Cait • A Page with a View's Reviews > Sweet Black Waves

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
47412532
's review

really liked it
bookshelves: 2018-arcs, celtic-saxon-norse, retellings

3.5 stars. I have been waiting forever for a YA retelling of Tristan and Iseult! Then my enthusiasm went to a whole new level when I saw hints of the Mabinogion in here, too. (Disclaimer: I am obsessed with Celtic languages & mythology, so my rating probably focused on different aspects of the book than others might). I thought the names and the author's note in the back explaining her choices were really clever & fascinating.

There were a ton of elements of this story I really loved! Aside from the Celtic setting and influences, there were pirates, magic, a prince, and a relatable main character who slowly gained more agency throughout the story. The writing was good, but the tone and characters definitely felt a bit on the younger side (not that there's anything wrong with that... it just wasn't a perfect fit for me). The plot also didn't get as deep into the story as I would've liked. It kind of skimmed the surface and stuck with the drama when I wanted more depth from every character and the amazing world.

In the beginning the princess (who feels confined by her title and wants MORE out of life) gets drunk with Branwen and giggles about boys. A lot more like that ensues. Basically, the people of Iveriu (Ireland) and Kernyv (Cornwall) are enemies. Branwen's parents were killed by raiders and she hates the enemy, but then saves one who washes up on shore... it's Tristan. You know the drill. In the end, she has to choose between Tristan and her land.

You definitely don't need to be super familiar with Tristan & Iseult or the Mabinogion to read this, but the connections were my favorite part because I adore retellings!! I also love how many YA Celtic & Norse stories are coming out this spring about girls who are torn between their people and the "enemy." If you like this one then check out Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake, or... ugh I'm forgetting the last one I read. But a few others that come to mind are Between Two Fires by Mark Noce, Deception's Princess, and Warrior Princess!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.
74 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Sweet Black Waves.
Sign In »

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Margo OMG this sounds like a perfect storm of everything I love! June is too far away for this gal 😫 thanks for the review and putting it on my radar!


message 2: by Luvtoread (new)

Luvtoread Wonderful informative review Cait!


message 3: by MA (new)

MA Tristan and Iseult? Sold.


Sarah This sounds really good! I've been getting into similar books recently, thanks for reviewing this and bringing it to my attention! :D


Minni Mouse I was literally about to type the same comment as Mai-Anh.


message 6: by Ben (new) - added it

Ben Gaffney TRISTAN AND ISOLDE? I NEED IT NOW


message 7: by Amelia (new) - added it

Amelia I too have been waiting forever for a YA retelling of Tristan and Isolde!


message 8: by Elias (new) - added it

Elias Even though I am allergic to retellings I love the story of Tristan and Isolde (including the film-- it's underrated, beautifully shot, and Sophia Myles is perfection) and the Mabinogion is brilliant, so I must read this. I love a good Celtic fantasy!


Cait • A Page with a View Elias wrote: "Even though I am allergic to retellings I love the story of Tristan and Isolde (including the film-- it's underrated, beautifully shot, and Sophia Myles is perfection) and the Mabinogion is brillia..."

oh yay, hope you like the connections here then!


Cait • A Page with a View Amelia wrote: "I too have been waiting forever for a YA retelling of Tristan and Isolde!"

Ben wrote: "TRISTAN AND ISOLDE? I NEED IT NOW"

Minni Mouse wrote: "I was literally about to type the same comment as Mai-Anh."

Sarah wrote: "This sounds really good! I've been getting into similar books recently, thanks for reviewing this and bringing it to my attention! :D"

Mai-Anh wrote: "Tristan and Iseult? Sold."

Luvtoread wrote: "Wonderful informative review Cait!"

Margo wrote: "OMG this sounds like a perfect storm of everything I love! June is too far away for this gal 😫 thanks for the review and putting it on my radar!"

yay hope you guys love it! :)


back to top