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The Dark Tide

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The Wicked Deep meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this gripping, dark fairy-tale fantasy about two girls who must choose between saving themselves, each other, or their sinking island city. Every year on St. Walpurga's Eve, Caldella's Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from The Wicked Deep meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this gripping, dark fairy-tale fantasy about two girls who must choose between saving themselves, each other, or their sinking island city. Every year on St. Walpurga's Eve, Caldella's Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.Lina Kirk is convinced her brother is going to be taken this year. To save him, she enlists the help of Thomas Lin, the boy she secretly loves, and the only person to ever escape from the palace. But they draw the queen's attention, and Thomas is chosen as the sacrifice.Queen Eva watched her sister die to save the boy she loved. Now as queen, she won't make the same mistake. She's willing to sacrifice anyone if it means saving herself and her city.When Lina offers herself to the queen in exchange for Thomas's freedom, the two girls await the full moon together. But Lina is not at all what Eva expected, and the queen is nothing like Lina envisioned. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella's streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.


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The Wicked Deep meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this gripping, dark fairy-tale fantasy about two girls who must choose between saving themselves, each other, or their sinking island city. Every year on St. Walpurga's Eve, Caldella's Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from The Wicked Deep meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this gripping, dark fairy-tale fantasy about two girls who must choose between saving themselves, each other, or their sinking island city. Every year on St. Walpurga's Eve, Caldella's Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.Lina Kirk is convinced her brother is going to be taken this year. To save him, she enlists the help of Thomas Lin, the boy she secretly loves, and the only person to ever escape from the palace. But they draw the queen's attention, and Thomas is chosen as the sacrifice.Queen Eva watched her sister die to save the boy she loved. Now as queen, she won't make the same mistake. She's willing to sacrifice anyone if it means saving herself and her city.When Lina offers herself to the queen in exchange for Thomas's freedom, the two girls await the full moon together. But Lina is not at all what Eva expected, and the queen is nothing like Lina envisioned. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella's streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.

30 review for The Dark Tide

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch Buddy read with Landice, Maëlys, & Lea! ❤ Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch Buddy read with Landice, Maëlys, & Lea! ❤

  2. 5 out of 5

    Holly (Holly Hearts Books)

    The amount of plot holes in this book will trigger your trypophobia.

  3. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    This was so atmospheric and gorgeously written. The prose seriously took my breath away, it just had the gorgeous descriptions I crave in books, and reminded me of Anna Marie McLemore's work. Like let's just introduce you to this witchy, sea wild tale, full of salt and blood and longing girls and aching boys, sacrifices and sinking islands, witches bitter with regret, and girls who want to save the world but ending just breaking everything. I definitely fell a bit in love with the world. 😍 The w This was so atmospheric and gorgeously written. The prose seriously took my breath away, it just had the gorgeous descriptions I crave in books, and reminded me of Anna Marie McLemore's work. Like let's just introduce you to this witchy, sea wild tale, full of salt and blood and longing girls and aching boys, sacrifices and sinking islands, witches bitter with regret, and girls who want to save the world but ending just breaking everything. I definitely fell a bit in love with the world. 😍 The whole premise is this island is sinking and the people rely on the witches to hold back the dark tide, but to do that -- the witch queen sacrifices a human boy each year. The tide's malicious pleasure is sated. Everyone else gets to live. But this year, the boy Lina has a crush on (Thomas Lin) is taken and she refuses to let him die. So she takes his place. And then uncovers dark secrets behind the ritual while she's caught up in the witches tower with the dark and bitter Eva, witch queen who infamously has no heart. This all just makes my bones weep with joy and it's a tale crafted with words that just capture imagination and enchant you. Dark. Bitter. Lovely. I did want a bit more from the characters though. I loved them! I just felt I barely knew anyone except Lina. She was headstrong, brave, typical Gryffindor who ran into trouble without ever thinking about it. But I just wanted things to get deeper. The plot hinged on Thomas Lin but I barley understood him as a person. And I LOVED EVA (omg she is an antisocial piece of black and bitter coffee) and wish we had more about her backstory too. Eva, Thomas and Natalia's story would have been amazing to know...I almost wish the book started there? A beautiful tale, very ethereal and atmospheric. Queer and dark and whimsical. I just wanted it to be a bit more.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    There is nothing more exciting to me than the premise of a girl going to save a guy, except she falls in love with the 'villain' who is keeping that guy captive instead. And if that villian just happens to be a woman? Exquisite. Also throw in a sinking island city, magical worldbuilding and a stunning cover, and you've got me hook, line and sinker. I've come out of THE DARK TIDE utterly obsessed with Eva, the Witch Queen. I relate to her a lot, especially in terms of how she views the world. I a There is nothing more exciting to me than the premise of a girl going to save a guy, except she falls in love with the 'villain' who is keeping that guy captive instead. And if that villian just happens to be a woman? Exquisite. Also throw in a sinking island city, magical worldbuilding and a stunning cover, and you've got me hook, line and sinker. I've come out of THE DARK TIDE utterly obsessed with Eva, the Witch Queen. I relate to her a lot, especially in terms of how she views the world. I also want to be her, with her cool suits and cigarettes and cocky attitude when it comes to Lina. She also has a pet sea serpent! That's awesome. Eva is such a Slytherin, and Lina is such a Gryffindor, and I'm over here like ahhhh, melting into a puddle of feels. It's the 'brave girl meets cold and cynical girl and starts to pull her out of her shell' trope with these two. There's also a lot of banter between the two of them which doesn't happen with other characters, and I find it mildly hilarious how these two girls suddenly become sassy (Lina) or cocky (Eva) around each other in a way they aren't with others. It's cute. Putting aside my love for Eva, Lina is a great heroine to follow. I am very much an Eva stan, but this book is dual-narrative and I equally enjoyed reading both perspectives. It's a nice change, given I usually prefer one over the other. I do believe Lina was developed further as a character and had more idiosyncrasies, but one could equally argue Eva's character is withdrawn and so maybe that's why we as readers don't find out as much about her. There's still another book to go, after all. For those who are thinking this is a villain x hero love story, I would say to carefully moderate your expectations. In the blurb Eva is framed as the villian, but to be fair she's not so much a villain as she is a girl completely helpless to stop the sea and dark tide, which is the real antagonist of the story. If you came in expecting an incredibly tumultuous morally grey relationship between Lina and Eva, there are flavours of it (if you squint hard at some dialogue), but the fact is that although Eva is definitely slightly cold and withdrawn, she's not downright evil. There are shades of enemies to lovers, but Lina hasn't really harboured a lifelong burning hatred for Eva and is only in conflict with her once Eva takes her crush, Thomas Lin, as the sacrifice. Moving on, one thing I didn't expect before going into THE DARK TIDE was just how much presence the worldbuilding has in the story. There are books where the world is just as much as a character as the actual characters, and this is such a case. Arguably, the worldbuilding is perhaps the strongest aspect of THE DARK TIDE - not in that it is extremely detailed, but in that it's enchanting and fairytale-esque. It has a exquisite ghibli vibes, this sinking island city of Caldella, where there are ice cream shops and broom boats and flavoured cigarettes and pastel-coloured houses and witches that make charms out of pearls and hair. It's a little Venetian (?) and a little fairytale, and totally magical. The big critique I have is that I did feel this story lacked was development, and because of that, depth. THE DARK TIDE is a quick read, and I felt a few more scenes could have really helped flesh things out. Especially when developing the relationship between Lina and Eva, where the build-up felt brief. For instance, there was a time jump early on of four days before the regatta, and instead of a jump, a few scenes of Lina engaging with Eva over those 4 days would've been quite nice to establish more contact between the two. They don't kiss until late in the novel and they do have scenes together before then, but not quite enough for the kiss to feel completely credible. (Also, look, I just really like these two and I want to see more of them together.) Given the premise of this story, I could have easily read 100 or so more pages if it allowed for more development. But on the flip side, this story is very quickly-paced because of the brevity of some scenes, so I did devour it in under 24 hours! Furthermore, I am pretty sure this story started off as a Tam Lin retelling (I mean, the guy Lina originally likes is called Thomas Lin, it's kinda obvious) and morphed into a queer f/f story where the girl falls in love with the hot queen keeping the guy captive, and if that isn't a glow-up, I don't know what is. Someone should rewrite Tam Lin and make the girl saving Tam Lin fall in love with the faerie queen instead, but that's a completely different topic so I digress. So technically that makes THE DARK TIDE a fairytale retelling of sorts, if that floats your boat. TL;DR: Absolutely a debut worth a read (especially if you're searching for f/f content) that gives me light fairytale vibes. I can't wait to see with Alicia Jasinska does next. > 4 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    anna (½ of readsrainbow)

    rep: bi mc, poc sapphic mc, sapphic parents, side poc characters rtc but like, the romance sneaks up on u & then just swallows u whole at one point and it's amazing rep: bi mc, poc sapphic mc, sapphic parents, side poc characters rtc but like, the romance sneaks up on u & then just swallows u whole at one point and it's amazing

  6. 4 out of 5

    Boston

    And I thought Crier’s War was slow burn 😭

  7. 4 out of 5

    mahana

    not to be nsfw on main but i want to r*st my head on eva’s should*r rep: bi mc, lesbian mc(?)

  8. 5 out of 5

    E.

    UPDATE!! Wow, why didn't anybody tell me this got a cover??? It's so pretty!! __________________________ sapphic 👀 witches 👀 👀 enemies to lovers 👀 👀 👀 👀 author with Polish-sounding name 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 __________________________ insta | twitter | blog | booksirens | duolingo UPDATE!! Wow, why didn't anybody tell me this got a cover??? It's so pretty!! __________________________ sapphic 👀 witches 👀 👀 enemies to lovers 👀 👀 👀 👀 author with Polish-sounding name 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 __________________________ insta | twitter | blog | booksirens | duolingo

  9. 4 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    Loved the atmosphere of this and the wonderful prose!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Danielle (yaallegiance)

    Okay, this has WON my heart I stumbled upon this by chance at a bookstore where it was laying in all its glory on a random table outside the YA section and its cover beckoned me. This book piqued my interest with its gorgeous cover and grabbed my heart with its enticing synopsis. I absolutely adore how atmospheric this book was, the writing style only enhanced this as the story continued. I absolutely loved our cast of characters and I love the topics that Jasinska explores in this book. Please do yo Okay, this has WON my heart I stumbled upon this by chance at a bookstore where it was laying in all its glory on a random table outside the YA section and its cover beckoned me. This book piqued my interest with its gorgeous cover and grabbed my heart with its enticing synopsis. I absolutely adore how atmospheric this book was, the writing style only enhanced this as the story continued. I absolutely loved our cast of characters and I love the topics that Jasinska explores in this book. Please do yourself a favor and pick this up immediately 💕

  11. 5 out of 5

    ˗ˏˋ aphrodite ˊˎ˗

    *arc provided by the publisher through net galley, all thoughts are my own* WHEW, I knew I was gonna like this and I was NOT disappointed. let me first preface this review by saying that I definitely don’t think this book is perfect nor do I think it will jive with everyone. it does have inconsistencies with pacing and structure. there were a lot of times where I didn’t really know where the story was going. I think certain elements should have been introduced better and explained better. BUT. th *arc provided by the publisher through net galley, all thoughts are my own* WHEW, I knew I was gonna like this and I was NOT disappointed. let me first preface this review by saying that I definitely don’t think this book is perfect nor do I think it will jive with everyone. it does have inconsistencies with pacing and structure. there were a lot of times where I didn’t really know where the story was going. I think certain elements should have been introduced better and explained better. BUT. this book is SO beautifully written and SO gay. both things that will make me forget about your book’s shortcomings. if you are an aesthetic driven reader, a atmosphere driven reader: THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU! I cannot tell you how many highlights I had for this book (in fact I’ll share them here!) I even had to tweet the author to see if she had a Pinterest board for this book. I was so captivated by the masterpiece the author painted with her words. It was INCREDIBLE. AND HELLO SAPPHICS, WE WON AGAIN!!!! I think if you’re not queer in any capacity (or even if you are!) you may also have some issues with the romance. it is definitely “irritation to lovers” and the transition isn’t really there. BUT I DIDNT GIVE A SHIIIIITTTTTTTT. their tension?? IMMACULATE. their first kiss??? HARD AS FUCK. their growth?? POETRY. I stan (1) cancer x capricorn pairing. overall, if you love an atmospheric sapphic read, you’ll really enjoy this. if you’re a plot driven reader? proceed with caution.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Amazon Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine. ...it often felt like everything exciting, everything that meant anything, had happened before she was old enough to take part. The stories were over, the books closed, and she was stuck living in somebody else's happily ever after. Every once in a while I read a novel that has all the promise in the world, and yet I can't connect with it for no other reason than the fact Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Amazon Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine. ...it often felt like everything exciting, everything that meant anything, had happened before she was old enough to take part. The stories were over, the books closed, and she was stuck living in somebody else's happily ever after. Every once in a while I read a novel that has all the promise in the world, and yet I can't connect with it for no other reason than the fact that the chemistry is just not there. I really like the concept of The Dark Tide; it's fascinating, and there were things about the book that I enjoyed. But overall, it did not win me over. The island town of Caldella is beautiful. Like other readers pointed out, I was reminded of Venice the second we began to weave though the streets while led by one of our leads, Lina. It's a picturesque place full of lively people. The history of the land, with its Witch Queens of past, and the sacrifices that are forced upon the island, was an intriguing idea. And while I like it when stories begin with a bang, I think that there was far too much happening in The Dark Tide from the get-go for me to easily get my bearings. By the time that I finally did, there was a huge lull that lasted until the last few chapters, when things exploded into action once more. This is listed as the first in more books to come, but as this novel stands on its own, the characters were flat save for the leads, Eva and Lina. Eva was great, she's smart and sharp with a wicked sense of humor and a soft side that she tries to hide from others. That last is a bit stereotypical, because of course she doesn't want others to see that she cares being the big bag Witch Queen that she needs to be, but she pulls it off. Lina, on the other hand, comes cross as naive and impulsive, doesn't really think about the consequences of her actions until she's smack in the middle of a bad one, and she's overall infuriating. I didn't fall for the romance between these two until the very last two chapters, and while not wholly convinced, the ending was rather sweet between them. There's a nice build up there for the next book. The rest of the cast of characters are one-dimensional, with barely anything happening among them unless they're needed to step in so that they can advance the plot along. The exception to this is the trio of Thomas, Marcin and Finley. These three hold the role of “bad guy” in one way or another throughout the story: Thomas is selfish and reportedly doesn't care about much other than to save his own skin 'til the end, when he seems to grow a conscience; Marcin so obviously wants to be king of the witches of Caldella that I have no idea how it takes Eva so long to notice; and Finley is the big bad brother who has a quick temper and apparently that means that he likely can be prone to make others suffer physical violence. And then to make things worse, Jun—yet another lad—tries to murder Lina. Yes, they do nice things here and there, but they're still cast in this mostly negative light. I don't know why it was just the guys that always hold the bad lot in this novel, or if this was unintentional, but it still grated on me. There were still noteworthy moments not to be ignored, however. Eva's pet sea serpent is magnificent, as is the mythology of her love for dancing. The water palace itself is magnificent, and I wish that more time would have been spent exploring it other than its incessantly mischievous and spell-bound doors. I wanted to see more of the island town of Caldella itself, as well as the ruins of the old city. I enjoyed the loophole that Eva thought of and the way that she had of saving the year's sacrifice, even if I saw it coming halfway through to the event. This tale has its charms, if only they'd been exploited to their limits. I have my fingers crossed that we'll see more of what I enjoyed in the next book, as well as what's still to be explored. The potential is there for this world to grow and flourish.

  13. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    Gay girls and witch queens, sign me up forever

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jules ✨

    Thank you Netgalley and SOURCEBOOKS Fire for the ARC. not to be nsfw but this is everything i've ever needed. And I was right. RTC

  15. 5 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    YES Rep: bi mc, lesbian mc CWs: magic involving self harm, drowning

  16. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Annie Deo The Dark Tide is a stunning fantasy YA debut from Australian author Alicia Jasinska and first in the self-titled series set on the moody atmospheric island city of Caldella. The Dark Tide offers an exciting and immersive story with a strong feminist slant that subverts common YA tropes and forges its own original path. The two heroines are well-rounded and each demonstrate believable strengths while grappling with their individual fears Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Annie Deo The Dark Tide is a stunning fantasy YA debut from Australian author Alicia Jasinska and first in the self-titled series set on the moody atmospheric island city of Caldella. The Dark Tide offers an exciting and immersive story with a strong feminist slant that subverts common YA tropes and forges its own original path. The two heroines are well-rounded and each demonstrate believable strengths while grappling with their individual fears and pain, both sharing values like unwavering loyalty and strong familial bonds that make it easy to understand why they would be drawn to one another. Although there is a sequel to come, this is a self-contained story that will leave readers satisfied at the end instead of agitated by a painful cliff-hanger! I can’t wait to read more about Lina and Eva in future, and will be certain to re-read this beautiful story again to tide me over before the next release! Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wren (fablesandwren)

    The atmospheric feel of this book was like a mix between Caraval and Three Dark Crowns and the world was so interesting. But the characters felt a little two dimensional to me and I didn’t connect with any of them even tho I truly wanted to. Such a cool concept!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maëlys

    i really loved this!! rtc

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nia •ShadesOfPaper•

    You can find this review on my blog Shades of Paper. “The Witch Queen comes o wings of night. The Witch Queen has your heart’s delight. Hold him, hold him, hold on tight. Hide him, hide him, out of sight.” I cannot even express how excited I was to pick up this book, because I feel I’m always on the hunt for some sapphic books, and this was supposed to be one but with WITCHES, so I went into it with pretty high expectations, and overall I think it was a great book and I adored the char You can find this review on my blog Shades of Paper. “The Witch Queen comes o wings of night. The Witch Queen has your heart’s delight. Hold him, hold him, hold on tight. Hide him, hide him, out of sight.” I cannot even express how excited I was to pick up this book, because I feel I’m always on the hunt for some sapphic books, and this was supposed to be one but with WITCHES, so I went into it with pretty high expectations, and overall I think it was a great book and I adored the characters. I think that the plot of this novel was so interesting that I was hooked since page one. I’d say it took a little bit for the story to start, but there was quite a lot of information given us at the very beginning so we could understand what was going on in this town and how the witches were involved in it, so I didn’t have an issue with that. It’s true that one of the main problems I had with The Dark Tide was how little information we got about the magic system. It played a very important part in the plot and the characters, but the reader didn’t know much about how it worked or its limitations, which I think it would have been helpful for us to further understand certain characters and how this town was different from everyone else. However, I think the author did a great job at creating the cast of characters and their arcs and evolutions. I think that the characters were the strongest part of the book to me, or at least the ones that resonated with me the most. “She wanted more. She wanted to be something more. She wanted to change someone or save someone. She wanted a love people told stories about.” Our protagonist was such a complex character, and I ended up really admiring her bravery and intelligence. I really enjoyed her arc and her development throughout the story, and basically how much was she willing to do to save her brother and Thomas, even though they didn’t really get along, which was pretty surprising. Another thing I absolutely adored was the Eva’s perspective, more than I was expecting. She was such a great character and quite the opposite from Lina, but I think that they complemented each other pretty well since their personalities and stories were so different, and because it was told in two POVs, we got to see a little bit more of this world from the eyes of a witch. And don’t let me get started with the romance. I absolutely adore a good enemies to lovers, and I think that the dynamics between Eva and Lina were just perfection. I absolutely adored how each of them evolved and changed, and how slowly that relationship progressed, because I love me a good slow burning romance. Honestly, I think that they had a very interesting chemistry and I was rooting for them. “Eva decided her soul must be a very black and twisted thing, because she missed the cold silence, the dark and its merciful shadows.” The ending was pretty action packed. I really liked how everything got together and how engaging that ending was. I found I couldn’t stop reading because there were a lot of things happening and I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It’s true that there were a few twists and revelations that I found a bit predictable, but for the most part I really enjoyed how things wrapped up. Overall, I think The Dark Tide was such a unique and interesting story, and I adored the characters arcs and the relationships and the romance between Lina and Eva. It’s true I had some issues with the magic system and certain parts of the story, but I think it was a solid book. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own. Actual rating: 3.5 ★ Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin’

  20. 4 out of 5

    rin ( ̄ヘ ̄) read/watch mo dao zu shi

    "sacrifices herself to her sinking island-city's Witch Queen in order to save the boy she likes, but ends up falling in love with the witch herself" hell yeah babey

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (Diva Booknerd)

    The tides begin to rise over the city of Caldella as the eve of Saint Walpurga approaches, the Queen choosing a sacrifice to appease the dark tide. Lina lives within the village of Caldella, a passionate performance artist who after an altercation with brother Finley, is unable to dance in the festivities. On the eve of Saint Walpurga, Finley evades Lina and despite pleading with her brother to remain at home, Finley escapes into the village to entertain the revellers. Lina and Finley have an int The tides begin to rise over the city of Caldella as the eve of Saint Walpurga approaches, the Queen choosing a sacrifice to appease the dark tide. Lina lives within the village of Caldella, a passionate performance artist who after an altercation with brother Finley, is unable to dance in the festivities. On the eve of Saint Walpurga, Finley evades Lina and despite pleading with her brother to remain at home, Finley escapes into the village to entertain the revellers. Lina and Finley have an interesting sibling relationship, Lina tolerates his temper and possessive arrogance and Finley indulges in the attention of the villagers. Lina is a capable young woman and although she exudes confidence while performing, she is subservient within their sibling relationship. Throughout the township, Eva and her companions meander the streets in search for a sacrifice, luring an unsuspecting young man back to the palace where he will be sacrificed to the dark, rising tide. Eva is the new Witch Queen, inheriting the title from her late sister, a Queen who sacrificed herself to the tides after finding love with villager Thomas. Thomas returned home to his family and now Eva is seeking retribution. Eva is a formidable young woman, fierce, determined and effortlessly debonair in her pantsuits, until Lina volunteers as the dark tide sacrifice to save Thomas, her beloved. The final day of the winter season and the eve of Saint Walpurga, the village of Caldella is illuminated under the enchantment of the festivities, witches converse with villagers. The enchanting Caldella is reminiscent of the idyllic waterways of Venice, romantic and romanesque. Emerging over the village is the palatial home of the reigning Queen, where Thomas is being held as a sacrifice, Caldella is beautifully illustrated throughout The Dark Tide, a community swelling with liveliness and vivacity. Lina and Eva are characters of contrast, Lina is compassionate and considerate, Eva is brusque and detached and although Lina is held captive as the dark tide sacrifice, their attraction is smouldering. As the narrative progresses, Lina and Eva blossom and flourish as individuals. Lina's confidence and fortitude is a beautiful aspect of her journey of discovery and self realisation, discarding her naivety and desperation to please others. Eva is conflicted by her ambivalence, undermined by her closest adviser, the village community and herself, believing the dark tide has been enraged by the sacrifice of her sister and former Queen. The Dark Tide is formidable and meticulously imagined, a mesmerising read of sacrifice and redemption, atmospheric and beautifully lyrical. Alicia Jasinska has created an exquisite debut novel, unequivocally enchanting.

  22. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    i wish i had enjoyed this more but i instantly didn't gel with the writing style or how it was more plot-driven than character-driven. if you love caraval or three dark crown but are looking for something sapphic, i'd highly recommend though. just not my cup of tea more thoughts tc, probably ◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram • The Book Depository i wish i had enjoyed this more but i instantly didn't gel with the writing style or how it was more plot-driven than character-driven. if you love caraval or three dark crown but are looking for something sapphic, i'd highly recommend though. just not my cup of tea more thoughts tc, probably ◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram • The Book Depository

  23. 4 out of 5

    Megan ❀

    Witch queen? A f/f romance? A cover that gives me Shadow and Bone ARC cover vibes? SIGN!!! ME!!! UP!!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sasha Zatz

    The Dark Tide was an absolutely phenomenal, dark and complex enemies to lovers f/f fantasy that quickly became a new favourite. Once a year, the Witch Queen who rules over the island of Caldella must choose a boy to sacrifice on the full moon. A life to appease the sea that would consume the whole island. Led by two fierce girls who find themselves falling for each other, with a distinctive magic system and intricate world building, fierce witches, wonderful sibling dynamics and a pet sea monste The Dark Tide was an absolutely phenomenal, dark and complex enemies to lovers f/f fantasy that quickly became a new favourite. Once a year, the Witch Queen who rules over the island of Caldella must choose a boy to sacrifice on the full moon. A life to appease the sea that would consume the whole island. Led by two fierce girls who find themselves falling for each other, with a distinctive magic system and intricate world building, fierce witches, wonderful sibling dynamics and a pet sea monster, The Dark Tide is an unmissable debut that I cannot recommend enough. I can’t put into words how much I absolutely adore Lina and Eva and their dynamic. It was perfection, genuinely. Lina is brave, stubborn and caring. She’s smart, has a deep passion for dance and would do anything for those she loves. Lina is a complex character with great development throughout the book as she learns what - and who - she wants, and I loved her pretty much immediately. She’s at once compassionate and considerate and sharp and bold. Eva was her opposite, cocky, brash and cold, unflinching ice where Lina was passionate fire. I was absolutely smitten by Eva - I mean she’s a morally grey witch queen who struts around her castle in suits, smoking magical cigarettes and taking care of her pet sea monster. These two were perfect for each other and I loved their dynamic - their banter was perfect, and it’s a trope I really want to see more - girl who believes love is the most important thing meets girl who doesn’t believe in love and convinces her it’s real. I loved how they became more of themselves around each other, Lina not worrying about being likeable or putting Eva’s needs before her own, and Eva able to be more caring and soft. I love these two SO MUCH I am absolutely obsessed with them. I adored the world of The Dark Tide! It was SO atmospheric, vividly described, and almost spooky. The concepts Alicia Jasinska explored were unique, intriguing and wonderful. Witches who must give up parts of themselves for magic? An island who must give over once of its own every year to save itself from the sea? A Witch Queen who must choose and fall in love with someone every year just to sacrifice them for the greater good? *chef’s kiss* all around! I was so awed by the idea of the tide as a force within its own mind, the wild sea personified. As Eva became less of the central villain and more love-interest-who-is-still-evil, it was the tide that was the antagonist, that our characters had to fight to save their world. This was just such an interesting and amazing concept to me and it was executed magnificently. Alicia Jasinka’s gorgeous writing just contributed further to the mystical and haunted atmosphere the world created. Her prose was lyrical, stunning and deeply evocative but without being overwhelming. I found myself speeding through this book almost too fast - I wanted to savour it but I couldn’t help but read on! The plot was complex, tension building up to the incredible finale! My only complaint with this book is that I wish it was longer - I’d love to see more interactions between Eva and Lina as they fell for each other, a little more back story for Lina and Finley’s relationship and more of Yara! The Dark Tide quickly won my heart and I cannot recommend this book enough. If you’re looking sapphic A Court of Thorns and Roses but with witches instead of faeries and the atmospheric and unique world building of a Ghibli movie, The Dark Tide is for you. - I AM IN COMPLETE AWE!!!!!! rtc

  25. 5 out of 5

    laurel [suspected bibliophile]

    DNF at 33% The world-building is pretty cool (seriously in love with the place names), but honestly I'm going to need a little more to keep me invested despite these really lackluster characters. Lina's all hot to trot for a boy that she loves despite speaking like, two sentences to him over an evening and fantasizing about him ever since he was the one boy a witch queen sacrificed herself for. And Eva is...ho hum boring. Maybe it gets better, but I'm not planning on sticking around long enough to DNF at 33% The world-building is pretty cool (seriously in love with the place names), but honestly I'm going to need a little more to keep me invested despite these really lackluster characters. Lina's all hot to trot for a boy that she loves despite speaking like, two sentences to him over an evening and fantasizing about him ever since he was the one boy a witch queen sacrificed herself for. And Eva is...ho hum boring. Maybe it gets better, but I'm not planning on sticking around long enough to see. I received this ARC for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cielo

    The Dark Tide is a spooky, magical and atmospheric book about two very opposite girls that fight hard to get what they want, all while trying to fight the feelings slowly growning within them, that might put their plans upside down. This is a dual-pov story where we get inside the minds of Lina and Eva, the main characters. Lina is a naïve and passionate girl that loves too deeply and would do whatever it takes to protect her loved ones, even when that means sacrifices herself and not making the The Dark Tide is a spooky, magical and atmospheric book about two very opposite girls that fight hard to get what they want, all while trying to fight the feelings slowly growning within them, that might put their plans upside down. This is a dual-pov story where we get inside the minds of Lina and Eva, the main characters. Lina is a naïve and passionate girl that loves too deeply and would do whatever it takes to protect her loved ones, even when that means sacrifices herself and not making the smartest decisions. Eva is a closed-off and cold girl that has suffered a lot at her young age, she doesn’t understand how romantic love works and only cares about her own interests. They’re both determined to get what they want, both as the pages go by the lines of who’s the enemy and who’s the ally get blurry, and they start to understand that they might benefit of working together. I guess we could say that while Lina is fire, Eva is ice. And oh, they balanced each other perfectly. I had such a good time seeing how they slowly discovered what they felt for each other, trying to understand it, and get confused for it. I think the author developed their romance in a very realistic, complex and unique way. Eva and Lina have an amazing chemistry and their differences makes them perfect for each other, and I loved how the author balanced their interactions with the plot of the story and what was happening at the moment. The romance wasn’t too much, neither too little. However, I highly appreciate that the characters stick to their original plans despite the feelings they had for one another, and nothing was sacrificed in sake of the romance. I want to make a special mention of Eva’s character development. It was a whole experience reading her chapters, she’s a very complex character and you can’t put a “bad” or “good” label in her, she’s somewhere in between and the author executed that perfectly. The plot couldn’t been more original. It’s very important that you know this: the enemy of this story is not a human, it is the sea. The tradition of giving to the dark tide someone the Witch Queen loves so it doesn’t drown the island is a very original concept, and a great element for the story to revolve around of. The fact that the characters aren’t fighting against an equal, but something as big as the sea itself, blew me away, and makes the reader even more invested in the story and how can the character possibly defeat the enemy. It’s also important to mention the spooky vibes I got from this book. The atmosphere is perfect for Halloween season or reading it during the night, it’s not a scary book, but the author’s descriptions of the Water Palace and just the island in general trascend the pages and absorbs you into the narrative. I found this to be one of the strongest elements of this book, and despite being an island that might disappear under the water at any moment, I found myself wanting to be there and discover its eerie places. There’s only two things that made me give four stars of this book instead of fight. The first one is that, despite the plot being so original and intriguing, the events were a little rushed and I just wanted more, but I didn’t have it. This might be because it’s just the first book in the series, and I definitely have high expectations with its sequel, but I can’t help but think that making the book a little longer would’ve had a positive impact on plot and character development. And the second one is exactly that: the characters. While we had the time to understand and love Lina and Eva’s characters, I can’t say the same for the rest of them, and I would’ve like a little more scenes dedicated to develop the secondary characters in order to understand better the role they were playing in the story and why was really important to have them being a part of it. To sum it up, I really enjoyed this book. Is one of the best dark-themed books I’ve read in the year, and the high expectatives I had with it were fulfilled. Disclaimer: I received a free ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Books, Coffee & Passion

    I've read The Dark Tide a few months ago but I struggled so much to rate and review it that I decided to reread it again after a while. Finally, I've reread it and I'm still struggling to organize my thoughts about it. I was really liking the story during the first half of the book but then I felt disconnected. I can't pinpoint the exact moment that my interest in the story started to fade but I'll try to sum up what I liked and disliked. What I liked: • Rep (POC; LGBT); • Captivating premise; • The I've read The Dark Tide a few months ago but I struggled so much to rate and review it that I decided to reread it again after a while. Finally, I've reread it and I'm still struggling to organize my thoughts about it. I was really liking the story during the first half of the book but then I felt disconnected. I can't pinpoint the exact moment that my interest in the story started to fade but I'll try to sum up what I liked and disliked. What I liked: • Rep (POC; LGBT); • Captivating premise; • The dark setting of the palace and the island; • Witches; • Lina and Finley's relationship was great, really loved their banter; • The pet sea serpent was amazing; • Eva was the most complex character in my opinion and I really liked her POV; What I didn't like: • The magic system was underdeveloped; • The pacing felt off; • There was no build up in the romance (Lina's transition from being so in love with Thomas to having feelings for Eva came out of nowhere); • Other than Eva and Lina, the other characters felt flat. Overall, I liked it but I feel like the story didn't quite fulfill its potential and couldn't keep me invested until the very end. I'm still curious about the next book though. *Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.*

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    Ahhhhh, I feel like I have lots of thoughts about this that I am struggling to really articulate??? I think I just have to sit on this a little bit and think about all the aspects individually. I definitely enjoyed it overall but the beginning was so promising for me that I feel like I ended up being a little bit let down by the second half. But full review hopefully to come very soon! Buddy read with Melanie, Maëlys and Landice ♥ Instagram | Blog | Booktube Channel | Twitter Ahhhhh, I feel like I have lots of thoughts about this that I am struggling to really articulate??? I think I just have to sit on this a little bit and think about all the aspects individually. I definitely enjoyed it overall but the beginning was so promising for me that I feel like I ended up being a little bit let down by the second half. But full review hopefully to come very soon! Buddy read with Melanie, Maëlys and Landice ♥ Instagram | Blog | Booktube Channel | Twitter

  29. 5 out of 5

    Meaghan

    I was expecting a lot from this book (definitely one of my more hyped debuts of 2020), and it honestly met all those expectations. The writing, while not quite up there with my favorites, was just lyrical enough to carry the fairytale/myth style of this story well. It was also still practical and simple enough to generally understand what was going on, even in fight/action scenes. It definitely, when combined with the story itself, made some scenes hit quite hard, and I loved the style it gave to I was expecting a lot from this book (definitely one of my more hyped debuts of 2020), and it honestly met all those expectations. The writing, while not quite up there with my favorites, was just lyrical enough to carry the fairytale/myth style of this story well. It was also still practical and simple enough to generally understand what was going on, even in fight/action scenes. It definitely, when combined with the story itself, made some scenes hit quite hard, and I loved the style it gave to the book as a whole. The setting/island is also wonderful, and there's so much left still in this world to discover. The dynamic of witches and normal residents of the island was interesting, as both seemed to need the other while not actually liking the other all that much. The way the mainland existed in the story as well left a lot to be explained while still providing a strong reason for all these people staying on an island intent to drown them, meaning there weren't that many holes for the world building. Additionally, the magic system was also fascinating while also just making sense. There wasn't just one way of using magic, and instead the methods were a mix of all the cultures that had fled to the island (almost like a shared language can come out of many groups being forced together, there were still distinct traits from each original magic tradition but it all started to blend together well). I also just loved the characters/romance/relationships in this novel. All felt full and intriguing, whether it be familial or romantic. The main focus was on Eva and Lina, of course, and while I loved where their paths led them and how they dealt with each other, the dynamic between Eva and Marcin or Natalia as well as between Lina and Finley were deep too. It wasn't just a flat sibling or friend relationship, all of them had variation. Lina didn't purely love Finley, her brother, or hate him, but almost both at the same time, and it felt authentic and reminiscent of real life frustrations and emotions with siblings. The same can be said of Eva and her relationship to her (now dead) sister Eva, and her long time friend Marcin. All of this just strengthened the overall story, as it is these relationships that motivate the characters. All in all, definitely put this book on your tbr and preorder it! It hits all the boxes: witches, f/f romance, strong sibling relationships, etc.!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa (thereaderandthechef)

    Huge thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC. All thoughts are my own. I am so torn! On the one hand, I really loved the essence of this book. It's dark and beautifully written. It has a castle that's been fed so much magic that its doors developed a mind of their own and love to confuse you for hours! Oh, and I also grew super fond of a certain sea serpent that totally deserved more spotlight. 🥺 (And I have a theory about this pet so... it might still happen.) BUT on the other hand, I was expectin Huge thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC. All thoughts are my own. I am so torn! On the one hand, I really loved the essence of this book. It's dark and beautifully written. It has a castle that's been fed so much magic that its doors developed a mind of their own and love to confuse you for hours! Oh, and I also grew super fond of a certain sea serpent that totally deserved more spotlight. 🥺 (And I have a theory about this pet so... it might still happen.) BUT on the other hand, I was expecting to learn more about Eva (one of the POVs), the Witches, The Islanders, and the kind of world that they lived in because they have a Dark Tide that demans an innocent life to be sacrificed under the full moon every year or else risk the Island sinking, and yet we never learn WHY. Was expecting a small explanation for things to make sense but by the end of the book, we sort of just go back to the beginning which is so confusing. I did like Lina though (the other POV). She has a good heart and risks everything to save the people that mean something to her, even at her own expense. I just wish her story would have come later because I was far more interested in Eva's sister. It would have been great to get to read about her time as Caldella's Witch Queen. Maybe in the sequel! Overall, The Dark Tide was still an enjoyable solid read and if you like magical reads with achingly beautiful settings, then you'll certainly be bewitched by it!

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