Thank you, Jamie for sending me a Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez for free in exchange for an honest review.
I am back with new posts, sorry I haven’t been as active the past two weeks but I have done so much reading and I can't wait to share the books with you. If you saw the video on my Facebook or Instagram you know the funny story about this book if not here we go.
Before YALC two years ago Mother Goose and I went to an event at Forbidden Planet where we got to meet Kristina Perez. At the event, I picked up a hardback copy of Sweet Black Waves after I paid Mother Goose nabbed it and got it signed and personalised to her. Mother Goose then kidnapped the book never to be seen again. It's fine I’ve got the second book stashed away.
Sweet Black Waves is a retelling of the legend of Tristan and Iseult. The story of Tristan and Iseult follows two star-crossed lovers who were not supposed to fall in love kind of like Romeo and Juliet (Before Romeo and Juliet there was Tristan + Isolde yes I remember the tagline of the film). I loved so many elements of this Tristan and Isolde retelling, particularly those to do with the Celtic inspired mythology and magic.
I love the influence from the Irish legend and Celtic inspiration was clear throughout the story. I can’t think of a moment during the book where I lost interest. There was always something lurking in the story and that kept me on the edge of my seat. Alongside the story of the warring nations and the politics between them, we have the story of the cousins, Old Gods and magic. Ivernic was a place I could easily picture and somewhere I would love to visit. I love the old castle overlooking a sea there’s something about this imagery that is magical to me. The people that Kristina has created for Ivernic sound loyal and hardy and there isn’t any pompous nobility.
As I was reading Sweet Black Waves, I found myself engrossed in the wonderful world that Kristina created. Kristina’s writing style is wonderful and she spins a beautiful tale that is just as magical as the story itself. It was a familiar, yet different place to any I have read before, and I loved that. Despite knowing the original story and ending through Kristina’s wonderful writing, I managed to fool myself into thinking that there would be a happy ending and found myself wanting one for these characters. Towards the end of the book, you can feel things spiralling out of control and it took my breath away at the very last.
Kristina is a medieval historian and linguist, and it shows the world building is utterly convincing. This understanding allows Kristina to pushes further, into magic cauldrons, and depths of the sea. This is the first book in a trilogy, however, despite the setup, it was still very enjoyable to read. Kristina even included a glossary and a list of the characters which made reading this book so easy. There is also a map and it is gorgeous, who doesn’t love a map.
I could honestly walk around in this book coastal setting in medieval Ivernic and experience the whimsy of its magic all day. This book is fantastic and its worth existing in Kristina’s world for even a little bit.