“Brawen didn’t know how long the stranger had been unconscious. There was a chance she could still save him if it hadn’t been long enough for his soul to depart.”
Rating: 3/5 stars
“Sweet Black Waves” written by Kristina Perez is a retelling of the classic tale of Tristan and Iseult. The main character, Brawen is a lady in waiting for the princess who she grew up with ever since her parents were killed when she was a child. One night, Brawen finds an enemy from a foreign country floating along the coast and must decide whether or not to save him. She makes her decision and the story evolves with the consequences of that choice. With warring countries, forbidden love and old magic, the tale is a fantasy based on a familiar legend.
“Sweet Black Waves” was an entertaining read but no literary masterpiece. I was a bit disappointed by the portions of the story that included “otherworld magic.” I love fantasy, but the content wasn’t really enough to transport me into the story and make me believe what was occurring to the main character. With that being said, the story did have two major concepts that I appreciated. The main character develops an interesting relationship with the queen throughout the book. Their dialogue was meaningful and captivated me. The fact that Brawen had been orphaned early on makes this relationship even more powerful. Also, as a previous fan of the Tristan and Iseult (Isolde) legend, I enjoyed a different take on the familiar story.
Recommendations: If you enjoy legends like King Arthur and have some time, this one is worth a read. It is at the very least entertaining. However, if you don’t like fantasy I would suggest you steer clear of this one.
Comparable Books: “Graceling” by Kristin Cashore