Tana Fairchild’s fate has never been in question. Her life has been planned out since the moment she was born: she is to marry the governor’s son, Landon, and secure an unprecedented alliance between the witches of her island home and the mainlanders who see her very existence as a threat.
Tana’s coven has appeased those who fear their power for years by releasing most of their magic into the ocean during the full moon. But when Tana misses the midnight ritual—a fatal mistake—there is no one she can turn to for help…until she meets Wolfe.
Wolfe claims he is from a coven that practices dark magic, making him one of the only people who can help her. But he refuses to let Tana’s power rush into the sea, and instead teaches her his forbidden magic. A magic that makes her feel powerful. Alive.
As the sea grows more violent, her coven loses control of the currents, a danger that could destroy the alliance as well as her island. Tana will have to choose between love and duty, between loyalty to her people and loyalty to her heart. Marrying Landon would secure peace for her coven but losing Wolfe and his wild magic could cost her everything else.
Synopsis source: Goodreads
This was a tough one for me. I really enjoyed the first half of the book but struggled with the second half. I settled on 3 stars because I liked it overall, but it’s more of an average. The first half was 4 stars, the second half was 2 stars, so ergo, 3 for the whole thing.
The worldbuilding was really wonderful. I was once again getting those Spells for Forgetting vibes…a small island community of witches feared by mainlanders, but in less atmospheric way as in Spells or A River Enchanted. Still, I really liked the quiet magic that pervaded the community and how it masked a darker side.
I also really liked Tana, right up until she made a choice that didn’t feel true to character for her and upon which the entire second half of the book hinged. So, while I really enjoyed watching Tana begin to question things and learn her own mind instead of listening to the lies perpetuated to her and her community and everything felt very organic up to the point when she made that crucial decision, it made the rest of the story stand out as less organic and more contrived. It isn’t about Tana making a decision that I disagree with (though, to be fair, I DO disagree with it). There have been plenty of times when characters have done this and it didn’t upset me the same way. The difference is that in those instances, it was completely in that character’s nature to do what they did. Not so in Tana’s case, at least, not in my perception of her.
Even apart from that turning point in the story, there were other things in the second half that felt contrived, convenient ends and means. I just didn’t like how it went down, but it all worked out in the end I guess. There were some unfinished threads that leave the door open for creating a series from the story, though there is resolution enough to sustain it as a standalone, which at the time of this review is all they have plans for it to be.
Still, this could be one of those scenarios where I’m a bit pickier about things than others. I mean, I also gave 3 stars to ACOTAR but loved other books in that series. So do with that what you will. This book comes out on August 1st. If you read this, I’d be interested to know if you think the choice Tana made felt true to character or not. Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Until next time, keep turning those pages!
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