Title: The Dark Tide
Author: Alicia Jasinska
Series: The Dark Tide #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, LGBT+
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: August 4th, 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.
“The Witch Queen comes o wings of night. The Witch Queen has your heart’s delight. Hold him, hold him, hold on tight. Hide him, hide him, out of sight.”
I cannot even express how excited I was to pick up this book, because I feel I’m always on the hunt for some sapphic books, and this was supposed to be one but with WITCHES, so I went into it with pretty high expectations, and overall I think it was a great book and I adored the characters.
I think that the plot of this novel was so interesting that I was hooked since page one. I’d say it took a little bit for the story to start, but there was quite a lot of information given us at the very beginning so we could understand what was going on in this town and how the witches were involved in it, so I didn’t have an issue with that.
It’s true that one of the main problems I had with The Dark Tide was how little information we got about the magic system. It played a very important part in the plot and the characters, but the reader didn’t know much about how it worked or its limitations, which I think it would have been helpful for us to further understand certain characters and how this town was different from everyone else.
However, I think the author did a great job at creating the cast of characters and their arcs and evolutions. I think that the characters were the strongest part of the book to me, or at least the ones that resonated with me the most.
“She wanted more. She wanted to be something more. She wanted to change someone or save someone. She wanted a love people told stories about.”
Our protagonist was such a complex character, and I ended up really admiring her bravery and intelligence. I really enjoyed her arc and her development throughout the story, and basically how much was she willing to do to save her brother and Thomas, even though they didn’t really get along, which was pretty surprising.
Another thing I absolutely adored was the Eva’s perspective, more than I was expecting. She was such a great character and quite the opposite from Lina, but I think that they complemented each other pretty well since their personalities and stories were so different, and because it was told in two POVs, we got to see a little bit more of this world from the eyes of a witch.
And don’t let me get started with the romance. I absolutely adore a good enemies to lovers, and I think that the dynamics between Eva and Lina were just perfection. I absolutely adored how each of them evolved and changed, and how slowly that relationship progressed, because I love me a good slow burning romance.
Honestly, I think that they had a very interesting chemistry and I was rooting for them.
“Eva decided her soul must be a very black and twisted thing, because she missed the cold silence, the dark and its merciful shadows.”
The ending was pretty action packed. I really liked how everything got together and how engaging that ending was. I found I couldn’t stop reading because there were a lot of things happening and I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.
It’s true that there were a few twists and revelations that I found a bit predictable, but for the most part I really enjoyed how things wrapped up.
Overall, I think The Dark Tide was such a unique and interesting story, and I adored the characters arcs and the relationships and the romance between Lina and Eva. It’s true I had some issues with the magic system and certain parts of the story, but I think it was a solid book.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
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