Review of ‘The Dark Tide’ (The Dark Tide #1)

By Cynthia Bujnicki

The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
Sourcebooks Fire
Image Credit: Edelweiss

“Every year on Walpurgis Night, Caldella’s Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace—an innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking. Convinced her handsome brother is going to be taken, Lina Kirk enlists the help of the mysterious Tomas Lin, her secret crush and the only boy to ever escape from the palace. But when the queen’s eye turns to Tomas, she spirits him away instead. Lina blames herself and decides to go after him. When Lina is caught breaking into the palace, the queen offers her a deal: she will let Tomas go if Lina agrees to take his place. Lina accepts and the two soon learn that neither is what they expected. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella’s streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.” —Sourcebooks Fire

Published by Sourcebooks Fire, The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska, is a gripping dark fairy-tale fantasy.

An excellent dark fantasy. Honestly, this was such a good novel, and the LGBTQ representation was excellent. The fact that it just exists in the story, so naturally, makes the novel astounding. It also adds to the world-building and the depth of the characterization since the main character has two moms. It is invigorating to see it just bleed into the confines of the societal structure in the novel. It makes the novel more realistic in an impactful way.

As for the story, the world-building is exceptional. There are snippets of where these people came from and why they live in a world that is both beautiful and tragic. It gives off this wonderful feeling as it lures the reader into the story and the history of the world without overwhelming the reader. It has a breathtaking edge to it as it is something rather unique. It also steps away from classic fantasy tropes and cliches revolving dark fantasy, witches, and romance, making the novel even more engaging for the reader.

Jasinska did a fantastic job in constructing this novel, giving the reader a look at the characters, a look at their pain, guilt, remorse, and desires. She creates complex characters in a complex narrative to keep the story engaging. Lina is the unsuspecting heroine of the novel and works hard to keep those she cares about safe. Lina is not, admittedly, the most engaging character in the beginning. Lina is relatable, there is no doubt about that, but it is not until Lina meets Eva that she becomes engaging, and that has to do with the character dynamics. Eva is a brilliant character because of her complex nature. In the beginning, it does not seem that way, but as the story continues, it peels away layers of her past to reveal why she has so much anger, so much grief, and her connection with Lina, it is empowering to both of them. Together they make such an incredible duo.

The Dark Tide is a fantastic novel. The perfect pacing allows all aspects of the novel to grow and develop into a beautiful breath of fresh air. (★★★★☆)

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Product Details:

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

Page count: 336pp

Age Range: 14 & Over

ISBN: 978-1-7282-0998-2

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

List Price: $17.99


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