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Sweet Black Waves

(Sweet Black Waves #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,428 ratings  ·  415 reviews
Not you without me, not me without you.

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, 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 magi
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Imprint
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Jessica There's no foul language, very limited sexual content, and mild violence. …moreThere's no foul language, very limited sexual content, and mild violence. (less)
Jessica Yes this book is clean. Although sex is referenced, there are no explicit sex scenes.

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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,428 ratings  ·  415 reviews

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Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i am so conflicted right now. on one hand, this story is really enjoyable to read. i have a weak spot for forbidden romances and the notion of “love conquers all,” so i was really into this. but then the last chapter happened and i now feel completely and whole-heartedly betrayed.

i have heard of tristan and isolde, but im not familiar with the details of the tale. after throwing my book across the room in anger, i quickly googled it and found out the last chapter is true to the story of T&I. ha
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free as part of BookSparks’ YA Summer Reading Challenge.

Omg this was so amazing! I don’t know why people aren’t talking about this book. This could have totally been one of those super hyped YA books.

This is a retelling of the popular Tristan and Iseult myth, which I have to admit, I’ve never even heard of. So going into this book I didn’t have any expectations about the retelling aspect since I knew nothing about the story. I went into the book completely blind as to w
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
A very realistic conversation between me and this book

Me: Feuding kingdoms, you say?

Sweet Black Waves: Oh, yes! But let me warn you that at least the first 70% of this book is just about Branwen blushing at her crush, who is--gasp!--the enemy.

Me: WELL I DO LOVE ROMANCE. Not too much, though... Anyway, this does feature a super awesome girl friendship, right?

Sweet Black Waves: More like martyrdom. Branwen does make some stupid decisions for the sake of her cousin, the princess Eseult, who is,
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, arc
wow I’m really emotional. don’t miss out on this one.
- - --
update: "SWEET BLACK WAVES is the first in a fantasy trilogy"
Vic James
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I want to sail away on those sweet black waves! Sail away to romance and wild magic and chivalrous tournaments and shipwrecks and ... oh yes ... danger and disaster and HEARTBREAK. (Wait, wait... no-one warned me about the heartbreak *sobs*)

I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this fabulous book, and it is so INTENSE and SWOONY and SMART. Just like its protagonists, Branwen and Tristan. And if you're wondering where you've heard that name before, it's because this is a retelling of the
kath | novel + folk
I hate and I love

I loved so many elements of this Tristan and Isolde retelling, particularly those to do with the Celtic inspired mythology and magic. The story notwithstanding, I could walk around in this coastal setting of medieval Ireland and experience the whimsy of Otherworld creatures and magical lore all day. It’s a hauntingly beautiful backdrop to an age-old story.

Being familiar with the story of Tristan and Isolde, I was expecting plenty of melancholy romance and my expecta

Title: Sweet Black Waves
Series: Sweet Black Waves #1
Author: Kristina Pérez
Release date: May 5, 2018
Cliffhanger: Yes

Time stood still. There was no blood or fire, no Iveriu or Kernyv. There was only this-only this kiss.

I've been trying to figure out what to rate this book ever since I finished yesterday, and I think that deep down I want to rate this one star, but I can't bring myself to do it. The writing is truly captivating and masterfully done, and for the quality alone it deserves five star
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s 330 am i am sitting at work trying not to cry or tear my heart out because this book completely ruined me. I felt as sick as branny did at the end, when it all just went down. This story was beautiful, haunting, horribly heartbreaking and genuinely amazing. The love between cousins turned sisters made me believe in family. The love tantris found with emer was exciting, and the love that bloomed between Tristan and Brawen was passionate and bold.

I really hope there will be a second book. My
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
I won this at a give-away by the author Amy Trueblood, and I am over the moon. Her post-it note is a keeper! Signed by Amy! (I am screaming inside!)
Christine Spoors
I picked up a copy of Sweet Black Waves at YALC 2018 so that I could meet the author, I am so glad I did because this is now one of my favourite books of the year.

This is a fantasy retelling of Tristan and Iseult, which I have to admit I haven't read. It follows Branwen, the cousin and lady-in-waiting to the Princess. In this world two kingdoms, Iveriu (Ireland) and Kernyv (Cornwall), are at war and their feud has shaped the lives of every character. I won't say much about the plot because it's
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and Paperbacks

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

“Odai eti ama. I hate and I love.”

When I talk about how I want more books based on Celtic mythology and Irish folklore, this is what I’m talking about. As soon as I saw that this was a retelling of Tristan and Iseult, I knew immediately that I needed to read it. Sweet Black Waves was everything I could have asked for and more.

There is so much to love about this book. To start, the world-building and sett
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was totally bought into Sweet Black Waves from the first page, and not only did I never want to put it down, I never knew what was going to happen next! That’s partly because I was unfamiliar with the story of Tristan and Isolde (on which the book is based), but also because the story is SO CRAZY. It has the twists and turns of a soap opera with the weighty feel of an epic. So basically, everything I want.

Branwen is actually the main character here, cousin and handmaiden to Princess Eseult (ca
Rebecca Denton
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If this is the year of historical fiction, then look no further than this book. The author has the creds and it shows. Gloriously detailed and fabulous prose. A cracker of a debut.
Ann (annreads)
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
“They loved while they burned and they burned while they loved.”

Excuse me while I cry in a corner because of what tHIS book did to me *crawls into fetal position*

*Review to come*

Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
* I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review *

I am happy to say that this book, which I wasn't sure I would like, turned out to be one which I really enjoyed. I wasn't quite sure what this one was about when I was given it, although I did get the impression that there would be romance and magic, warring kindoms and more. I am happy to say, there are indeed all of those ingredients, but also that it's got a relationship between two female cousins and their friendship an

3.5. "Sea and Magic" Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Imprint

I'm not very familiar with the tale Tristan & Iseult, so I won't comment on that. Still, if you're like me, I'm sure you'll still find plenty to enjoy while reading this story.

For me, Sweet Black Waves gave me its best during the first half, especially the first third of the story. There world was described in beautiful details, the main character (Branwen) struggled with what she thought right and wrong and still managed to do the r
Kelly deVos
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous, sometimes sweet, sometimes steamy retelling, SWEET BLACK WAVES retains enough of the original Tristan & Iseult storyline to appeal to fans but has so many original elements that something totally new and surprising has been created. I sat down to read a bit before going to bed and finished the book in one setting. Come for the romance, the pirates and the adventure on the seas and stay for the rich, lush fantasy world created by Pérez.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lush and atmospheric, Sweet Black Waves is a work of magic. Pérez's writing is captivating and readers will immediately be consumed by Branwen's story. There's romance and heartache, secrets and danger—and all of it adds up to a splendid debut novel. I can't wait to see what happens next! ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: disliked

That’s it that’s my entire review of the book
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, favorites
Sweet Black Ways is a romantic and beautifully written retelling of Tristan and Iseault's myth. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was swept away by the atmospheric setting, and a swoony but heartbreaking romance. Even after I finished reading the book, I couldn't stop thinking about Bronwen, Tristan and Eseault! I can't wait to read the next book, Wild Savage Stars!

*ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was really wonderful but MEAN! It totally stressed me out and that ending! Ahhhhhh! I need book 2 and hopefully it isn’t so mean to my feels
Eleanor (bookishcourtier)
I really liked this one! I do have a couple of mixed feelings about it, but overall it was so good! If you love Celtic mythology, or any kind of mythology really, this book is for you. It feels so lush and refreshing and there is so much to appreciate about it! And look at that cover! I swoon! Look, I never judge books by their cover. nEVEr… But I feel like this book encompasses the story and setting so perfectly! I cannot wait to see what the next book looks like, because I will definitely be ...more
Kathy Martin
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Branwen is an orphan who is the niece of the queen and the best friend and lady-in-waiting to her cousin Princess Eseult. She is mostly treated as another daughter of the queen and the princess's sister. Her parents were killed by the Kernyvaks and she has grown up with a hatred for them.

When she rescues and heals a young sailor, she is dismayed to learn that he is Kernyvak. She is torn between her vows as a healer and her own hatred. Gradually she falls in love with the young man but, when raid
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Seriously ugly cry at the end of this book...I won't even try to lie or make excuses all I can say is that Kristina Perez broke my heart into several pieces and I am still trying to pick all of them up.
Branwen is lady in waiting to her cousin, the princess, and the only thing Branwen loves more than Eseult is her country. When Branwen finds an enemy half dead, she chooses to help him, even though she hates his country; but as we all know more often than not love finds a way and pretty soon Bran
Pamela Sparkman
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Sweet Black Waves. I feel like I’ve been floating on sweet black waves ever since I finished this book. It’s been about two weeks now. Or maybe it’s been three. I’ve lost count to be perfectly honest. You see, I’ve been avoiding it, hiding from it. I didn’t want to think about it because it left me broken hearted...wounded beyond repair. But let me back up to the beginning.

I approached Sweet Black Waves without knowing much about it. I read the synopsis and was intrigued, and the cover caugh
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
*walks into ocean with arms open crying*
Sidenote: one of my favourites of the year and most recent "sleep is for the weAk, just keep reading" books.

Oh dat romance and dat magic and OHHHH those pirates and Ugh that romance but ow my heart *clenches chest and dies until the sequel comes out*
Definitely pick up this book if you like star-crossed lovers, a world with gods and magic, two cinammon roll main characters, and lots of adorable moments plus drama all in one.
I've always loved the tale of Tristan and Isolde and this retelling definitely does them justice, if in a slightly different way and sometimes all you need is some fluff to make you happy. This book did exactly that for me. I didn't even care about the plot, it's always been about these characters and their journey toget
Minni Mouse
Tristan and Eseult retelling? With a Branwen twist? All I know is the 2006 film starring James Franco, and can't say no to that!

1) I don't know how the original tale goes but if it's anything like the 2006 movie, I liked the twist of swapping Branwen into Eseult's place.

2) Lots of potential for readers to gobble this book right up since it has a little bit of everything young adult readers adore: romantic entanglements, medieval tournaments for lurve, enemies-turned-lovers stories, tragi
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: angsty romance fans
3.5 - 4 stars

THIS BOOK IS INTELLECTUAL, Y'ALL. I'm upsetti but I don't regretti.

Ok this made me mad but it was supposed to make me mad I stayed up till 4 am to finish this and can I just say I sympathize with Branwen so hard but also did she not realize a love potion would backfire. Were there no folk songs about love potions for her to realize?

Overall, I enjoyed this book because I knew the cousin character was written to be purposely upsetting to garner Branwen more sympathy. However, I wish s
sher ⚘ (hiatus galore)
god, i love love love this cover! 😍
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Kristina Pérez is the author of THE MYTH OF MORGAN LA FEY (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). She holds a PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Cambridge.

Her debut YA Fantasy, SWEET BLACK WAVES––a Tristan and Iseult retelling––was published by Imprint/Macmillan on June 5th, 2018. The sequel, WILD SAVAGE STARS was published on August 27th, 2019. The conclusion to the trilogy, BRIGHT RAVEN SKIE

Other books in the series

Sweet Black Waves (3 books)
  • Wild Savage Stars (Sweet Black Waves, #2)
  • Bright Raven Skies (Sweet Black Waves, #3)

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