‘These Rebel Waves’ by Sara Raasch
Synopsis: Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work. Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war. Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbours a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre. As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.
This is a book that talks a lot about religion. And you should all know by now how I feel about that. However, I felt that in this case, I didn’t mind it all that much. I’m not sure why, but I’m going to put it down to the fact that Raasch is incredible and wrote it in a way that wasn’t glorifying it and shoving it in my face for gain. This book is also heavy on the politics. I found it hard to keep up with at first but I soon got the gist of what was going on. There are three POVs, some were full chapters, others flitted several times within one chapter. I liked this as it gave me full view of certain important events.
There were a lot of secrets in this book, which means… a lot of secret unveilings. A.K.A. a lot of ‘OMG’ moments and me staring off into space trying to come to terms with the information. So many things got turned on their heads and for once, I’ve got no clue on where the next book will take me. The revelations in this book reminded me of tides and waves. They would slowly creep up on me and then BAM! I gotta say though, that these moments were utterly delightful. I enjoyed them all (after my heart restarted of course) and because the characters were learning it at the same time as me, I felt connected and part of the story.
Lu is difficult character to pin point. Without giving much away, she was a child spy. That alone should tell you how troubled her past is. Throw in the fact that war is very much on the horizon and her hope of peace is diminishing each day and you have yourself a soldier who is willing to do everything she must to protect that dream. Lu is also incredibly confused by certain events, lies she’s been fed, revelations about her past and her own thoughts and feelings. Nowhere in this book is she given time to sort through any of it but I admire her strength and tenacity to keep going. Because of all this, she is my favourite character in this book. And I am scared for her.
My second favourite character is of course, my cheeky pirate, Vex. His cocky attitude and on-hand banter struck me in the heart. I fell hard for this kid. Not to be outdone by Lu, my Vex is also a troubled character with his own shuddering past and present sticky situations. I had my suspicions about Vex and his background and was waiting to see if it would come to light. I was also eagerly awaiting a kiss, or something, between Vex and Lu but I guess I can’t be pleased all the time! Ben, again, is a somewhat complicated character. I didn’t enjoy his POV’s as much as the other two but I saw why they were needed and appreciated them. It will be interesting to see where he goes after this book.
I unquestionably loved this book. It had pirates, it had magic, it had hardcore spy-turned-politician-turned-criminal ladies and it had plot twists! There were some witty quips that had me chortling and tension charged moments which had me holding my breath. One kiss short of perfect, but I have to have hope for that in the sequel.
“If he’d needed a push to commit to taking a stand against Argrid and the hell they unleashed, this was it. No one fucked with his crew. No one.”
I received this in Fairyloot’s August ‘Mutinous Pirates’ box & Shelflove Crate’s August ‘Unlikely Heroes’ box.
You can get it here