- Series: These Rebel Waves (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray (August 7, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062471503
- ISBN-13: 978-0062471505
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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These Rebel Waves Hardcover – August 7, 2018
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“An action-packed political thriller filled with betrayal, plot twists, and touches of romance.” (Booklist)
“Magic, politics, and religion collide in unexpected ways in this action-packed fantasy adventure.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Full of mesmerizing magic, political intrigue plotted in dark grottos, and a cast of sharp-witted rogues, These Rebel Waves swashbuckled its way into my heart and never let go. Raasch has outdone herself with this new series. You won’t want to put it down.” (Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of The Crown’s Game and The Crown’s Fate)
“Ambitious, smart, and breathlessly fun. A richly drawn world, multiple plot twists, and characters you’ll find yourself cheering for again and again make These Rebel Waves the kind of book where ‘just one more chapter’ just isn’t enough.” (Claire Legrand, author of Furyborn)
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From the Back Cover
A revolutionary. A raider. A prince. Will fight for their countries, their families, themselves—or face a war that could destroy the world as they know it.
Adeluna is a soldier.
Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something dangerous is at work.
Devereux is a pirate.
As one of the stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he scavenges the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.
Benat is a heretic.
The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.
As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.
Top customer reviews
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If you were expecting a swash-buckling pirate adventure (perhaps informed so by the Goodreads genres), this will be a bit of a disappointment. It is more political intrigue than high seas adventure, and the plot proceeds very slowly. It is, in parts, both character-driven, and plot-driven (though I would argue it is more of the latter) and takes you through a series of revelations about the nature of the relationships between the different cultures, and the magic of the island. And by magic, I mean 'Really Advanced Botany' - the magical plants of Grace Loray are said to be fed by the waters on the island, which make them useful for trade, but Argrid's fanatical interest in holding the island is so that they can 'cleanse the heretics from the devil magic'.
Ben was interested in the plants and how they can be used for good in his childhood, but after his uncle and cousin were both burned for their interest, he had to keep his down really low. His father is the head of the kingdom and church, and so wields enormous power as well as a iron-fisted hold over his subjects, with the slightest hint of subversion being met with torture and executions. Lu was a part of the freedom struggle from a young age, as a spy and soldier in the revolutionists' arsenal and has come away with bloody hands and a heart full of regrets, and idealistically believes in the Grace Lorayan Council until shown the truth through Vex. Vex, for his part, has a lot of secrets in his past, the least of which is his torture by the church, and the hold Argrid has over him. When she recruits him to help her find the diplomat, she is still under the impression that things will change from that one small act, but they soon realize that the schemes of Argrid go further than what they both knew.
The world-building of the novel takes place throughout the book, giving us hints into the cultures of the original mainland countries, but also showing it in the diaspora of the syndicates. Some of them are attached to their countries, but others want to work for the future of Grace Loray instead. The races described are mostly POC, including Argridians, and there are some multiracial characters, including Lu, so it goes into how it defines them, as well as the plight of immigrants onto the island. Another theme is how just because something isn't as bad as before doesn't make it right, as evidenced by Lu initially clinging to her prejudices because she holds the Council in high regard. One thing I loved in this fantasy world is that there was no homophobia, not even in one of the countries (yep, not even in the uber-religious one, which was especially a relief as Ben is gay); it does, however, have class divide and racism.
On relationships, there are few developments, but the prominent romantic ones are Ben-Jakes and Lu-Vex. I was particularly amused by how Vex is continuously surprised and amazed by Lu throughout the book, and she slowly warms up to him over their shared tortured childhoods. Lu's and Teo's relationship as foster siblings is also a key decision point for her, something that keeps her grounded while she is getting lost in her past, and also as a foil for her own childhood. Ben's disintegrating relationship with his father and his kingdom is saddening, as he in parts doubts his own leadership and fears his own subjects who are one mistake away from clamoring for his blood, but eventually he stands up for what is right. There are strong secondary characters, too, like Vex's crew (Nay was such a firecracker!) and the Tuncian syndicate.
Overall, it a lavishly built fantasy series, with lots of political drama and an excellent set of characters, but suffers from a slow pace.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Balzer + Bray, via Edelweiss.
Six years ago, Lu was a solider in the revolution to free Grace Loray from the religious dictatorship of Argrid. Now, Grace Loray is trying to stabilize the country, but when peace talks end with an Argridian delegate going missing, Lu knows something sinister is brewing beneath the surface to upset the hard-won peace. She enlists the aid of notorious stream raider Devereux “Vex” Bell to help find the delegate before civil war breaks out between the Grace Lorayans and the criminal syndicates.
Meanwhile, Benat, the crown prince of Argrid, has been hiding his true self ever since he witnessed the burning of his uncle and cousin six years ago for heresy. He knows if he ever reveals his fascination with Grace Lorayan magics he’ll be painted as a heretic and set to burn in the name of the Pious God. When his father seemingly gives Ben the ok to research magics to help cure the spread of disease in Argrid, Ben is immediately put on alert waiting for the other shoe to drop in regards to his true motivations.
These Rebel Waves has so much going for it. First off, I liked the setup of the story. A lot of times the books we read are on the cusp of a revolution, and by the end of the book (or series) the fighting has happened and the good guys have won. Here, however, we’re seeing the after. We’re seeing a country trying to rebuild itself, and it’s not going exactly as planned as threats of civil war are on the horizon. I thought that was an interesting spot to begin.
Also, the use of botanical magic was a nice change of pace from the typical idea of magic being an inherent ability to something that anyone with the right tools (i.e. the right plant) can utilize.
My favorite thing is the setting. While searching for the missing delegate we’re taken through cities and ports, islands, bayous, and aboard other ships. We meet a myriad of people with varying belief systems and values. While, at first, it’s a bit daunting, it quickly forms into a cohesive whole. I look forward to getting to explore more of this world in the next book.
Despite having a wonderful setting with great world building, and a plot that pushes forward at a steady pace, I was thrown by the characterization. All the characters just felt a little flat. Even the three main characters, Lu, Vex, and Ben never gained any kind of emotional attachment from me. When twists and revelations are made, they felt more like things that were expected to happen (or actions I expected the characters to make) rather than truly surprising me. On the other hand, there’s a lot going on in this first book, and our protagonists are coming to terms with the fact that there was a lot about the war they didn’t understand. Things that are coming back around to influence the second possible war on the horizon. Now that more is understood and more connections have been made between past and present, I think there’s the potential to see a lot of character growth in the next book.
While not everything went smoothly for me with this read, I enjoyed it overall, and will definitely pick up the next book.
Most recent customer reviews
To start off I received an Advanced Reader Copy in a giveaway hosted by the author.Read more