Review: What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez

What the River Knows by Isabel Ibanez cover shows a girl standing before a building surrounded by plant life.

What the River Knows
Isabel Ibañez
Wednesday Books
Published November 14, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About What the River Knows

The Mummy meets Death on the Nile in this lush, immersive historical fantasy set in Egypt filled with adventure, a rivals-to-lovers romance, and a dangerous race.

Bolivian-Argentinian Inez Olivera belongs to the glittering upper society of nineteenth-century Buenos Aires, and like the rest of the world, the town is steeped in old-world magic that’s been largely left behind or forgotten. Inez has everything a girl might want, except for the one thing she yearns the most: her globetrotting parents—who frequently leave her behind.

When she receives word of their tragic deaths, Inez inherits their massive fortune and a mysterious guardian, an archeologist in partnership with his Egyptian brother-in-law. Yearning for answers, Inez sails to Cairo, bringing her sketch pads and an ancient golden ring her father sent to her for safekeeping before he died. But upon her arrival, the old world magic tethered to the ring pulls her down a path where she soon discovers there’s more to her parent’s disappearance than what her guardian led her to believe.

With her guardian’s infuriatingly handsome assistant thwarting her at every turn, Inez must rely on ancient magic to uncover the truth about her parent’s disappearance—or risk becoming a pawn in a larger game that will kill her.

What the River Knows on Goodreads

My Review

Last year, the book I read by this author, TOGETHER WE BURN, was one of my favorite books. I’ve enjoyed the other books she’s written, so I went into this book fully expecting it to be amazing. And it really is.

The story is different than I expected, though. I liked how quickly Inez reaches Egypt and her quest there begins. It did feel like she was often at the mercy of other characters or that there were brief lulls in the action.

It really might just be me, though. I started and stopped a lot during my reading, so that might have made the book seem choppier than it is. Once I got to about the 60% mark, I felt a significant uptick in my investment in the book, and I think I read from there to the end in one sitting.

I love how this author creates strong, independent characters and delivers some great connections between female characters. The romance, as in her other books, definitely had me hooked.

On the whole, I enjoyed this book and loved getting to read a book set in Egypt. I think fans of Isabel Ibañez’s other books will not be disappointed in this one.

What the River Knows on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Inez and her family are Argentinian. Some characters are Egyptian. Others are British.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. References to more than kissing. One kissing scene is pretty intense.

Spiritual Content
There used to be people who could create magic. Now, the magic only remains in artifacts, which transfer some of their magic to someone who touches them.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. Several characters carry guns. In a couple of scenes, people fire their guns at others. References to domestic abuse.

Drug Content
One character was formerly addicted to alcohol. He still occasionally drinks. Others drink alcohol recreationally.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of WHAT THE RIVER KNOWS in exchange for my honest review.

Tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

Comments are closed.