Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Del Rey for the ARC copy they provided.
I had a feeling I would like this book before I even picked it up, and I was right. I entered the world of A Dark and Drowning Tide and found it instantly dark and enthralling. The story was rich, the environment living and visceral, and the characters lively and varied.
Allison Saft painted a picture of a world so much like a past version of our own, and yet so utterly alien and magical it was hard to believe it wasn’t real. There were parts of me that wanted to stay there, in that brightly detailed world, and fall into its mystical and deadly secrets. Would I have survived? Never. Most likely I wouldn’t even have fared as well as character who ran afoul of a flora curse, but I would have loved it all the same.
That isn’t to say there weren’t a few matters that made this book a four-star read, in my opinion, and not a five-star. The most obviously issue I noted with A Dark and Drowning Tide was the fact it contains a large cast of female characters, and “she” and “her” are often used to refer to multiple characters within the same paragraph, occasionally making it difficult to determine which character is doing an action, or being spoken about.
There were also a few, small developmental holes I noticed, but these were so tiny that a reader without a background in developmental editing most likely wouldn’t notice. I barely saw them at first, but once I did, I was unable to unsee them. (Curse my worldbuilding brain.)
Slight issues aside, I would read A Dark and Drowning Tide over again, and would enjoy it just as much or more as this first read. The book has a grim, faerie tale appeal that harks back to the original versions of many of our reality’s folktales, and it is obvious Allison Saft put an incredible amount of time and effort into creating a world that is as richly populated with history and lore as our own.
I don’t think I will be forgetting the line, “Back in the days when wishes still held power,” anytime soon. I find I love it even more than our world’s “Once upon a time,” and I have little doubt anyone who reads this book will disagree with me. Get lost in A Dark and Drowning Tide, breathe in the water. You won’t regret it.