SWEET BLACK WAVES, by Kristina Pérez, Imprint, June 5, 2018, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult)
Have you ever really loved a book until a certain point and then had a complete turnaround? That’s what happened with me and Kristina Perez’s Sweet Black Waves.
Inspired by the star-crossed tale of Tristan and Eseult, Sweet Black Waves is the story of best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen.
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 closest confidant and the only man she’s ever loved. —synopsis provided by Imprint
Sweet Black Waves is the first book in a planned trilogy. And it has the makings of a sweeping tale. Perez’s writing style immediately draws you in, and I found myself quickly immersed in Branwen’s tale. Maybe too immersed.
About two-thirds of the way into Sweet Black Waves there’s a plot twist that really sucker-punched me. I did not like the path Branwen started down, and as I kept reading, I disliked it even more. Now I’m not super familiar with the tale of Tristan and Eseult, so maybe I should have been expecting this turn. Nonetheless, it was somewhat heartbreaking to see all these events unfold.
In the end, these changes were too much for me, and I did not finish. That’s not to say Sweet Black Waves is not good. It is. And Perez is a strong writer. There’s no reason to not recommend it other than my personal beef with the plot twist.
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