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Whisper of the Tide

Review

Whisper of the Tide

Caro Oresteia thought that the hardest part was over when she and Markos came to Valonikos --- at least they were safer. But it’s been three months, and things aren’t getting any easier. Markos spends his days trying to draw up support for his claim to the Arkhaian throne, Caro close by his side. The courtiers and nobles with the power to help them turn their backs, their silence punctuated only by the assassination attempts on Markos’ life.

"[WHISPER OF THE TIDE] continues to develop the relationship of individuals and the gods of the water that they are bound to, creating interesting dynamics and plot twists that defy the usual tropes of heroes..."

Though Caro tries to fend off the violence and keep Markos encouraged, she can hear the sea god whispering to her, mocking her --- because when the sea god claims someone, she doesn’t like to be denied, and Caro cannot serve her from the land, nor can she serve both the sea god and Markos. While Markos has been the person strengthening Caro on solid ground, suddenly even his support is called into question by the potential for a marriage alliance with the daughter of a powerful noble: an alliance that would provide him with military support necessary for retaking his throne, but also permanently end his relationship with Caro. As Caro and Markos struggle to make sense of their relationship and its future, more problems threaten their chance to succeed and to stay close, leading them to question their very identities and purposes --- together or separate.

Sarah Tolcser’s WHISPER OF THE TIDE provides readers with familiar characters facing unfamiliar situations and conflicts. This novel’s setting is predominately land, rather than water, but there are still some naval adventures and plenty of intrigue on land to provide excitement! The sequel to SONG OF THE CURRENT continues to develop the relationship of individuals and the gods of the water that they are bound to, creating interesting dynamics and plot twists that defy the usual tropes of heroes and their supernatural guardians in many stories. The sea god is jealous and manipulative, more often weakening Caro rather than strengthening her, and her personality clashes with Caro’s own stubbornness and passion.

Tolcser also continues to explore Caro as a character, revealing her personality as she encounters further trials, ones that often throw her out of her element. While she retains her spunk and fire, in many cases her misfortunes cause her to doubt herself, an internal conflict that helps to make the book relatable, even though it is set in an imagined world. As to be expected in a world of swaggering sailors and jealous gods, Caro’s story includes plenty of questionable side characters that provide an interesting look at the motivations of morally complex individuals and the mystery of people that keep their true intentions close to their hearts. For all its strengths, however, Tolcser’s story occasionally struggles with pacing --- at times it felt as if major events lacked strong buildup, taking away some of the gravity of the moment and the natural rhythm of the story. Regardless of the pacing, though, WHISPER OF THE TIDE carries plenty of plot twists to keep the reader engaged.

A strong sequel to SONG OF THE CURRENT, Tolcser’s WHISPER OF THE TIDE continues to provide readers with all the ingredients of an adventure, from memorable characters to fast-paced, unexpected action. For teens looking for an exciting series, Tolcser’s duology provides a unique and interesting story for all.

Reviewed by Rachel R., Teen Board Member on June 28, 2018

Whisper of the Tide
by Sarah Tolcser