sequel much than the first book You can really tell the author has grown and feels incredibly confidant within the world.Instead of having to focus on the world building, we were able to focus on the characters and their struggles.The plot certainly took a completely different direction than I thought, which was GREAT I was thinking this story would lose its nautical tones and influences, but it ended up being the exact opposite.The return of one of the most complex characters from the first book I think had to be my favorite part He was hysterical, and I couldn t stop grinning the entire time I have so many jokes marked off in the ARC because he s just so funny I also enjoyed watching the maturation of Caro because she was very insecure even at the end of book one It was a gradual and nice change because people certainly do not change with the snap of their fingers Her relationship with Markos also felt real if that makes sense It was really genuine and sweet.By the way the villains in this story are so numerous and so evil, and I LOVED IT I was shaking my book in anger and betrayal so many times I ve lost count now My fangirl screams certainly are seen in my Instagram story haha.This story was just soooo much better than the first, and I m so thankful I could review and read it I really hope there s a spin off to this world because Sarah certainly set up that possibility in the end, but I m going to miss Markos and Caro so much At last a synopsis Full review here at the thelibraryladies.com Remember a time, not so long ago, when Pirates of the Caribbean was actually acclaimed and not a national joke I mean, those first few movies were a blast I may, may, have even seen the first one in theaters three times I remember being almost giddy over just how much unadulterated, unquestioned fun that first movie was offering up Adventure Romance Great characters And some top notch humor that the other films never seemed to really understand or replicate in all the many, MANY, iterations that followed So you can imagine just how thrilled I was when I discovered about halfway through this book, that Whisper on the Tide was essentially what you d get if you took that first movie and then took Kiera Knightley s character from the third movie, but actually made her, you know, a good character and had her run the show.While Caro has finally discovered her true calling, with the goddess of the ocean in her ear and a ship to her name, her time of late has been spent decidedly NOT at sea After pledging herself to help Markos regain his lost throne, she s recently discovered that much of what this help is made up of is running a few messages here and there and sitting through various speeches and rallies while Markos looks to drum up support for his cause And all is not going well The ocean god is displeased with Caro s lack of sea time adventures and Markos few followers are pushing towards a marriage of convenience that would bring in much needed support Caro has and difficulty seeing a path forward that allows her to keep both of her loves, the sea and Markos himself.For all that the description of the story, both mine and the official one, puts a lot of weight on Caro s decision about her future, part of what has made me like this series so much so far is Caro s no nonsense approach to life and decision making She doesn t wilt away from tough choices and she is endlessly practical In many ways, she sees her ability to make hard calls as her biggest asset to Markos, whom she often derides as getting too caught up in the emotions of things Here, these character traits move the story along and keep it from being marred in the emotional duldrums of soap opera ness that could have come about with a different character in this situation But what makes it all the better is that through this book, Caro must learn that her own practicality and willingness to follow the harder path is not always a boon.In short order, she s back out on the ocean and beginning to understand how very little she knows of life as a sea captain, for all that she has her own ship and the ear of the sea goddess The action never lets up and Caro s adventures are filled with everything you d want from a pirate adventure We have storms, and ships sinking, and maroonings on islands, and lost treasure, and pirate lairs Really, like I said at the beginning, all the best parts of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, though each with their own unique spin and connection to the larger plot.For secondary characters, we sadly saw much less of not only Markos, but Caro s magic wielding cousin, Kente, was also out of commission much of the time But what we did get from her was integral to the plot, and I liked the the fact that she had a role at all, as with the way the last book ended, I wasn t sure we were going to see from her Markos, also, was abscenfor much of the middle portion of the book I was ok with this I still very much enjoyed the romance between him and Caro, and their banter and Markos own cluelessness about certain things were still some of the most fun pieces of dialogue in the story However, by sidelining him and their romantic entanglements, Caro was given the space and time to really come into her own as a character and drive the plot on her own.This also gave room to add a surprising new character who I had not expected to see at all I don t want to spoil it, but I thoroughly enjoyed this addition and the character added a much needed sense of ambiguity and moral greyness to an otherwise fairly straightforward adventure story To continue the Pirates compariosons, if Caro is Elizabeth and Markos is Will, this new character was Jack Sparrow and lived up to the utter delight that any character should be if trying to fill that role.I also greatly enjoyed the expanded idea of Caro s relationship with the sea god While we heard a lot about the river god and the solid, calm prescense that he transferred to those who were chosen by him, we only briefly met the sea god in the last book And true to the nature of the sea, she is much volatile and unpredictable than the god of the river seemed to be I was relived that she wasn t reduced to just another magical ability for Caro, but given her own agendas and whims that often came into conflict with Caro s Their ongoing battle of wills was a large secondary driver of much of the story and I was very pleased with how it played out.In the end, I enjoyed this book even than the first While Song of the Current had a slow start, this one jumped right into the action and never let off the gas pedal Caro was her same sassy self, but was given room to proactively drive the plot herself this go around I still very much enjoyed the romance, but was pleased to see that it played second fiddle to the action and adventure And between the ocean god and the surprise Jack Sparow esque character, there was enough double crossing and cross purposes to keep readers on their toes about what would be coming next If you enjoyed the first book, I m sure you ll love this one Rating 9 Take all the good parts of the Pirates movies, make them even better, and turn it into a book and ta da IT WAS SO GOOD WHISPER OF THE TIDE was a stunning sequel I came in with high expectations, but was honestly ready to give it a 3 star midway through the book, no joke What changed my mind I could say that the events that happened were pretty awesome, or the resolution was sooo satisfying and lovely, or how the stuff that had me side eyeing were properly addressed But I think plain and simple, Tolcser breathed life into Caro s character and made her resilient, flawed, and just great in general I adored her from start to finish, mistakes and all And I hope fans of the book come into WHISPER OF THE TIDE with an open mind and heart to Caro s flaws.The book follows Caro s first person POV as she tries to help Markos overthrow the rule of Konto Theucinian, who has a strict regime as monarch or Emparch, as they are called here Both Markos and Caro are on Theucinian s hitlist, and much of the action comes from assassination attempts and being on the run Markos is trying to get supporters to place him on the throne, as his father was the Emparch and was killed when Theucinian took power, but many people call him the Pretender and are too afraid of Theucinian to support him The interesting part of this particular plot is that it s there, but not the main focus Theucinian is a force that s unseen throughout the book his actions are done through other characters and thus made for an uneventful protagonist When we make a promise to serve, sometimes that promise is hard to keep Whether you serve a god or an Emparch He nodded at me Or both Caro s life was flipped upside down after meeting Markos and getting embroiled in the politics of the land She found out that she was one of the chosen by the sea goddess, even though she grew up calling for the river god Additionally, she wants to explore and travel, but stays in the city near Markos to help him with his campaign Because of this, doubt and restlessness emerges, creating a confused main character who doesn t know where she fit in I really enjoyed this particularly piece of introspection because her obvious insecurities made her stand out as a character, even as she puts up a strong and fierce front.The plot thickens when Caro pushes Markos to marry another noble that will help him with his campaign At the same time, she defies the sea goddess and becomes stranded in an island with an unlikely ally Or is it enemy With that, the fun begins Three months ago I d believed with every bone in my body that my fate was in the riverlands I d been wrong Was this really fate or the god attempting to manipulate me I thought that I would really dislike the romance in this book Both Caro and Markos don t know what they want, and whether to sacrifice their lives over duty Since she pushes him away, they aren t together for the middle of the book and I low key got annoyed with him BUT But, when they meet again, things are in the open Hidden schemes are unfolding and they mainly Caro has learned a lot since they last met I love how the author really makes good use of dialogue and communication to sort their relationship out Yes for no misunderstandings And overall, I thought they were a great couple with sweet chemistry and complementing hearts full of adventure Practicality had never been Markos s strong point He could stand there and make romantic proclamations all he wanted Myself, I preferred the money I really enjoyed the ending and how most plot points got wrapped up Another great thing about this book was SOOO many women in power It s uncommon to see that in YA fantasies, and I loved seeing all these talented, ruthless, and creative heroines here This book also features mistaken deaths, fearsome sea monsters, a map to a long lost treasure, and the taste of the sea Tolcser writes a timeless ocean adventure that wanderlust readers will devour Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury for the review copy