The Dark Tide

Author: Alicia Jasinska
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, fantasy
Pages: 336
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: E-Arc
Publication Date: June 2, 2020

Every year on St. Walpurga’s Eve, Caldella’s Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.

Lina Kirk is convinced her brother is going to be taken this year. To save him, she enlists the help of Thomas Lin, the boy she secretly loves, and the only person to ever escape from the palace. But they draw the queen’s attention, and Thomas is chosen as the sacrifice.

Queen Eva watched her sister die to save the boy she loved. Now as queen, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s willing to sacrifice anyone if it means saving herself and her city.

When Lina offers herself to the queen in exchange for Thomas’s freedom, the two girls await the full moon together. But Lina is not at all what Eva expected, and the queen is nothing like Lina envisioned. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella’s streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review!

I was absolutely thrilled to get accepted for this! I love witch-y books and this sounded absolutely amazing. There is something to be said for good books that cater to your interests. Nothing is more disappointing than a book you were looking forward to not working for you. All this is to say The Dark Tide was a great read. I really enjoyed reading it, and it felt like the perfect atmospheric summer or fall read.

The writing is very good in this book. Much of it is due to Jasinska’s ability to create a world that is so atmospheric. There were moments in this book that I think I gasped aloud at because the writing was beautiful. There was something lyrical about the book, and I can’t quite put into words how I felt about it because it felt magical, ethereal. I know I flew through this book, and the writing was part of that. It was smooth and flowing and I was drawn in. Suffice to say, the writing was splendid. I was engaged every moment of this book.

At first I was hesitant about the pacing, I think in some ways it was good, and other ways it fell apart just a little. The beginning was quite fast paced, and I was wondering what was going to happen the rest of the book if the main part of the plot was taking place at the very beginning. Suffice to say, after the first few chapters the book slowed down immensely, and it became a slower pace, much more drawn out. So the pacing was good for me, it just made me blink a minute because it ended up not being fast paced after the beginning. Although the slowness later in the book worked in their favor.

Essentially Lina wants to save a person, and so she decides she’ll be the sacrifice this year. Enter Eva, the Witch Queen. Their island city is sinking, and the witches must sacrifice someone every year to keep the tides back. This is the plot of the book, and it does occur over the length of the book, both past sacrifices and what is going currently, however, it often doesn’t feel like it is the focus. In fact, it very much feels as if although the plot exists, it is there to further Eva and Lina’s romance. It is hard to explain the plot because I feel that the characters themselves are part of the narrative more than the plot.

First off, I really like Lina and Eva. I like them, and they’re good characters. I will admit I wanted a bit more depth from them at times, a bit more than strong-willed Lina and cold Eva. Which is fine, because this is very much an enemy to lover type circumstance. And yet…I wanted more of that. The romance aspect doesn’t occur all that much to the end, it’s built up, but I don’t want to give too much more away about it. Suffice to say I wish we’d had more depth on it, more…something. I wanted to see growth from Lina and Eva, and I wanted to see more of them together.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of characters in this book, and again, I wish there was more to them! There were so many interesting ones, and I’m sad that we didn’t get to see more of them, more of them developing.

I really loved the world that was built. I think that it was magical and atmospheric. I think that the magic was lovely and how the witches and their power worked was awesome. I very much enjoyed the way this world was built and I think it was fantastic.

This runs along similar lines to Shea Ernshaw’s The Wicked Deep and Winterwood. It is a slow paced book, building up to the end, very much character and atmosphere focused. Highly enjoyable and a delight to read.

4 star
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One thought on “The Dark Tide

    Debbie says:

    Great review! I also love media centered around witches! I really need to pick up some witchy books soon.


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