Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. By The Vine Press provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
When members of her family die in a tsunami, Tayte is left to be the reluctant ruler of Undae. She’s having little success preparing her island for the coming of the prophesied prince she’s to wed. Athan, the prince, worries about how he’s to win Tayte over, since the King who sends Athan to Undae orders him to disguise himself as a tutor in Washed Under the Waves, a novel by author Gloria Clover.
This first book in the Children of the King fantasy series is chock-full of interwoven themes: love, treason, adoption, marriage, insecurity, redemption, humility, work ethic, authority, and the list goes on. The setting and history of Undae is intricate and vivid, and there’s enough mystifying detail in this tale to make the inexplicable believable. One of my biggest takeaways from the read comes from Athan’s side of the journey: the idea that knowing the facts of a situation doesn’t mean you know the story.
As for the romance, I’ll admit it’s something of a turn-off for me whenever there’s physical violence between romantic characters, even if it’s brief. And if there’s a sustained period when either of the characters feels as if their relationship is wrong or forbidden, in the sense that it’s grating against his or her conscience, it feels more tense than truly romantic to me. Also, my interest waned during some of the chapters, especially when the characters’ doubts or deliberations seemed to go back and forth or in circles longer or more times than necessary.
On a different note, I don’t see how fantasy fiction fans could resist checking out a novel with such a dramatic, stunning book cover. (You can all but feel and hear those vibrant waves.) Plus, while the story takes place some time in the future, it’s a read that historical fiction fans can enjoy as well. I’ve been intrigued by this world and look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Note to my blog readers: this novel contains some sensual content appropriate for mature audiences, though the content isn’t explicit.
Washed Under the Waves is Book One in the Children of the King series.