The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska. Sourcebooks Fire, 2020. 9781728209982
Format: ARC (June 2020 release)
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? In this dystopian fairy tale, a young person must be sacrificed to keep the dark tide of water from inundating the island nation of Caldella. Lina is in love with Thomas, who escaped this fate the year before, and she worries that her brother Finley my be the Queen’s chosen sacrifice this year on the full moon. Her brother is a handsome, talented musician, and the Queen will choose someone like him to fall in love with and sacrifice. The Queen, on the other hand, has no appetite for this tradition, since her sister died the year before when Thomas escaped. The perspectives of Lina and Eva, the Queen, unfold in alternating chapters, showing that each young woman has deep emotions and grief about this annual event. Magic, romance and suspense combine in a dramatic conclusion, including the unexpected feelings that develop between Lina and Eva. Interestingly, Lina falls in love with Eva, while still feeling drawn to Thomas. I haven’t seen many bisexual characters in fantasy. Her ambivalent attraction is portrayed with sensitivity and will be a welcome part of the story for many YA readers.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? For ages 14 and up. There is wishing and kissing but no sex, so younger readers who don’t mind romance with their fantasy could also enjoy this.
Who should buy this book? High school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Young adult fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: July 12, 2020