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The thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution—from Sara Raasch, the bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series. As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive The thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution—from Sara Raasch, the bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series. As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again. Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago. Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God? As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts . . . or lose their futures forever.


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The thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution—from Sara Raasch, the bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series. As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive The thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution—from Sara Raasch, the bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series. As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again. Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago. Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God? As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts . . . or lose their futures forever.

30 review for These Divided Shores

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shelby P

    Vex...my boo. I’ll be patiently waiting for you. Vex...my boo. I’ll be patiently waiting for you.

  2. 5 out of 5

    booksneedcaffeinetoo

    That ending of the first book fucking destroyed me. I NEED ANSWERS OKAY

  3. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice Before I start, this is a review of the second and final book in the Stream Raiders duology, so please read the first book before you continue. It’s an amazing read, and lucky you, you won’t have long to wait to read the end if you start it now! So, with that said, let’s get into this review! The riveting conclusion to These Rebel Waves is here, and man is it going to leave a mark when you’re finished with it. There’s a lot of pr Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice Before I start, this is a review of the second and final book in the Stream Raiders duology, so please read the first book before you continue. It’s an amazing read, and lucky you, you won’t have long to wait to read the end if you start it now! So, with that said, let’s get into this review! The riveting conclusion to These Rebel Waves is here, and man is it going to leave a mark when you’re finished with it. There’s a lot of pressure building into this explosive conflict, and I was definitely here for it. It’s a clash of magic and religion, and at the center of it are Ben, Lu, and Vex. There were teeth gnashing moments where anything can happen, and I think readers will devour it just as I did. I would also warn that if you are triggered by torture, this might not be the book for you. We begin where These Rebel Waves left off, and that is with the capture of Ben and Lu, who are now Elazar’s prisoners, being forced to make a weapon to harness Grace Loray’s magic. Escape is inevitable, unless Lu becomes the person she never wanted to be again. Vex on the other hand, is free, but his shaking sickness is getting worse. However he throws himself into plotting the rebellion against Argrid, through the aid of the stream raider syndicates. Finally, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage, but unfortunately, it seems he’s going to have to play the game his father’s way in order to win. From the beginning of this second book, I felt like things were dire. Our beloved characters are in dire straits and it seems things are only going to get worse before they get better. Lu especially is facing some incredibly terrible things, and my heart went out to her. Despite all the trauma though, there is still a softness that I feel that Ms. Raasch managed to capture within her. She was forced to become something she was never meant to be from a young age, but when faced with the burden of having to don the role again, decides that she must embody the change that needs to happen in the world. Now, whether it’s for good or bad, I can’t say because of spoilers, but all I will say is that my heart went out to Lu. Ben’s journey is also one that is rendered with hardship, and the conflict with his father is coming to a head. It’s from Ben’s perspective that I think readers get to see more of the internal religious struggle of a young man who’s lost his faith, but also understands how completely dismantling the system could have traumatic consequences. Of all the characters, he embodied the most caring spirit, in my opinion. I also felt like he had the softest of love interests, despite his rough exterior. Vex certainly struggled with a lot of things, and because I would spoil the story if I talked about it more, I’ll stop here. However, I will say that I loved how his relationship with Edda and Nayeli was explored in depth. Edda’s especially felt heartwarming. I felt like his crew came off as rough raider’s ready to blow everything out of the water in the first book, but seeing this new side to them really helped round them out. I felt that Nayeli grew the most, and her relationship with Cansu definitely blossomed into a complicated romance. With all the intense conflicts happening in this story, it’s hard to imagine the romance being anything else. And yet, the romances in this story provided this soft respite that I think readers need before they continue on this story of war. Each relationship is cultivated on equal terms (in my opinion), and they help each other grow and understand the world in a new perspective. I honestly wish there were some fan art out there because I am all for these relationships! I felt that the pacing was good, although some readers might disagree with me. There’s a lot of density within the book that needs to be processed, and while I’m a reader that tends to process the whole of a book once I’ve finished it, some might need to set the book down to think about what they’ve read before they continue on. One thing that I did have trouble with, and sometimes had to go back and read again, was the perspective shifting. It’s not as clear as other books would be with a separate chapter, but it’s also like this in These Rebel Waves, so I wasn’t completely taken by surprise. This book is a 9/10 for me. It’s an exceptional story, and a great end to this duology. I loved the characters and their journeys, although they could be a little hard to read at times. Like I said, if you’re easily triggered by torture, this might not be the book for you. However, if this doesn’t deter you, I encourage you to pick up this book. It’s such a great addition to any shelf, and I can’t wait for it to come out!

  4. 5 out of 5

    ShanShan ✨

    Well! I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed this book and how much I adored these characters. I’m so happy Ben, Gunner, Vex and Lu got those happy endings.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    These Divided Shores was such an entertaining book. I am so happy that it didn't fall to the second book syndrome! I was also really surprised by the secrets that came out in this one. Like holy crap.. Tom is a sneaky son of a bitch. In it, we still get the lovable characters from the previous book. Even though I just read the first book yesterday, it didn't seem like time really jumped while diving into this one. Yes, there are still hints of war and betrayal. Yet, I was there for the romance as These Divided Shores was such an entertaining book. I am so happy that it didn't fall to the second book syndrome! I was also really surprised by the secrets that came out in this one. Like holy crap.. Tom is a sneaky son of a bitch. In it, we still get the lovable characters from the previous book. Even though I just read the first book yesterday, it didn't seem like time really jumped while diving into this one. Yes, there are still hints of war and betrayal. Yet, I was there for the romance as well. I AM SO HAPPY FOR MY SHIPS GUYS! Also, Ben definitely stepped up in this book. Not even mad about his love interest either. Long story short, I definitely enjoyed this book and now I'm really sad that it's over with. No idea what I will do with my life since I wont get another book from this series.. maybe I'll have to reread it all over again next year!

  6. 4 out of 5

    anna (½ of readsrainbow)

    rep: gay mc, bi li, wlw side characters, poc cast tw: torture, child abuse, death & murder i need abt three weeks to recover & then we can talk

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* These Divided Shores is the second and final book author Sara Raasch's These Rebel Waves duology. The story picks up a couple weeks after These Rebel Waves. Adeluna "Lu" Andreu and Crown Prince of Argrid, Ben are being held captive by their respective fathers and being forced to work on permanent magic. Devereaux "Vex" Bell believes Lu is dead and decides to stage a jail break to free Kari, Lu’s mother and an important politic *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* These Divided Shores is the second and final book author Sara Raasch's These Rebel Waves duology. The story picks up a couple weeks after These Rebel Waves. Adeluna "Lu" Andreu and Crown Prince of Argrid, Ben are being held captive by their respective fathers and being forced to work on permanent magic. Devereaux "Vex" Bell believes Lu is dead and decides to stage a jail break to free Kari, Lu’s mother and an important political figure on Grace Loray. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  8. 5 out of 5

    explorerofbooks

    I’m still surprised this duology isn’t more popular. With witty dialogue at its peak, Stream Raiders brings a shocking but effective mix of magic and religion. Lu gave up her innocence for revolution, and it was all for naught. Now she and Ben have become King Elazar’s pawns, forced to make a weapon that will turn his army into an indestructible force. If she wants to save Ben and the rest of Grace Loray, she’ll have to become the soldier she never wanted to be. Prince Ben has a greater task to I’m still surprised this duology isn’t more popular. With witty dialogue at its peak, Stream Raiders brings a shocking but effective mix of magic and religion. Lu gave up her innocence for revolution, and it was all for naught. Now she and Ben have become King Elazar’s pawns, forced to make a weapon that will turn his army into an indestructible force. If she wants to save Ben and the rest of Grace Loray, she’ll have to become the soldier she never wanted to be. Prince Ben has a greater task to fulfill, for to defeat his father, he has to destroy a whole religion. Vex can’t help them yet, not now, but he can aim to find union in the raider syndicates. He’s never seen himself as the hero, but maybe that’s not what Grace Loray needs to become a worthy opponent. The past is a despicable thing, easily forgotten, but it might be the key to their futures. Two weeks have passed since the events of These Rebel Waves, and Argrid, with regained control of Grace Loray, aims to get rid of a unified enemy: the immigrating raiders. The political intrigue only grows more complex, with the oppressor and his many manipulations returned. While I still wished for a greater outlay of the world outside of the Mainlands, the cultures that Raasch may have roughly avoided in the previous book undergo major exploration now. There are the Emerdians, masters of masonry, who take pride in physical possessions, and then the Grozdans, who value glory, ruthless strength and a good pay over everything. Those from the Mechtlands, on the other hand, are meant to be brutal warriors festered by clan wars. This diversity of cultures brought focus to the importance of religion and how it can either positively or negatively shape your mind. With the main history of the world set, Raasch declared it was time for thrills and the rush of adrenaline as well. Raasch is definitely a creative mastermind once she shapes a diverse world into reality, and I specifically delight in her descriptions of specific architecture. The setting of the Emerdian quarters was a magnificent spectacle to behold; with its architectural tricks and illusions turning every room into an inescapable labyrinth where magic becomes one’s worst nightmare. Vex is wrapped in grief and torment. His sense of responsibility is destroying him, and he’s keen on creating control on his own. He loathes himself to no end, never feeling like the hero, but now he’s done with running away from his identity and responsibility. Though he’s always been an improviser, he must be a strategist built upon calculations to win this war. As someone who believes in standing by someone throughout everything, his sensitivity is his greatest trait. It makes him wither in shame for his own scars, but eventually, he’ll come to realize he can design their power as well. Lu is emotionally drained, fueling her anger further. She has let go of her narrow-minded views, now always finding new questions to be answered. While she will always plunge on ahead, she has seen the necessity of companionship and respite as well. As she begins to depend upon others, she grows more positive in her abilities. Her pain might have made her hungry for revenge, but she refuses to become a weapon without heart or second-guessing like before. Ben has come to embrace his talents. His mind has grown stronger and stubborn, but his hearts has turned frailer. Constant loyalty is his drive now, contrary to his country, and empathy is still his gift. He has acknowledged he’ll never fully heal from his demons, and he’s constantly afraid of anyone abusing the connection to him. He feeds on hope, and his aim now is to make people heard through gratification, and to secure the future of the comrades he has come to care about. While Lu lost my interest here in some chapters, I’m sill convinced Raasch excels at portraying flawed characters. The relationships between them weren’t blissfully romanticized either, since individual healing and growing came first. This added a realistic but raw weight to the romance, and brought satisfying endings to their arcs. Though, the last pages rushed by quickly, and I feel like I still didn't comprehend every element introduced in this book, like the corruption of Menesia. Additionally, Elazar came off as a typical madman with pure evil as his only motivation, and that didn’t make him convincing nor frightening to me. Still, for a 4 star rating, there was so much value present in this book. One can never be finished with learning about others and the world as a whole. It was a lesson to embrace diverse nationalities, and to appreciate their traditions and qualities, for there is positivity and wonder in every conviction.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Trisha (The Tea Reader)

    Review coming soon

  10. 4 out of 5

    Renee Godding

    3/5 stars These Divided Shores is the second and final book in the Stream Raiders Duology, and after how much I enjoyed the first book, I was excited to see how the story would continue. Unfortunately, I was left a little disappointed. A similar thing happened to me when reading Sara Raasch first series Snow Like Ashes: I loved the ideas, loved the worldbuilding, lore and the promise of everything to come, particularly in the first book. Then the later books in the series just didn’t deliver on 3/5 stars These Divided Shores is the second and final book in the Stream Raiders Duology, and after how much I enjoyed the first book, I was excited to see how the story would continue. Unfortunately, I was left a little disappointed. A similar thing happened to me when reading Sara Raasch first series Snow Like Ashes: I loved the ideas, loved the worldbuilding, lore and the promise of everything to come, particularly in the first book. Then the later books in the series just didn’t deliver on those promises. Divided Shores is even more political than These Rebel Waves was, which normally doesn’t bother me, but did in this case. The world continues to feel surface level, never quite going in depth enough to make the reader fully understand the stakes of the political turmoil. Additionally, I liked the characters fine enough in book 1, but in the sequel they took a sharp turn for the “cliché YA”. All in all: not a bad book, but for me a disappointing sequel to book I had very high hopes for. Perhaps Sara Raasch just isn’t the author for me…

  11. 5 out of 5

    ❀ Crystal ✿ - PEACE ☮ LOVE ♥ BOOKS

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 4.5 Stars My first experience with this author was the Snow like Ashes series and while I enjoyed the series, in all honesty this one blows it out of the park. For a duet it packs a powerful punch and the adventure is high from start to finish. The MCs were all strong young adults on the cusp of adulthood. All unwillingly living in a world not of their making, dealing with the fallout left to them from previous generations and their parents. Lu our heroine is an ex child mercenary, trained by her 4.5 Stars My first experience with this author was the Snow like Ashes series and while I enjoyed the series, in all honesty this one blows it out of the park. For a duet it packs a powerful punch and the adventure is high from start to finish. The MCs were all strong young adults on the cusp of adulthood. All unwillingly living in a world not of their making, dealing with the fallout left to them from previous generations and their parents. Lu our heroine is an ex child mercenary, trained by her parents and currently working on a cure for shaking sickness. She’s such a strong MC and I loved that she struggled a lot in this book not giving in to her past. (view spoiler)[How for the most part she’s able to not lose her shit I will never know. There’s just so much going on with her but the betrayal by her father, a betrayal that spans her whole life is unthinkable. At first I wanted her to be the one to deal his punishment, be her last kill, but damn it’s so tough because at the end of the day he’s still her father. The betrayal though, goodness that cut deep and I still want him to suffer. (hide spoiler)] I also loved Ben, a hero in his own right. Ben is the future king of an oppressive kingdom that his father rules harshly and to his own inclination. The man manipulates like the best of them, even guiding his own son to the bus he’ll be throw in him under. In Bens kingdom his father abuses his power and uses religion to exemplify himself while tarnishing everyone. He’s a garbage human and Ben having shown his hand as an enemy of his father at the end of the last book had me in hives at the start. I was so afraid his father would do the unthinkable, but just keeping them in that crazy drugged our Prison was enough. It was clear how little the King cares about his own son. I was glad to see him go and while I thought his takedown would be a bit more lengthy I’m just glad he’s gone. I really expected a lot more of Ben and Lu working Magic’s together but they did what needed to be done when they needed to. It’s too bad Ben leaves at the end because they all worked so well together. The ending was just everything this book needed. Ben marrying Gunner, becoming an honorable king something I really wasn’t sure if he even wanted anymore. Lu can now live in peace without the threat of Milo or her father hanging over her anymore. Girl has more than enough demons in her closet that’s for sure. Just knowing the people she killed because her father told her to were good guys is still mind blowing. It’s good she has Vex because this is no easy burden to bear. I am beyond glad thought that she gained Teo as a brother which couldn’t have been better for either of them and her and Vex get their HEA. One can only hope the establishment of this new government will go a lot better for everyone!!! Truly great series. I enjoyed how there wasn’t any lag in the reading, everything kept moving smoothly. The MCs were all easy to love and I’m glad I jumped into this series because it was great.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    What a great ending to the duology! I've grown to care for Lu, Vex, and Ben and I loved seeing them come together to fight the King and save Grace Loray. The magic in this was so interesting and I would've loved even more. The different clans of raiders weren't as prominent I thought which was too bad. Maybe a spin off story someday about the Tuncians or other clans? By far my favorite part were the romances. Lu and Vex are perfect together. They've both had awful childhoods but have overcome and What a great ending to the duology! I've grown to care for Lu, Vex, and Ben and I loved seeing them come together to fight the King and save Grace Loray. The magic in this was so interesting and I would've loved even more. The different clans of raiders weren't as prominent I thought which was too bad. Maybe a spin off story someday about the Tuncians or other clans? By far my favorite part were the romances. Lu and Vex are perfect together. They've both had awful childhoods but have overcome and want to save the people from the King and magic. There's also a new romance involving Ben that I was overjoyed about! See spoiler for more info (view spoiler)[ Gunnar is great, he's strong and breathes fire! Plus he really cared about Ben and supported him and I just ship them so much! (hide spoiler)] The ending was well done and the rotating points of view helped keep the plot moving. I'm sad it's over but what a great read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOD THAT WAS SO MUCH!!!!!!! Holy Shit ok!!!!! WOW!!!!! First off, that was a brutal but PHENOMENAL way to end this duology!!!!!! Second off, the way she wrote the characters trying to Deal with all of the trauma they endured? FANTASTIC!!!!! I love All of the main characters so so SO much!!!! God Everything about this was just SO GOOD!!!!! I have So Many FEELINGS and I am Drowning in them. Send help XD But seriously, I ADORE Sara Raasch's writing and all of the OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOD THAT WAS SO MUCH!!!!!!! Holy Shit ok!!!!! WOW!!!!! First off, that was a brutal but PHENOMENAL way to end this duology!!!!!! Second off, the way she wrote the characters trying to Deal with all of the trauma they endured? FANTASTIC!!!!! I love All of the main characters so so SO much!!!! God Everything about this was just SO GOOD!!!!! I have So Many FEELINGS and I am Drowning in them. Send help XD But seriously, I ADORE Sara Raasch's writing and all of the books by her that I've read!!!! This was just such a FANTASTIC duology and I LOVED it so much!!!!!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mac (bookshelfpalace)

    This was a great finale! So many of the questions I had from the first book were answered through shocking reveals throughout the book and I would be lying if I said I saw any of the reveals coming. I loved going on this journey with Vex, Lou, and Ben and I’m exited to read more from Sarah Raasch in the future!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Isabel Lieshoff

    New favorite series. Highlight of 2020 ❤️😭

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kal ★ Reader Voracious

    1. These Rebel Waves ★★★ ½ 2. These Divided Shores ★★★What a wild ride the Stream Raiders duology was. I'm not going to lie: I was hoping that this installment would bring some piratey seafaring adventures, but unfortunately, that's not the story this duology is telling. (15/10 would read a spinoff adventure with Teo the raider, though!) If you enjoy complex political revolutionary stories filled with political intrigue, colonization, oppression, war, disillusionment, and religious fervor then th 1. These Rebel Waves ★★★ ½ 2. These Divided Shores ★★★What a wild ride the Stream Raiders duology was. I'm not going to lie: I was hoping that this installment would bring some piratey seafaring adventures, but unfortunately, that's not the story this duology is telling. (15/10 would read a spinoff adventure with Teo the raider, though!) If you enjoy complex political revolutionary stories filled with political intrigue, colonization, oppression, war, disillusionment, and religious fervor then this series is for you! "You won't even feel it happen - something will become more important to you than fear, and you will find yourself doing amazing things." Ben, Lu, and Vex are all at a crossroads in this book, very much struggling with who they are and trying to reconcile their pasts - which was forced upon them - with the present. Each of them has been put through the wringer, and the sorrow is not over yet. As a result, this is a darker book than the first, and I found myself missing the levity and banter between the characters. But this is war and their reactions to their actions make perfect sense and really does a good job of depicting the effects of war on people, both those who choose to fight and the innocent people that are affected through no choice of their own. I found Ben's character development to be particularly compelling to me because it touches on complacency and not standing up until it affects you directly. I admire his unwavering support and wishing to atone for his father's crimes, but refusing to stoop to the same methods in order to stop him. He is a revolutionary figure you want to see succeed because you believe he will make things better. Teo is as precious as ever and must be protected at all costs. We do have two romances in this book, a m/m and m/f relationship, both of which kind of sit on the backburner for the first two-thirds of the book. I did find both of the relationships to be organic in their development, although I wish the tension between old and new love interests had been addressed a bit more than just longing glances. A major theme in the book looks at what becomes justified when fighting in a war. Do the ends justify the means? Or do you lose a part of your soul when you use the methods of the oppressor you fight against? "Permanent magic wasn't the most dangerous weapon to bring to war. Devotion was. And Elazar had already mastered it." The religious fervor and persecution is tough to stomach. Elazar has painted himself as the Pious God Incarnate, and the devotion his people have for him and his holy persecution against the magic of Grace Loray is alarming but does touch on charismatic leaders that stoke the fire of hatred through fear-mongering. He is a villain who you have no difficulty hating, although I do wish that some insight into why he has done all he's done had been offered. I like my villains to be more than just evil and think it would be interesting to see just how he got to be the way he did. Unfortunately, I did struggle a bit with the pacing of the book and found the middle to drag a bit. I think this is in large part due to the multiple POVs: at times the perspectives contained the same information and revelations because the characters weren't all privy to the same information and the plot progression felt stunted to me. The narrative voice being in third person also didn't help the situation because the perspectives didn't feel distinct to me - there are times where I am honestly not sure the section was from Vex or Ben's POV. This is a struggle that I often have with multiple POVs and could very much be a me-thing. Overall, I found the Stream Raiders duology to be a compelling fantasy tale of revolution. It is heavy on the political themes and won't be for everyone, but as a reader who enjoys these kinds of explorations of humanity I enjoyed this one despite the hiccups with pacing. I definitely would recommend a re-read of These Rebel Waves before diving into this one because the worldbuilding and history is very complex, and I found that I enjoyed the first book more the second time that I read it! Content warnings: imprisonment, inferred abuse, religious persecution, torture Representation: lgbtqiap+, m/m relationship, Many thanks to Balzer + Bray for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss for my honest review. Quotations are taken from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change in final publication.Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

  17. 4 out of 5

    Danna Olay

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Maddening. Impassioned. Jubilant. I say again, as I have said on These Rebel Waves : WOW. What a wild ride. I AM SO FREAKING INCREDIBLY SHOOK. But honestly, this book is about synergy, resilience, and redemption. From the moment I opened the book, I felt the wave of tension wafting from its pages, and it never seemed to die down until the end, keeping me on my toes and reading from behind my fingers.These Divided Shores completely upped the game with a new level of insanity that kept me fur Maddening. Impassioned. Jubilant. I say again, as I have said on These Rebel Waves : WOW. What a wild ride. I AM SO FREAKING INCREDIBLY SHOOK. But honestly, this book is about synergy, resilience, and redemption. From the moment I opened the book, I felt the wave of tension wafting from its pages, and it never seemed to die down until the end, keeping me on my toes and reading from behind my fingers.These Divided Shores completely upped the game with a new level of insanity that kept me furious and frustrated and terrified the entire time! [image error] "For the love of whatever particular god you call holy," Vex shouted, "can you at least pretend not to be raging murderous toddlers?" A nail-biting thrill ride that will have you question where loyalty truly lies; what actions could be called justice or humane; what gods are actually out there listening; how much each person's soul could take being destroyed by this war. Lies, havoc, and false hopes run amok with the arrival of the Argridian King, so wicked and vile, the mere mention of him sends chills down my spine in revulsion. The intensity with which the King requires people to accompany their faith in the Pious God is alarming, and sometimes downright horrifying : to blindly follow something wholeheartedly with no questions asked because the only other option is persecution? **Chillsss** What kind of religion – even a fictional one – requires such strict and suffocating rules? The answer : there shouldn't be one. If there is, there's probably someone at the head trying to control the whole damn system. Y'all be warned . . . •_• "How do you fight a war when the enemy wants not land or wealth, but hearts and souls?" Permanent magic wasn't the most dangerous weapon to bring to war. Devotion was. And Elazar had already mastered it. All the while, all the characters I love are being pulled apart not just by the division of the raiders or their countries or their faith, but by their own opinions of themselves : how undeserving they feel they are of anything good in the world — of Ben, unworthy of living in truth because of the sins he's committed; of Lu, unworthy of peace for the island she feels she betrayed; of Vex, unworthy of happiness for all the people he has failed. I could actually feel the rift and divide among the groups and individuals – so heavy in the air, I could almost touch it. For every one of their heartbreaks, my own heart broke with them; and then triumphantly sang along with each simple joy they found amid the chaos : "Thanks," he said. And then, because he needed to see her smile, "Princesa." Lu's gaze shot up to his. She rolled her eyes at him and smiled, a slight crook to her lips before she walked away. Ben steeled himself, holding on to the growing question in Gunnar's eyes. "We are equals. It is a trade of service. You are not bound to me by anything else." Gunnar's confusion lifted in a small smile. "Equals. I like that." The world building and its magic system are so unique; so vivid with the distinct cultures and beliefs of each syndicate, combined with the passion they carry to see all of them freed and victorious in this war – everything about Grace Loray begged me to stay to behold the evolution of the island and its peoples finally coming together in peace. The same goes to witness Ben – precious and loving and selfless Ben – ruling over a better Argrid, no longer with uncertainty and religious dread for he will at long last be alongside someone who inspires honesty and fearlessness, to see the new world through. (Crossing my fingers and toes for a spinoff with Ben & Gunnar leading Argrid and helping the Mechtlands 😭♥️)I never thought I'd be into political intrigue stories, but I love how Ms. Raasch has introduced me to it with this series. As it delves into corruption, justice, war (and even religion), the story brings out a deeper sense of humanity, which I revel in the most, and was definitely explored in these books. Each of the main characters’ inner (and outer) turmoils were very well fleshed out, I'd cried for how tragic they all were. And then couldn't stop smiling when they were resolved so beautifully. My heart will forever go out to Lu, Vex, Ben, and Gunnar too.Don't even get me started on the plot twists – they're sneaky little urchins that will jump out of nowhere to hit you with a ton of bricks 🥴I do recommend reading the duology back-to-back because the story would feel much more dire and exciting that way! It almost feels like a privilege getting to dive back into this world – it is much more immersive than These Rebel Waves, which I was already knee-deep into, whereas These Divided Shores completely submerged me underwater, drowning me with so much love for Grace Loray that I never wanted to leave. To be able to unlock new secrets from the past and realize how much each character has suffered more than we already knew – it was heartbreaking, being privy to these revelations, and as a reader only wanting to hold their hands in moments when they're in disgrace.I wholly adore the relationships these characters have built together, despite the divide the war has forced upon them :Of Lu and Ben – both driving forces (or tools?) of opposing lands, who are incredibly tender and care so much for each other. Of the wild Nayeli keeping studious Lu in constant check (how the tables have turned!) Of Rosalia and Nate and Pierce, who are bombshells on their own, are friendly enough with each other despite their pesky arrogance and being from different syndicates. Of Ben and Gunnar building each other up in times of doubt, never wanting the other to feel as if they were alone; both needing to protect each other, even if it cost them their lives. Of Kari and Lu – the unconditional love of a parent who never saw Lu as the monster she kept calling herself, but only as a victim of a lifelong war she never deserved to live through; and their shared hurt of betrayal from Tom only brought Kari and Lu closer together. I crave more parent-child relationships in fiction, and this bond of theirs was a true gem. Even that of Jakes and Teo – to learn that Jakes hasn’t lost everything; that after years of scheming and deceit and the defeat of the King, he has something new to live for, and I love how Teo is such a bright light on his own in a world full of tragedy. He will be good for that asshole uncle of his (whom I still want to strangle!)Of Vex and Nayeli and Edda, the original mismatched crew – I’m so glad we were given a glimpse into how they came to be together; how much deeper their connection went; how much they needed each other through everything they survived. My favorite of all being the bond between Vex and Ben – of the love they have for each other, so strong that lies and betrayal and even death could not snuff it out. Of Ben turning to his cousin for reassurance when he’s uncertain, and of Vex’s unyielding belief in Ben’s ability to lead. I am so overjoyed that they have each other : Irmáns, para sempre.Each of them pulled through in the end, finding solace and strength with each other. I admire the courage they’ve shown amid their fears of unworthiness, because there must be more to life than dread and war and divide, mustn’t there? "What if I'm not as brave as you are?" "You will be one day. You won't even feel it happen—something will become more important to you than fear, and you will find yourself doing amazing things." To revel in each of them finding absolution for their past lives – it was absolutely invigorating, and freeing, and glorious. Lu, Vex, Ben, and Gunnar : You deserve the world. I love you all forever. ♥️✨

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cindee

    I loved this book so much with its painful and equally happy parts all that is what made this book so great. All of what what happens in this book it took awhile but it finally did get to a happy ending there was so much pain and grief in between the bits of happiness. I loved the characters even more i this finale I loved the romance that finally got somewhere between each couple I loved Vex and Lu together and I especially loved Ben and Gunnar together they just mesh so well together. I really I loved this book so much with its painful and equally happy parts all that is what made this book so great. All of what what happens in this book it took awhile but it finally did get to a happy ending there was so much pain and grief in between the bits of happiness. I loved the characters even more i this finale I loved the romance that finally got somewhere between each couple I loved Vex and Lu together and I especially loved Ben and Gunnar together they just mesh so well together. I really loved how far each of the main characters came each of them have someone to rely on. I loved the plot so much it starts right where it left off and moves at a pretty break neck pace with so much happening in every part of the story you could really feel the pain each of them went through. I really loved the ending everyone finally got the happy ending they deserved.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    You know, it's weird. Patrons at work kept asking me if I liked this book and I kept going 'ehhhhhh' mostly because describing the book would take entirely too long for a library checkout. But I liked it. I really did. I think the whole magic system was refreshing and new and fascinating. I found the whole cast of characters to be relatable in a way and real. They all have weaknesses that were thoroughly explored (and exploited) and that was what made them enjoyable to me. The plot was somewhat c You know, it's weird. Patrons at work kept asking me if I liked this book and I kept going 'ehhhhhh' mostly because describing the book would take entirely too long for a library checkout. But I liked it. I really did. I think the whole magic system was refreshing and new and fascinating. I found the whole cast of characters to be relatable in a way and real. They all have weaknesses that were thoroughly explored (and exploited) and that was what made them enjoyable to me. The plot was somewhat complicated and yet simplistic at the same time. We know they're fighting madness that will stop at nothing, but the questions of lineage was interesting. Lu and Vex may be OTP, but Ben and Gunnar???? ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. Overall, this is a series I can see myself rereading and learning more about the world. I'm definitely glad I bought them!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vee

    My favourite thing about this book was the adventure pacing, it begins where the first book left off and things progress as you expect them to progress. Even though it felt very predictable, at all points, the fun of it kept me hooked. There were things that I was hoping for more of (Ben and Gunnar) and things that I was hoping for less of (plot device kid) but I really enjoyed this duology. Fantasy, pirates, adventure, banter and drama; it's not amazing and I think it'll fade in my mind quite q My favourite thing about this book was the adventure pacing, it begins where the first book left off and things progress as you expect them to progress. Even though it felt very predictable, at all points, the fun of it kept me hooked. There were things that I was hoping for more of (Ben and Gunnar) and things that I was hoping for less of (plot device kid) but I really enjoyed this duology. Fantasy, pirates, adventure, banter and drama; it's not amazing and I think it'll fade in my mind quite quickly but I was so entertained and satisfied.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Saga

    Not as Good as the first book but still okay! I’m really glad there is only a duology because I don’t think I would be able to read another book in this series

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Magic, medicine, religion and war stand side by side as the final pieces move into place to determine the fate of Grace Loray. “The Divided Shores” follows our favorite band of rebels after the events of book 1 where hatred is breeding violence at the hand of the King and Lu is forced to come to the truth about her father. As the tides of the war change allies must be forged in the strangest of places and as each island falls the fate of Grace Loray will be revealed. I really love all of the mai Magic, medicine, religion and war stand side by side as the final pieces move into place to determine the fate of Grace Loray. “The Divided Shores” follows our favorite band of rebels after the events of book 1 where hatred is breeding violence at the hand of the King and Lu is forced to come to the truth about her father. As the tides of the war change allies must be forged in the strangest of places and as each island falls the fate of Grace Loray will be revealed. I really love all of the main players in this story and I like how much we get to see of them either together or alone as they navigate the beginnings of a war and how their choices ripple out to affect the others. I can’t get enough of Vex and Lu who are both so broken in this sequel but manage to find quiet moments to themselves even if there’s few and far between. The coming together of the Raiders and admitting past faults was so powerful and there were a couple of scenes where you could feel the weight of the moment as the characters stood their ground or bowed to those in an act of forgiveness and I loved every second. There’s a lot here with the corruption of power and it’s answered so beautifully with the selflessness that comes with owning your mistakes and seeing the suffering of others and vowing to make a change. I really loved this series and I couldn’t think of a better conclusion for this kind of story even if I wish to see my favorites spend some time away from the fighting and get the relaxing vacation they all deserve but hey there’s always bonus content right? **special thanks to edelweiss and the publishers for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    All I can say about this book is that I pre-ordered it last September and I was not very patiently waiting for it to come out, and boy, it did not disappoint!! I loved this duology and am actually heartbroken that the story is over - I just want to spend more time with Lu, Vex, Ben and Gunnar (let's be real, especially Vex)! A 5/5 🌟 read!! All I can say about this book is that I pre-ordered it last September and I was not very patiently waiting for it to come out, and boy, it did not disappoint!! I loved this duology and am actually heartbroken that the story is over - I just want to spend more time with Lu, Vex, Ben and Gunnar (let's be real, especially Vex)! A 5/5 🌟 read!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Clara ✨

    This is my third read for the Medieval-A-Thon, created by Holly. It fills the following prompt: ⚔️ To get a pair of daggers as my weapon: to start or finish a duology. She wanted to get out. She wanted to go home. She wanted to be alone on this island with only the people she loved. She wanted peace We begin where the first book left off, so I felt like our beloved main characters were doomed! I really cared about them, because we get to learn more about each one as the story progresses. But I feel This is my third read for the Medieval-A-Thon, created by Holly. It fills the following prompt: ⚔️ To get a pair of daggers as my weapon: to start or finish a duology. She wanted to get out. She wanted to go home. She wanted to be alone on this island with only the people she loved. She wanted peace We begin where the first book left off, so I felt like our beloved main characters were doomed! I really cared about them, because we get to learn more about each one as the story progresses. But I feel like this sequel focused a lot more in the plot than the characters, what might be a pro or a con depending on the reader's perspective.Speaking of the plot, this novel features a lot of action... I mean, a lot! It's all interesting, but I wished it was a bit less plot-driven than character-driven. It's just as entertaining as the previous novel. Anyway, I definitely recommed this duology!P.S.: as for the rep, this book features a gay MC (and a M/M relationship); F/F relationship between side characters; there is also a MC with a disability - they’ve lost their vision on one eye.

  25. 4 out of 5

    leonie

    2.5 stars: this wasnt bad but it wasnt good either.. i am glad i finished the duology and know what happens to vex but it was just a whirlwind of too many syndicates and complicated history and politics, it was hard to follow but that could be because of the audiobook

  26. 4 out of 5

    Blythe

    This was more of a 3.5 for me. Could be my frame of mind right now but it just didn't grab me like the first one did. This was more of a 3.5 for me. Could be my frame of mind right now but it just didn't grab me like the first one did.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hira Chaudhary

    WAY TO ABSOLUTELY DESTROY ME, SARA RAASCH. But also, thank you. That was amazing and incredible and I absolutely loved every single second of it. This was such a grand sequel and fulfilled all my desires and also killed me and also made me cry and also made me so incredibly happy. It destroyed me how completely broken all my children were in this one. How Vex thought Lu was dead and how Lu was so shattered over her father's betrayal and how Ben wanted to do the right thing. It kills me how Vex wa WAY TO ABSOLUTELY DESTROY ME, SARA RAASCH. But also, thank you. That was amazing and incredible and I absolutely loved every single second of it. This was such a grand sequel and fulfilled all my desires and also killed me and also made me cry and also made me so incredibly happy. It destroyed me how completely broken all my children were in this one. How Vex thought Lu was dead and how Lu was so shattered over her father's betrayal and how Ben wanted to do the right thing. It kills me how Vex was dying of his Shaking Sickness, how he couldn't hide it anymore, how he began hating his body because of how it kept giving out on him. It kills me how Lu was consumed by her nightmares, how Ibarra and her father broke her, how she just wanted everything to end. It kills me how Ben just wanted to keep the people he cared about safe, how he just wanted to make Argrid better, how he just wanted to do things the right way. Vex fighting to save Kari when he thought Lu was dead because he knew that was what she would have wanted was amazing and heartbreaking. And I died when he told Kari he had loved her daughter. I love how he just wanted to save Ben, how much he cared about his cousin. I really love the bond between them, how they're like brothers, how they would do anything for each other. I died over how Vex kept pushing himself, how he was dying of the Shaking Sickness, (also a tad annoyed that even after Lu came back, she kept low key forgetting to help him out), how he took the permanent magic potion at the end and how he was the one to kill Elazar and how he saved the day and how the extreme dose of magic healed him and knit his body back together and he realized his body had healed itself, how he didn't have to hate his own body anymore, how his body had saved him, he had saved himself. That was just amazing and I loved it so much. Vex is just everything <3 (also, Vex calling himself a heretic and thinking there was something wrong with him and how he can finally reconcile his Argridian heritage) Lu killed me. Just absolutely destroyed me. The way Ibarra became a living nightmare in her life, the way that even after (view spoiler)[killing him, (hide spoiler)] nothing changed, because the torture had already been done, the breaking was already complete. And then her father being one of them was just so awful and killed me. I kept wanting him to redeem himself, but he was just a jerkface and he did SO MANY terrible things. I loved how Lu was the one to figure out permanent magic and how the plant that stuck with her was the opposing plant to the one she feared most. I love how strong she remained through it all and it destroyed me how she just wanted to stop being a soldier and how her mother kept telling her she could and how she couldn't, not until it was over. I really loved her relationship with her mother. Ben is just amazing and I loved the friendship between him and Lu and how they worked together on the magic and how close they got under Elazar's imprisonment. I loved his bond with Gunnar and it killed me how Elazar used Gunnar against his son. I love how Gunnar wanted to protect Ben and how well they worked together, how they just had to give each other a look to convey a whole conversation. I loved Gunnar's fire magic and how strong and amazing he was. I love how he proposed in the epilogue and how he chose to stay with Ben and how cute and adorable and perfect they both were together. I loved Nayeli and her love for Cansu and how they finally get to be together. Kari was a badass and I love how she took over everything and always had a plan. Fatemah was interesting, and I love how she cared about her people. I loved Nate and Pierce to no end. They were the greatest. And Rosalia was a badass. Terrible, but awesome. And Edda, darling Edda, I loved her with all my heart and how she was like a mother to Vex and how she was always the one to say the things he and Nayeli needed to hear. I loved Teo and what a sweetheart he was and the bonds he formed with Vex, Nayeli, and Edda. It kills me how Elazar took him and tried to use him and how he was (view spoiler)[Tom's son (hide spoiler)] and how they tried to turn him against Lu and Vex and the others. I just loved this book and everything about it and how dark and intense the war got and how the people of Grace Loray had to come together and it kills me how so many of them were lost, but I love how they can rebuild now and how they've learned so much more about the plants and how Lu is going to do things the right way. I love how Ben became king and how Gunnar went with him. I love how Kari is going to work with the syndicate leaders. I loved this book. So. Dang. Much <3

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lia Reads

    Love love loved this book! This book had me holding my breath in suspense, tearing up (actually full on crying) in some scenes, made my cheeks hot with some steamy scenes, and heart racing in the battle scenes. And magic? Even if it wasn’t much, I just loved everything in this book. I loved all the characters. And there were many more in this book. Sometimes it was hard to keep up with them all. But it definitely felt more involved. They are at war the entire book, so there are many interested act Love love loved this book! This book had me holding my breath in suspense, tearing up (actually full on crying) in some scenes, made my cheeks hot with some steamy scenes, and heart racing in the battle scenes. And magic? Even if it wasn’t much, I just loved everything in this book. I loved all the characters. And there were many more in this book. Sometimes it was hard to keep up with them all. But it definitely felt more involved. They are at war the entire book, so there are many interested active parties. So much happened in this book, it almost feels like it was two in one. Also, a duology? Nice! I was so worried I’d have to wait in suspense for another book. But it wrapped up quite nicely. I loved the way the author chose to end the story. In terms of writing I mean. I won’t say more than that or it may spoil things. Ben, Vex and Lu. Amazing characters. I find myself replaying certain scenes in my head as I’m driving. I love them so much, and having strong characters is so important in keeping me hooked personally. I loved these three! As well as the other ‘side’ characters. Highly recommend this book. It’s not rated highly enough in my opinion. Easy 5 stars.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Fondriest

    Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for an ARC of this novel. All opinions are, as always, my own. These Divided Shores picks up a couple weeks after the previous novel; Lu and Ben are being held captive by their fathers and being forced to work on permanent magic. Vex believes Lu is dead and decides to stage a jail break to free Kari, Lu’s mother and an important political figure on Grace Loray. Vex, Kari, and a host of other syndicate leaders form a tenuous truce to try to rid their island Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for an ARC of this novel. All opinions are, as always, my own. These Divided Shores picks up a couple weeks after the previous novel; Lu and Ben are being held captive by their fathers and being forced to work on permanent magic. Vex believes Lu is dead and decides to stage a jail break to free Kari, Lu’s mother and an important political figure on Grace Loray. Vex, Kari, and a host of other syndicate leaders form a tenuous truce to try to rid their island of Argridian forces once and for all. Hanging over their heads is the threat of the king, Elazar, bringing his “light” to Grace Loray to finally purge it of magic and darkness once and for all. Incredibly complex (though often confusing) political machinations and alliances, a twisted religion, and a unique plant-based magic system underlie this world vaguely based on the history of Caribbean islands and their European colonialists. While the core story and characters are interesting and compelling (I finished this solely because I wanted to know what happened to these people I’d been reading about for 1000 pages), and the magic system is truly unique and very interesting, this book goes on for far longer than it needs to. Much of this could have been edited out to make for better pacing. Our characters’ inner monologues constantly rehash the same emotional turmoil and thoughts. The writing is repetitive and often comes across as telling and not showing. There are glimpses of really witty and clever dialogue and character interactions that inevitably get bogged down by overly verbose and repetitive prose. The conflict in this series hinges on political issues and scheming, but I was so bored by the repetitive nature of the discussions and negotiations that I couldn’t even keep track of who was doing what and why we should be upset. It also bothered me, much as it did in the first book, that POV shifts occur mid chapter, with no delineation between the POVs. This book is 560 pages and only has 33 chapters! I would have preferred shorter chapters that switched each time the POV did - I would have at least felt like I was making progress on the novel! The writing is so dense that more frequent chapter breaks would have really helped give the reader pause. Overall, this is a really original world, religion, and magic system (which is why this is getting 3 stars - I feel like nobody is original these days and I so appreciate reading fantasy that isn’t trying to be Leigh Bardugo) that would excel in the hands of a ruthless editor who could craft this into a 300-350 page novel.

  30. 5 out of 5

    H. Taylor

    First things first, I was so excited and thankful to receive a copy of this book from Harper Collins Australia in exchange for an honest review. These Divided Shores is the follow up to These Rebel Waves, so I’m not going to say anything about the plot, and if you’re here, you’ve most likely read book one, so I’m only going to do a quick recap of book ones plot: two countries at war, insidious religion, pirates, raiders and magic. I loved this book! I actually liked it a lot more that the first bo First things first, I was so excited and thankful to receive a copy of this book from Harper Collins Australia in exchange for an honest review. These Divided Shores is the follow up to These Rebel Waves, so I’m not going to say anything about the plot, and if you’re here, you’ve most likely read book one, so I’m only going to do a quick recap of book ones plot: two countries at war, insidious religion, pirates, raiders and magic. I loved this book! I actually liked it a lot more that the first book. Though It has been a while between books, so I actually wished I had given myself a bit of a refresher, but I did get back into this world pretty quickly. The first book what pitched to me as “gay pirates” which wasn’t the case at all. This one however was much closer to that descriptor. I definitely feel like this second instalment, and closer to the duology, did a much better job at immersing us within each point of view and really making us fall in love with these characters. At times I did find myself a little confused with the politics and war plot side of things, but the amazing character development and interpersonal relationships and struggles, really made up for that fact. These books were my first taste of Raasch’s work and I have to say, I am a huge fan of her wiring style. I would say that some development of world building is needed but overall I love the way she writes characters and the way she can convey emotion. It really made the book for me. Admittedly I still found Lu to get on my nerves a bit, but I think that was the intention at times too; the resistance itself ended up dividing themselves and taking sides, and it was almost as if the reader did too. So even with my annoyance of Lu it was definitely made up for by Vax, Ben, Nayeli, Edda, Cansu and my home boy Gunnar (so like, all the other characters). The ending, while not wrapping everything up, did feel maybe a touch too “and they all lived happily ever after”...but at the same time I’m also a sucker for that kind of thing, so I absolutely adored it. I would definitely say that if you’ve read book one, you need to finish the series! And if you haven’t read book one, go forth and fall in love with these characters for the first time.

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