Review: Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Song of the Current by Sarah TolcserSong of the Current
Sarah Tolcser
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published June 6, 2017

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About Song of the Current
Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

My Review
The writing in this story hooked me right from page one. I fell instantly in love with Caro and ached with her over her fears about being overlooked by the god of the river. Her unexpected passenger made me laugh (though he mostly made Caro roll her eyes), and I spent pages and pages eagerly hoping for more than just angry sparks between them. Even the minor characters seemed to pop right off the page.

I loved the story world, too. It reminded me a little bit of The African Queen (the movie with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn where they run a dangerous course down the river to escape the Nazis) but with a fantasy spin and gender roles reversed.

The plot started off strong and only got better. Every time I thought the stakes couldn’t possibly get higher, Tolcser proved me wrong by adding some new twist.

The only hiccup for me was the way romance is portrayed in the story. It’s not that I don’t believe casual relationships or unconventional relationships exist. I guess I find them unsatisfying to read about. I’m a sucker for a true love tale, and I can’t seem to help it.

Overall, though, this is a great summer read for fantasy lovers looking for a sailing adventure. (Trish Doller, all the sailing references made me think of you and our conversation at ApollyCon! I’m still hoping to see your sailing novel in print one day!)

Song of the Current on AmazonRecommended for Ages 14 up.

Cultural Elements
Caro is of mixed race, with bronze skin and fiery red hair, an unusual combination. Her sailing companion is one of the Frogmen, a race said to be part river god, part human. She has large eyes and a wide, frog-like mouth as well as green skin. Some cultures treat Frogmen as slaves. Caro and her family consider them equals.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Moderate profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Some kissing. Late in the story, Caro takes a lover (a young man) to bed with her. They begin undressing each other, and it’s implied they have sex. She makes it clear she’s comfortable with a casual relationship and doesn’t want to commit to any future with him.

Spiritual Content
Lots of references to various gods and their roles in human life. Caro’s family has had a long relationship with the god under the river, who speaks to them in small things. Caro has been waiting for a connection with the god for her whole life. Other gods exist as well, some more powerful or capricious than others.

Violent Content
A group of soldiers beat a young man. References to torture (Caro doesn’t witness it.) Battles between Caro’s allies and enemies. Not a lot of gore, though.

Drug Content
Caro and her companion drink wine and liquor.

Song of the Current on GoodreadsNote: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she’s not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

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