by Sarah Tolcser
Series: Song of the Current #1
Published on June 6, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
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Current carry you, my friend, because this book certainly will! I was so excited about Song of the Current and usually all that excitement tends to mean I absolutely love a book or it doesn’t meet my expectations. This happened to be the former (yay!) and I am SO ready for the next book in the series.
Tolcser creates such an interesting world with the god at the bottom of the river, the frogmen, the wherries traveling the rivers beholden to no emparch or lord. It’s the story of the common people with a destiny that cannot be escaped and that immediately stood out for me. There’s such a vibrancy to the writing, the way the characters talk, the different cultures of the people Caro meets along the trip. It’s rich, unique, and I devoured it.
Caro is the perfect example of what I look for in a heroine. She’s strong and brave, but makes mistakes, gets flustered, knows a lot about some things but still has a lot to learn—she is a character who grows. In this book alone she’s not the same girl she started out as and I loved watching that transformation. She’s caring and devoted and if I had to pick a character to be in my corner, I’d want her.
Not that Tarquin is anything to sneer at, quite the swordsman that one. Tolscer actually showed a great character arc for him too which I was really impressed by. He and Caro have to work together and it changes both of them ultimately for the better. Plus, their dynamic made for some pretty entertaining scenes (a bucket of water comes to mind…).
I even liked their romance even though I saw it coming. While I don’t think it was necessary exactly, I totally want more. I love romance in my stories and this one was perfect, somewhat of an enemies-to-lovers deal but not rushed and also not childish. The characters are treated as both teens and adults in the decisions they make which I appreciated as a reader.
The other characters that came and went throughout the book never suffered either. I felt like each received enough detail to give them life depending on how large of a role they played. There are definitely some side stories I can see coming out in the future, like Kenté’s (oh PLEASE give us her story!).
Song of the Current is full of action and adventure that sang to my inner pirate lover (even if the main character isn’t a pirate). Perfect for fans of the sea-driven Daughter of the Pirate King and the beautifully written The Hundredth Queen. I don’t think I can recommend this book enough, and if you haven’t already, definitely get this one on your TBR and pre-ordered. It’s time to sail down the river in your own wherry!