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Where the Waters Turn Black

(Yarnsworld #2)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  57 reviews
When gods and monsters battle, her music will not protect her…

The Crescent Atoll is a remote string of tropical islands, connected by long canoe journeys and a love of stories.

When Kaimana, a young ocarina player, discovers the lair of a taniwha – a legendary monster – she finds herself inspired. The song she is composing about their encounter will be her masterpiece, but
Kindle Edition, 218 pages
Published November 2016
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Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew RoweCrown of Ice by Vicki L. WeavilThe Waterfall Traveler by S.J. LemDevotion by Katika SchneiderBallad of the Beanstalk by Amy McNulty
SPFBO 3 2017
297 books — 127 voters
The Waterfall Traveler by S.J. LemThe Heartstone Thief by Pippa DaCostaWhere the Waters Turn Black by Benedict PatrickThe Crimson Queen by Alec HutsonAndy McBean and the War of the Worlds by Dale Kutzera
31 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  240 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Bill Door
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Edit: Full length review and an upgrade to 5 stars. As I sat and wrote this review and stewed on what I read I really feel this should be bumped up.

I would have picked this book up anyway since I’ve already read, They Mostly Come Out at Night, which is book 1 in this series.

Although this is a ‘sequel’, it’s really more of a stand alone story in the same world IMO, although there is a cross over character by the end, you don’t necessarily have to know who he is to get the story.

I liked They Most
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I lovelovelovelovelovelovelove this book. I love it as a reader who is always down for a good folktale retelling. And I love it as a Pacific Islander who hadn't realized until this moment how much they craved representation in their favorite genre. Loved it.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-read
I have the rare honor on this review to get some vital input from a guest co-reviewer: my 13-year-old son, Joshua. Over the past 10 days, I read this book out loud to him, and I have asked him to give his input, so this is a 2-for-1 review. (Can this also count as a book report for him?)

A little backstory… I have been reading books out loud to my son and my wife since last December, and this was the latest book, following Rothfuss, Pratchett and Bancroft. I used to read a lot to my son when he w
David Baird
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
After Benedict’s previous work They Mostly Come Out At Night I was left wanting..wanting more of his work. Fortunately for me and you the author hasn’t kept us waiting long..phew.

We are back in the wonderfully dark and exciting world the author has created full of gods and monsters that will send shivers down small children’s backs.

I loved this book. It feels like a fairytale.. but not the Disney kind.. the true kind.. think The Brothers Grimm. Myths told to scare the little ones come to life an
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, folk
Imagine a baby blue clear ocean, lots of sunshine, golden sandy beaches, canoes… coconut trees and colorful fish. People who live a simple life, believe, fear and celebrate gods. The Crescent Atoll is a laid back paradise of breathtaking sights… and yet… gods are not the only ones the people of the Atoll feel weary about, there are also the taniwhas. The monsters.

Like many Atoll villages, Pukotala was a small collection of wooden huts thatched with dried palm leaves. It was a fishing settlement
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-published
I'll be honest with you. I didn't like They Mostly Came at Night. Parts of it were great, but, overall, it just didn't work for me. As a result, I decided not to read more Yarnsworld novels.

Obviously, things changed. Why? Well, last year I read two anthologies - Lost Lore and The Art of War - and in both cases, Benedict Patrick's short stories were among my favorites ones.

Additionally, I'm keen on r/fantasy Book Bingo Challenge and one of 2018 squares is Novel Featuring a Protagonist Who is a
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read, fantasy
Actual rating: 4.50
Aidan Hennessy
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indie
A beautiful Polynesian-inspired fairy tale, with plenty of humour and pathos. Plus, I totally pictured the protagonist as Disney's Moana.
Valicity Garris
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

I knew I would love this story from the first page. It is hard to describe the beauty in this piece, as there is so much. The characters, their lives, their culture, their faith, their journeys—all of it is a culmination of everything you would want in a dark—yet somehow lighthearted—book of fable, folklore, and myth. It has just the right mix of adventure and mystery, friendship and hurt, joy and wonder. It all comes together
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full review is here, on my blog

Oh my this was such an enjoyable little book. It’s a standalone in the Yarnsworld series, definitely, as it takes place in a very, very different part of the world that They Mostly Come Out at Night began to describe. This one takes place in The Crescent Atoll, a series of islands that is more than a little reminiscent of Polynesia. Where TMCOaN gave me a very dark, spooky forest feeling, this one gave me a much sunnier, beachier… volcanoier (you’re welcome for thi
Clare O'Beara
Disclaimer: I won a paperback in a Goodreads giveaway from the author. This has not affected my review.
I thoroughly enjoyed the immersive South Sea fantasy, where only entertainers range widely between islands and gods walk in, magical realism style, if their name is slighted. A young musician who left her fisher family for a more exciting life has to wait for a creative Spark of inspiration... which only seems to arrive after she disturbs a big scary doglike monster in a cave. While doing dama
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full of folkloric charm and a classic tale of the triumph of virtue. The Odyssey meets Free Willy--an adventure between unlikely friends into mysterious lands inhabited by strange, fantastical creatures and capricious gods.

Evoking breathtaking imagery, moving fluidly (or swimmingly, if you prefer) from one exotic setting to another, a testament to a very thoughtful worldbuilding. The writing is similarly thoughtful and deliberate, sophisticated and lyrical.

Particularly interesting was the relati
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One word: Awesome !!! Thanks for the ARC Benedict Patrick, Now I will have to buy the book to see if anything got changed! :) It's on my Christmas wish list at Amazon!
Let me start of by saying I love Yarnsworld, this book follows the same format as They Mostly Come Out at Night in how it alternates a chapter of story then a short folk tale from the area the story takes place.

Having read They Mostly Come Out at Night I loved the story but I had some issues with the actual writing, primarily the dialogue it. Those issues are not present in this story and the flow of the story benefited greatly from this.

Kaimana the main character has a knack for music, she pl
Disclaimer: I give self-published book a higher rating (because of the obvious reasons), so the 'real rating' is close to 4.5

This book is set in the same world as the first novel of this author, They Mostly Come Out At NightThey Mostly Come Out At Night. What drew me to them was the combination of the beautiful cover and enticing title, to be honest. I stayed for the folklore, fairy tale vibe, and setting. This book is set on Atoll, a series of closely situated islands, where capricious gods wa
Ooha Biddala
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
When Kaimana left her tiny island, all she’d wanted in life was to prove herself; to her parents, to goddess Laka of song and dance, to her knack and to herself. However, that journey is derailed by a single moment of curiosity. The moment she looked into the green eyes of the wooden Taniwha, Kaimana should have known that life would never be the same. A tale of courage, a tale of an arduous journey, a tale of friendship between a girl and a monster. Set in the universe of Benedict Patrick’s pre ...more
K.T. Munson
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Kaimana is a likable character but more importantly she feels real. Her decisions aren't always perfect but there is something of a dreamer in her that is to be admired. Rakau is the tanwha and has a big personality. He reminds me of a big intelligent dog. The supporting characters are varied but most seems to be morally reprehensible characters. From her parents that can't understand to her 'mentor' Eloni (who is a real twit).


This book was such an array of themes. At its core I fe
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
My primary complaint about the first Yarnsworld book was that I never was able to connect to the main characters. This standalone sequel (yep, that's right) rectified that.

While it took a few pages to sink into this, I found myself thoroughly compelled by Kaimana's story. The opening was a bit slow and I found Kaimana's inner thoughts to be repetitive, but by the time Kaimana had made the decision to leave the troupe of performers, I was eager to see where she would take me.

The setting of this
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
OMG where should I start? I loved this book, even better than They Mostly Come Out At Night. It was the perfect summer read for me: it was full of adventure, sea, mithology, interesting creatures and characters and short stories supporting the main story. I'm quite drawn to water (I'm an aquarius, go figure) and immensly enjoyed traveling around the Atoll with Kaimana and her friend Rakau, learning about the islands and their mithology.
I could see where the inspiration come from (even before re
David Christian
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Let me start with a frank experience: I couldn't put this book down. The moment I flip over the the first page of the first chapter to the second, I couldn't put the damn good book down till the last page. (which leaves me quite emotional on how many twists were developed..) In between each chapters, Benedict slips a short folk tale which is quite unusual for writers and truthfully, I skipped the 2 last tales of the book.. BECAUSE THE MAIN STORY'S REAL GOOD. Trust me, I rarely finish a reading i ...more
Aaron Hubble
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am a big fan of Patrick's first book and was kind of disappointed he wasn't returning to the Magpie King. I didn't need to worry. This is another excellent book set in the Yarnsworld universe. While They Mostly Come Out at Night was dark, Where the Waters Turn Black is more hopeful, a little brighter.

Kaimana is a character you will fall in love with as she navigates the atoll and all its wonderful creatures. I found the setting unique for a fantasy and it had a real fable/fairytale kind of fee
4.5/5 stars for me. This was a highly enjoyable read! Also, I swear I'm not choosing books for their cover, but I'm on a roll with the gorgeous covers lately. The cover of this book is fabulous (just as book 1, They Mostly Come Out at Night) was. Very striking!

Short Summary: This is the second book in the Yarnsworld universe/series, however each of the books in the series are designed to stand alone and so far they do that very well. There is only one crossover character from book 1 who shows up
Alex S. Bradshaw
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With this book Benedict Patrick has secured himself as one of my favourite authors.

This book has a wonderful cover that ties it into the first in the Yarnsworld series but also makes it feel different. Although I know they say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, I think you can put stock in how much effort was put into the cover and here there's a lot of thought and effort on show.

The book itself follows a similar set up to They Mostly Come Out At Night in that there are miniature stori
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fbc-spfbo-3
OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Where The Waters Turn Black by Benedict Patrick has many things going for it. It’s the winner of the best cover in the 2017 SPFBO competition as well as it’s a very unusual cross between Moana & the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. This book while being a standalone is set in the Yarnsworld setting.

I loved Benedict Patrick’s debut They Mostly Come At Night and so I was even more excited when WTWTB was in my lot. The story focusses on Pukotala and the neighboring Atoll islands
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the darker and grittier feel of the first Yarnsworld novel, so I wasn't sure how much I would like this one from the blurb. However, once it got rolling it easily became my favorite of the two.

Instead of a bond between potential lovers like the first book, this is one of a bond between a young women and a monster. This again focused on what lengths one would go in order to protect that friendship regardless of the circumstances and I felt the author did this very well.

Another t
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I finished this story days ago....I am still thinking of Kamina's journey and it has permanently changed me and my views. As a woman, I was inspired and empowered and Kaimana will now forever be my favorite character. This is a story of unwavering love and trust but also one of breaking ceilings. Kaimana went against the wishes of her family and friends to follow her passions and faced hardships and heartbreak but grew as a character and hero. The theme was all about going against the grain and ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Okay, I'll come right out and say it - I LOVED this book. Like, actually, completely loved it.

There's just something about the whole girl and her odd friend going on adventures that satisfy my every story craving, and this was no exception. It was full of adventure, Kaimana was just a lovely protagonist and Rakau was a lovely monster!

Some highlights - I loved Yam too. The forgotten god who doesn't want to be forgotten but just needs that extra push to get there. And him joining in the adventure
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Another great Yarnsworld book ... looking forward to the next one. I really like folk tales and fables so these fantasy versions of folk-tales are great.
This one was inspired by Maori myth and legend apparently - although I only recognised the Taniwha as Maori, As a naturalised Kiwi and mother of three Kiwi kids this was an especially lovely tale. Definitely a Polynesian inspired story.
Go here to learn a little about the Taniwha>/a>
kartik narayanan
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read the full review at my site Digital Amrit

Rarely in the stories did mortals fare well when concerning themselves with the affairs of gods and monsters.

The Yarnsworld series , written by Benedick Patrick, consists of three books so far. These are ‘They Mostly Come Out At Night’, ‘Where the Waters Turn Black’ and ‘Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords’.

Yarnsworld is difficult to describe in terms of conventional genres. Some of the books are very dark while others are n
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Second instalment of Yarnsworld (I really liked the first).
Another folklore inspired tale in a completely different setting to the first - this one taking place on a collection of islands, with people similar to the Maori - quite unique and interesting. There are giant monsters, God's walking the earth and living amongst the people, and mortals who receive magical type inspiration for their 'gifted' vocations. There are some small crossovers connecting the books, so I'm thinking the premise may
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Benedict Patrick is from a small town in Northern Ireland called Banbridge, but has been living and working in Scotland since he moved there at the age of eighteen. Tragically, that was quite a while ago.

He has been writing for most of his life, and has been reading for pretty much all of it (with help from mum and dad at the beginning). Benedict's life changed when a substitute primary school tea

Other books in the series

Yarnsworld (4 books)
  • They Mostly Come Out at Night (Yarnsworld, #1)
  • Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords (Yarnsworld #3)
  • From the Shadows of the Owl Queen's Court (Yarnsworld #4)