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Song of the Current #1

Song of the Current

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Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

373 pages, Hardcover

First published June 6, 2017

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Sarah Tolcser

5 books260 followers

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5 stars
986 (24%)
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1,748 (44%)
3 stars
964 (24%)
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212 (5%)
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52 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 819 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,420 reviews77.6k followers
June 24, 2017
I can see now why many folks are having a tough time rating this one. On the one hand, it was fun, enjoyable, and entertaining, but on the other it was filled with the heavy fodder of sailor lingo and descriptions of scenes that were slow and lacking action. Overall, this one won me over; by the end, I felt invested in the story and am so ecstatic that, as the first in a series, it doesn't leave us with a giant cliffhanger that we'll likely forget by the time book #2 in the series is released.

There was a great myriad of characters (both in number and type) which I found very endearing. I whole-heartedly embraced the magical aspects of the book; there were non-human life forms alongside those humans with special gifts, and just plain old normal people as well. I'm really torn, because at times I would put this book down and not feel any sense of urgency to finish it, and yet others I would be so drawn into a fight scene that I wanted to finish in one sitting! The writing was beautiful and enticing, but the repetitive lingo and heavy descriptions might irritate some readers. I really don't want to touch on the plot, but it was planned in similar forms to some of the YA community's latest favorites, meaning there are lots of little twists and turns along the way, some of which I could spot ahead of time and others I couldn't.

I have a soft spot for YA pirate books, especially those that feature young women and their empowerment, so I decided to give this a 3.5 star rating and would definitely recommend it for the less picky fantasy genre dabbler. I really love the cover they designed for this one and felt that, after a middle of the road start, this ended with the potential to be a beloved series for fans of pirate themed novels. As I stated above, I felt fully invested by the end of the story and am looking forward to the next book in the series. Tolcser has immense potential and I'm really excited to see where she takes us next and the growth in her writing.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,257 reviews8,677 followers
September 20, 2017
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

I love YA fantasy. I don't know why, I just do. That being said, in recent years, I've become a bit gun-shy, preferring to rerereread old favorites rather than taking a chance on a new author.

I guess I should say I love good YA fantasy.

And sadly, these days, most of it is crap: instalove, cliches, poor world-building, plot holes, deus ex machina, etc. Any or all are likely present in 90% of new series.

Or maybe I've been unlucky in my reading choices. *shrugs awkwardly*

Regardless, SONG OF THE CURRENT is the exception. I was hooked from the first line:

There is a god at the bottom of the river.

From there it only got better.

Tolcser gives us a heroine with moxie to spare----who agrees to deliver a package to secure her father's release from imprisonment, and that may not sound like much, but it is.

Caro and her father are wherry folk, their livelihood dependent on river trade, and 1. pirates are out to destroy any vessel that potentially carries said package, and 2. Caro has yet to hear the voice of the river god who guides her people through the language of the small things.

So she's brave. And determined.

She's also subtly hilarious:

Pa shrugged on his good wool overcoat, arranging the collar so it fell just right. His somber manner heightened my worry. He only wore that coat to temple, or to pretend he hadn’t drunk too much the previous night.

Basically, I loved her. Which is important as I'm a character-driven reader. By herself, Caro would have been enough for me to enjoy this book.


The world-building and the plot were also fantastic. I was enthralled by the gods who interact with their people, and there was more than one twist that I didn't see until I was right on top of it.

I read the whole thing in one sitting. If you also love YA fantasy I suspect you will too. Highly recommended.

Jessica Signature
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
258 reviews4,865 followers
May 28, 2017
Man this is a tough one. I adored the story and there was so much potential, but the writing was so difficult to wade through that the plot was a bit lost on me.

The first 10% or so was very meh - so much sailor lingo and I honestly had no clue what was going on for the first several pages. For those of you who would rather know what is going on at first... Caro is sailing with her father on her wherry (which is basically their home- they live on the river) and when they arrive at Hespera's Watch (I think it is..), they see boats on fire and a bunch of crap. Long story short, they get arrested and the dock master dude (i think) basically throws Caro's father in prison and tells Caro the only way she can help him is to deliver a crate for them. Caro realizes that whatever is in the crate is the reason the port city was attacked, but she agrees for her father.

Thus the story begins. Caro is told to never open the crate -under and circumstances. So what does she do? She opens the crate. And THAT is where the story got good. I won't spoil what is in it, but that's where I legit got excited.

Anyway, I'd rather not touch on what happens after the first 12% or so aside from saying it had its ups and downs. Some bits were SO FUN and I couldn't put the book down for pages at a time. Other parts were SOOOOO slow and I dreaded picking the book back up again.

So that brings me back to the writing. The thing is - it was lovely but oh my gosh frustrating at the same time. I kid you not, literally half this book was describing Caro's actions on how she's sailing the ship. If you don't know anything about boats/ships/wherrys, you won't understand a darn thing thats happening. I was totally confused. In some books, I get excited to look up the terms, but for this one, UGH there was just way too much. It was so frustrating. I'm glad the author did all that research, and I have no doubts that it was totally accurate, but it was seriously overkill. If you took out all that crap, this book would have perfect pacing. I'm not even joking.

And that's the thing - I adored all the characters. Caro was fine, but ahhh.... Tarquin was definitely my favorite for obvious reasons. I loved his personality and was hooked on him from the beginning. I was also super intrigued by Caro's mother. I loved the world and the dynamics/politics, but it was a little difficult to follow at times because of all these new terms thrown at us.

Anyway, I still totally recommend this book and I have a lot of respect for the author. Seriously, the plot really is fun and worth a try. Just go in with the right expectations maybe?

My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,014 reviews1,405 followers
August 30, 2017
My full review can be found at United by Pop.

What immediately struck me, when reading this, was the elegant style of the prose. The dexterity of penmanship and the beautiful quotability of almost every line marked this as a stimulating read before I had even been introduced to the characters or understood the story. The prose was as melodic as the water so prominently featured, and a wonderful parallel was evoked between the telling and setting of the tale.

The culture of these fantastical people was also wonderfully recounted. Nuances and particulars in expression or gesture consistently featured throughout the entire book and it made the lives they head feel real and rounded. Through one individual's eyes the reader is invited into both lands and a life unknown.

This sense of adventure dogs the entire tale, and leads protagonist, Caroline, into all manner of strife. It also allows the somewhat-sheltered girl to blossom into a headstrong and independent woman, adept at harassing her enemies and overcoming fear. Her non-comformist attitudes and her ability to speak up for both herself and those she loves makes her a captivating lead character. Her adoration for her father and life on the water is as strong as her feisty personality. By allowing her vulnerabilities to also be the place where she draws her inner-strength from, the reader is seduced into siding with this lovable yet scrappy rouge.
Profile Image for Scrill.
407 reviews232 followers
November 3, 2017
More reviews can be found at:

In an attempt to keep her dad out of jail, Caro a wherry(wo)man, must transport a crate and deliver it to Valonikos. Unfortunately, it isn’t just any crate, and there are pirates searching the rivers for it. Caro must rely on her friends and her own skill to complete her task – all the while hoping the god of the river will finally call out to her like all the other good wherryman have been called.

The Story-I love me a pirate story. This is my second one this year, and while it wasn’t as good, it was still mostly enjoyable. I loved that instead of your typical high seas type of pirates who had wherrymen – which are essentially river barges. Unfortunately for me, there were a few elements that were sort of lacking. The only other thing I thought was odd about this story was that if there was this boat chasing after them on water…why didn’t they just travel by land? I am sure there could be a million reasons why…but not one was mentioned…like going by wherry boat was the only way to their destination.

The World Building-Even though a majority of this book is spent on a boat, there was a little bit extra going on. Since the story was mostly set on the waters of a river, there were marshes and other boats for the story to take place in. I loved the culture of the river that was different from people of the sea/ocean. There was definitely a lot of boat jargon that I had to keep up with, some went a little over my head, but a little knowledge and imagination goes a long way when it comes to inferring what the heck the people were doing on their boats.

There were some magical elements that was included in the book that wasn’t really explained - shadowmen, frogmen & gods that speak to whatever you were called to….but not everyone can speak to the gods (of the sea, river, mountain etc). It didn’t feel forced on the story, but I wish a little bit of the culture surrounding it all was better explained – alas, that’s what second books are for! I hope that not only do they explain these elements a little further, but also introduce more. More drakons please. Let’s face it, I am a sucker for dragons, put one in the water, still just as cool to me.

The Characters-Sometimes when I am reading a book I feel really connected with the characters. I felt that this book wasn’t one of those books. Maybe it’s just me. The characters themselves were still fun. Caro was a little feisty girl - both headstrong and loyal. She's happy with her life and doesn't want anything besides making her father happy and finally hearing the river god call her. She really doesn't take any crap from anyone.

Profile Image for Caitlin.
339 reviews706 followers
August 15, 2017
dnf @ page 126

Well this sucked. I have no idea why I had high hopes for this book since it was terribly boring. I'm stumped with assignments at the moment so my free reading time really needs to be spent with a book I enjoy and right now I'm hating this book. I've been skim reading for maybe 5 pages already and I'm not even half way yet. If I continued skimming it would be an utter waste of my time. So, I give up. This book is too slow. It's too boring. Also nothing really makes sense in it. It's just not for me I guess 🤷🏼‍♀️
758 reviews2,350 followers
Want to read
July 17, 2018
okay what the heck this has pirates???? bitch,,,,, I'm IN

also the books insides are so gorgeous omg
Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
708 reviews1,966 followers
November 14, 2022
DNFing at around 16%

I was very excited to read this because I love pirate stories and the writing in the first chapter hooked me in immediately.
The problem I have with this book, though, lies in a little too messy plot and characters I can't seem to relate to.
I also found the world building a bit confusing with a lot of names of people and places. As I said, very messy.

#PenguinOnATBRMission: book #22

this hashtag is something I self-indulgently created for fun when I decided to thin out my immense tbr list as a new years resolution starting from books I added on GR back in 2017/2018/2019, and since I can't seem to do anything quietly and I'm well known for being an overachiever, I had to go and turn it into an official thing. Feel free to check out the shelf with the same name if you don't mind keeping up with this insanely over-hyped adventure I got myself into. Take it as a chance to rediscover some books from a few years ago that might have accidentally flown under your radar, or to simply share with another fellow reader your very own reading experience. Happy reading and stay penguin-y!

To Be Continued...🐧
Profile Image for Gillian.
458 reviews1,069 followers
March 2, 2017
SO I TOTALLY COMPLETELY FULLY ENJOYED THAT. It's far tooearly for a full review, but I was in a mini slump and this just swooped in and saved me with its pirates and riverboats and bickering and fiesty-ness and fun-ness. That was just a good old fashioned GREAT FUN READ.
Profile Image for Zainab.
382 reviews482 followers
March 8, 2020
Ooof talk about a book being underrated.
Profile Image for Suzzie.
906 reviews166 followers
September 17, 2017
I just cannot rate this! I have no idea how I would even decide the star of this book. When I read other reviewers saying it is hard to rate, I was like hmmm. Now I understand. The idea of the plot is very compelling but during some of the story I was like WTH, am I lost or not comprehending this story! It was not a bad book at all but the writing threw me. I have read a lot of five star books lately so that probably did not help going into this read.

Profile Image for Lisa.
828 reviews480 followers
March 11, 2017
This book has everything I love: quests, mystery, emotional journeys, romance and kicking butt action. This is the pirate book to read this year!
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,694 reviews702 followers
May 30, 2017
3 stars might be too high...

I had seen a lot of buzz around this book and I was pretty excited to finally get to it. Sadly, I was a bit disappointed.

I liked Caro well enough. She's strong and sassy and can take care of herself. There is an interesting group of characters here and I don't want to say anything and ruin the perception of them. I will say that the banter between Caro and one person in particular was amusing and most of the reason I kept reading.

Plotwise, it felt like a lot of things mashed together and for me, they didn't really fit. I found myself bored most of the time and yet I kept reading. By the high reviews that are already here, I'm in the minority.

Overall, there was something that kept me going, but I couldn't tell you what it was, as it was lacking a bit of a spark that I was expecting. I don't know if I will read the next one.

**Huge thanks to Bloomsbury for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for mith.
740 reviews256 followers
March 5, 2018
you can read this review on my blog as well!

Song of the Current was a book I didn't know I needed in my life until I read it. Considering it has been a while since I've read it, bear with me while I still try to comprehend my thoughts for it.

The book itself was sort of a unique concept for me. I haven't come across another one like it. It's not necessarily a pirate book--the main character, Caroline, and her father carry cargo for other people, making the trip from one city to another. It's when her father is taken that Caro had to risk everything. Because the cargo she's carrying is dangerous and the people after it are more than willing to kill for it.

I loved Caro. She was such an amazing character, full of snark and sarcasm. At the same time, though, she wasn't overly headstrong; she didn't make rash decisions. She did what she thought was right and didn't hesitate. She was remarkable and sigh a genuinely likeable character. That was the thing about her--she wasn't snobby or superior in any way. She loved gossiping with her cousins and trying in fancy dresses; loved the sea and didn't look down on people who couldn't bear it. I have so much respect for this girl and I can't wait to see her in the second book!

The love interest was hilarious. I loved him to bits. He was such an idiot! So entitled to everything and I LOVED how Caro put him down each and every time. She wasn't dealing with his nonsense OR princely entitlement whatsoever and she made sure Markos knew that.

It was hilarious how Markos didn't fit in on the little ship with Caro and Fee. He kept messing up everything and it was also Caro who had to fix it. And the fact that there was a bunch of banter throughout the story made it even better. The two HATED each other and to watch them slooooowly learn to work together was so much fun and so hilarious.

There is a good female friendship in this book. One is with a frog, Fee, which may seem weird but oh. I loved Fee so much. She doesn't talk a lot but she's such a sweet and adorable character and I loved having her around. The other is Caro's cousin whose name I forgot. I loved the connection they had and I loved that Tolcser included her. Caro and her cousin are from two different worlds entirely and neither of them care about their differences; they get along super well together and GOSH. it makes me so emotional, all this lovely lack of girl hate. There's none of that nonsense.

The plot itself is pretty fast paced. It didn't take long for everything to start moving in the beginning, and since I was already hooked, the rest of the book flew by for me. The writing was fun and engaging, each other characters well developed and interesting, and it just really made the book all the more enjoyable.

I loved the concept of Caro's family being picked by the sea. For Caro, it was hard having to wait so long for her sign and her insecurity throughout the novel showed. But it never stopped her from doing what she had to do, no matter how huge or daunting the challenge was.

Now, the romance! I loved it. So, SO much. Not only was it hate to love but ALL THAT BANTER. All those snippy remarks. It was so funny and it was just the CUTEST. I died like fifty times, probably more because they were just so damn cute. I don't want to spoil anything but there is an amazing scene where Markos in constantly asking for vocal consent. You never realise just how important that is until it's in a book, yknow? It made me love him even more!

OVERALL, but this book. Order it if you haven't. Add it to your TBR ASAP (if you haven't already. And if you somehow missed this, first of all, HOW?? Second of all, get on it!). This isn't a fantasy you want to miss.
Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,479 followers
January 27, 2023
Unique. Charming. Atmospheric. I'll admit it took me about 35-40% to be drawn into this one, but I'm so glad I stuck with it. I've never read another book like this. I loved how feisty the main character was and how the romance developed (and especially how it was treated in the end which gave me strong girl power Alanna-George of *Song of the Lioness* feels and is SO rare in YA).
Profile Image for Andie .
260 reviews373 followers
June 12, 2017
Probably 2.5 stars

This book was really just okay for me. There were some elements that I loved and found really intriguing. But I have to admit that the majority of the time I was bored or wasn't sure what the heck was going on as the lingo was a bit confusing for me. I'll have to come back later and write a proper review once my thoughts are in order.
Profile Image for Eilonwy.
814 reviews203 followers
October 19, 2017
17-year-old Caroline Oresteia has spent her life on her father’s wherry, carrying cargo up and down the rivers that cut through their country. She’s happy being a deck hand. Then her father is arrested, and Caro makes a desperate deal to smuggle a mysterious crate in order to make enough cash to pay for his release. Is she ready to captain her own boat? And can she make it to her destination while evading the Black Dogs -- pirates who wish to take her cargo for their own nefarious purposes?
I really enjoyed this! Caro is a pragmatic, problem-tackling heroine who walked the fine line between childhood and adulthood perfectly. (The book is definitely YA, which I appreciated, since I’ve read a few YA’s lately where the characters were teens but all came across as if they were mid-20’s+). I loved her character development, as she gained confidence in her own abilities and judgement, and fretted about her Fate being late to seek her (in this world, one’s Fate seems to be pretty aggressive!).

The world she lives in feels real, with different kinds of people, an economy, and a distinct worldview that permeates the story. (My one nitpick here is that everyone seemed to speak a common language and share a common religion, even if they were from different countries. On the other hand, the gods in this world participate more obviously in people’s lives, so it might make sense that everyone believes in them.) There are politics, enough to make the world feel developed and the countries feel separate, without weighing down the rest of the plot, which is more individual- and family-focused.

The story zoomed along at a good pace. This author knows how to end a chapter! Those last sentences always forced me to keep reading, desperate to find out what happened next. The characters other than Caro were all well-developed and clearly did not think of themselves as “supporting cast” in any way -- they all had their own agendas and strong personalities. I loved Caro’s mother and cousins, especially.

There is some romance, which I don’t want to go into because it involves some plot twists I don’t want to give away. (Don’t read the GR blurb if you don’t want to be spoiled, or probably the jacket flap, either. Lucky for me, I forgot anything I’d read before I started this book.) I really liked the romance. It’s not insta-love: Caro and her love interest earn each other’s respect and affection. It also doesn’t take over the narrative. When Caro should be focused on other things, she is.

I have a few quibbles about the book. For one, I can’t figure out where the name “Caroline” came from. Most people in this country and its immediate neighbor have Greco-Roman-sounding names like “Nicandro,” “Philemon,” “Thisbe,” etc. Caro’s mother’s family are from somewhere else, and have West African-sounding names like “Kenté,” “Bolaji,” and “Jacari.” Caro’s name doesn’t fit into either pattern. For another, there is a character named Fee who is a frog-person, and I thought the frogfolk were sadly under-utilized and under-explored, since I was very curious about them all the way through the book. And speaking of the frogfolk, the language in this book is kind of sexist. Everyone is a “man,” regardless of their actual gender: wherryman, frogman, shadowman, man man man man man. I’ve never in my life heard “man” as being inclusive no matter what (mostly male) people like to argue, and this drove me nuts.

But these quibbles are small compared to my overall great enjoyment of this book. I enjoyed living in this world and in Caro’s experiences, and am sorry to leave.

This is the first in a series, but ended very satisfactorily as a stand-alone, which I also greatly appreciate. I am looking forward to Book Two, very eagerly.
Profile Image for Miranda.
733 reviews111 followers
June 6, 2017
Song of the Current was such a surprisingly delightful read. This book pulled me in right from the beginning, and I didn't want to put the book down! There were some slower portions of this book, but it was entertaining as a whole.

There were so many fun elements to this story. The Song of the Current had pirates, humor, flirty banter, action, adventure, mythology, and some fantastic kissing scenes. Some parts of the book felt a little slow, but the author would then introduce something fun and exciting to grab my attention again. Some of the storylines were predictable, but I liked that the author also included some twists that I didn't see come. There was some romance in this book, and I thought it was fantastic. The author did a great job at creating a delicious romance that was believably paced and that never took over the plot of the novel. The romance made me smile and feel all the feels. Also, the author was HUGE on consent, which I was LIVING for!

The main character, Caro, was such a spunky and badass character. I loved how she didn't let anyone or anything get in the way of her and her goals. Caro was rough around the edges but in the best way possible. Her thorny exterior resulted in some hilarious banter and jabs, and I loved how sweet and considerate she could underneath that tough exterior. Her bravery and loyalty were just some of the things about her that I admired greatly.

There were some great side characters that I became extremely attached to. There was one male character in particular that I simply adored. He started off as an entitled ass-hat, but as the book progressed, he became more and more lovable. He turned out to be such a smart, caring, and loyal character. His sassy quips and flirty lines made me fall head-over-heels in love with him. He made me laugh out loud and swoon more times than I can count.

Overall, this was an exhilarating, delightful, and charming book. If you want a YA novel filled with badass pirates, witty banter, swashbuckling action, fantastic characters, and a steamy romance, then this is the book for you!

4 / 5 Fangs

*This ebook was given to me in exchange for an honest review. *

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It
Profile Image for Laurie.
Author 19 books3,356 followers
October 24, 2016
Get ready for 2017s best YA fantasy sailing adventure! SONG OF THE CURRENT is the story of how bold 17 y.o. Caro becomes captain of her very own pirate ship. Author Tolcser spent years as a sailing instructor and her infectious love of all things nautical absolutely sparkles off these pages. I had all sorts of fun being whisked along into her fantasy world with clever, likeable Cara and a colorful cast of characters that includes Caro’s seamerchant mother and wherryman father (who hilariously argue about whether Caro is truly ready to have her own pirate ship to bring to war) as well as my personal favorite – Fee (who is a frogperson). This book has everything a reader could want in a sailing adventure – pirate battles, a high-stakes ship chase, gorgeous vistas, SEA MONSTER, delightfully witty banter and a delicious romance (with a charming, arrogant, irritating, humorous love interest - note to author: NICE chemistry ;) ). I’m sure many future readers will want to join me as I raise a glass to toast this rousing celebration of female independence, swashbuckling adventure and pure love of the sea (AND SEAMONSTER!) #TeamFee
Profile Image for Anya.
763 reviews168 followers
March 6, 2017
Wow. Seriously, wow. River gods and female pirates, sorry privateers, and hate to love romance that worked SO WELL. And enthusiastically consensual teen sex (fade to black) where the guy keeps checking as things get going! And a world where women are still at a disadvantage but several women don't let that stop them including Caro's mom! Oh and Caro is a red head with dark skin and tightly curled hair who is repeatedly shown she is beautiful and deserves to be cherished. Omg!!!!!!!!! Also drakon, the best drakon.
Profile Image for Beatrice in Bookland.
444 reviews838 followers
July 16, 2017
DNF @19%

I just can't do it.
I enjoyed the first two chapters but after that I was just bored out of my mind and I really don't want to force myself to read the next 300 + pages

Profile Image for Eon ♒Windrunner♒  .
418 reviews459 followers
August 1, 2017
Caro & her father make a living as wherrymen and occasional smugglers. Through a series of unfortunate events, captaincy is thrust upon Caroline Oresteia together with a mission of utmost importance and very specific requirements. If she fulfills these requirements, her father, currently held captive by the same people who need the crate delivered, will be freed. That's it. She is given no more information. Take it or leave it...

Caroline signs the contract.

The requirements:
- Deliver a enigmatic crate to the Akhaian Consulate in Valonikos
- Do NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES open the crate.
- Do NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES think of a pink elephant wearing a tutu.


Ok, that last one was made up just to illustrate the point of telling someone not to do something UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES .

Seems easy enough though, apart from the pirates hunting up and down the river for this very specific cargo, and oh yes, THE BOX THAT MUST NOT BE OPENED.

Well you can guess what happens next. ;) And of course it changes everything for Caroline, or Caro as she is called.

The bad first.
⛵ The story felt VERY YA. Yes, I knew it was YA going in, but the characters felt younger than their stated ages which did not help.
⛵The pace meandered and had me dragging my eyes from one page to the next, wondering how far I was going to make it.
⛵There is a lot of sailing jargon, and although that would not normally be an issue for me, in this story it just added to the anchor weighing down the pace. I considered dropping this one altogether quite a few times, but there were flashes of good stuff that did just enough to keep me going in the right direction. So, onto that.

The good.
⛵There is a fantasy element to the story (rather obvious or else why would I read it? - I NEEDSSSS SOME FANTASY ) that reminds me of both the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher and the Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell (both GREAT) in that the protagonist does not seem to have access to the magic that most of his or her people have access too. Love it.
⛵The banter between between certain characters did get amusing at times.
⛵While the first half drrrraaagggggeeedd by, the second half was much better.

I had high hopes for this one (early rave reviews), ) but those hopes steadily receded from view as I started off with this book, only to leave glimpses of hope in it's wake. The writing at times sucked. At other times it was great. The first half of the book was a chore, the second half somehow managed to get me on board. And that's why I will probably pick up the next book to see what happens and hope it continues to improve.

2 stars for the first half and 4 stars for the second averages out to 3 stars overall.
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
976 reviews776 followers
August 16, 2017
“Magic doesn't make a man evil,” he said. “It's just a skill. It isn't inherently good or bad. It's what's in his heart that makes him evil, the same as anyone else.”

I swear I'm a sucker for a good pirate/privateer story

Now be warned, this book isn't a non-stop action-action packed adventure. While it certainly has it's intense, suspenseful moments. This book is as the title might imply, a steady current.

Caro (our main protagonist):
I think what I like the most about Caro is that she's got a good head on her shoulders. For once our heroine isn't someone trying to escape her former, current life. Caro is proud of who she is and where she comes from. She's realistic and knows what she wants in life.

Despite all the obstacles, Caro is always determined to do what is right.

And when it comes to Markos and his quest, she isn't immediately swept up into everything. She's guarded and rational. Though she does feel an attraction, and eventually something more, for Markos she is cautious with her heart and isn't instantly swept in by any charm or a pretty face. They grow to care for each other deeply, but ideologically they are very different and it's nice to see our main character take that heart. Because many times we are introduced to characters who are supposedly each other's greatest love, but at their core are so fundamentally different in their values and beliefs that you know in real life it would never work out *cough* Cal and Mare *cough*

*More detailed review to Come*
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 29 books5,609 followers
July 27, 2018
Swashbuckling pirate adventure with loads of political intrigue AND magic. Fun book for fans of True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Celia Rees' Pirates! but who like unique magic systems as well!
Profile Image for Rachael (RedRchlReads).
163 reviews114 followers
June 23, 2018
4 Stars!

Song of the Current is one of those books that completely took me by surprise. It was recommended to me, quite forcefully might I add, by one of my bookstagram besties. Even though our reading tastes only have a smallish area of overlap, I decided to give it a go anyway and am so glad I did. Of course, it has been almost a year since I first read this, so take my review with a grain of salt since it's obviously not quite fresh in my mind anymore.

This story has everything that makes up a great YA fantasy. River pirates. Strong female lead. A bit of forbidden love. Family secrets. And of course we can't forget a healthy dash of magic. The beginning was a bit slow, but the story quickly picked up speed and took us on a wild ride along the river.

The characters were all fantastic, and I loved getting to know Caro and Fee especially. While there were certain parts that were more predictable, both plot and character-wise, I did overall enjoy the way the story spun out. Ultimately, I really liked the path the story sailed in the end and where/how things were left. It was nice to not have a massive cliffhanger, even though this is the first in a series, but to have a good sense of finality and closure. This is not something we always see in YA novels, especially when the author is hoping to extend a single book into a series.

Along those lines, I had the opportunity to chat with the author, Sarah Tolcser, a couple of times over the past few months. She is such a sweet person. I love when authors take the time to speak with their readers.

I'm really looking forward to reading Whisper of the Tide. I can't wait to see where things go in this next book and how the characters grow and change given how things were left.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,084 reviews215 followers
August 23, 2020
Not sure why it took me so long to dive into this book but I am so happy that I finally did it!

Song of the Current was such a fun audiobook to dive into. In it, you will meet Caroline. Now she was a fun character to like and watch grow. With her father being arrested, she doesn't hesitate to step up and do her duty. There's just one little snag in her new life, she is now being hunted by pirates.

Caro opened a mysterious box and woke up a boy, Tarquin. Honestly their whole dynamic was fun to devour. I just really enjoyed them being together even if they had a ton of secrets themselves. Once they got to know each other a bit better, they just became all kinds of adorable to me.

Even though I really enjoyed this book, I'm not really sure how I feel about the ending. I see that there is another book so I will definitely have to dive into that and hope for the best.

Profile Image for Bitchin' Reads.
459 reviews122 followers
July 3, 2017
I honestly think I may have to amend my favorite YA fantasy to this book from Cora Carmack's Roar. 'Awesome' doesn't even begin to describe it...

Think Pirates of the Caribbean meets The Oracle Betrayed with a touch of Egyptian/Greek feels. Seriously. So goddamn good.

I consumed this so quickly! Like 50 pages yesterday and the rest today! It is so magical!

Real review to come. :)
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