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 more dangerous is at work.
Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates 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.
It’s way past time that I read a Sara Raasch novel but I knew I needed to start with These Rebel Waves. I’m always on the search for the perfect pirate novel and while These Rebel Waves may not have been the best, it’s definitely up there on my list.
I struggled with the beginning of These Rebel Waves. With it being the first in a new fantasy series, there was a ton of information that readers needed to find out and there wasn’t a whole lot of time to really immerse readers into the story. Because of that, the first 1/4 of the book really felt like nothing but an info dump. Rather than dive right into the story, readers were introduced to the characters in a kind of confusing way. I felt like there was so much information being thrown at me from every side, I just couldn’t keep up. I was so confused for a good portion of These Rebel Waves.
Once I was able to get past my confusion, I found myself more than slightly invested in the story. The three main characters Benat (Ben), Adeluna (Lu), and Devereux (Vex) quickly captured my interest and their stories intrigued me. Lu and Vex were easier to like but Ben certainly had my attention. Lu and Vex had this amazing banter going from their first encounter. It was my favorite aspect of their relationship and I found myself looking forward to their interactions. Ben’s story was very different from theirs. As the crown prince of Argrid, he could have easily taken on the role of villain and he still may. He hides more than he shares and he’s got plenty of secrets. I don’t feel like I truly got to know him in These Rebel Waves so hopefully he will play a larger role in the sequel.
Most of the exciting parts of the story happened during the last 1/4 of the book but I was never bored with These Rebel Waves. There was always something going on or some secret to be figured out. Once I got past the confusion of the first 1/4, I found myself dying to read more. If it hadn’t been for my job, I probably would have sat down with this one and devoured it in one sitting. I liked the writing, I loved the characters, and the story grew on me. You know what I didn’t like? That cliffhanger ending. Y’all should be prepared for the heartbreak of knowing that you’re going to have to wait another year to find out what happens next but I’m sure it’s worth it.
Overall, These Rebel Waves is a solid start to Sara Raasch’s new series. I feel like I definitely found what I was looking for with this one; a story full of fabulous characters, a slow burn romance, witty banter, and more secrets than you could possibly figure out in 480 pages.