Review: These Divided Shores - Sara Raasch

These Divided Shores These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch
Series: Stream Raiders #2
My rating: {★★★☆☆}

YA Fantasy
Expected publication: August 27th 2019 by Balzer + Bray

Source: Review copy via Edelweiss
The thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution—from Sara Raasch, the bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series.

As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again.

Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago.

Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God?

As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts . . . or lose their futures forever.
**I voluntarily read and reviewed a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

I read These Rebel Waves about a year ago as an ARC and I was thrilled to also receive These Divided Shores, the second and final book in this duology from Blazer+Bray.

Unfortunately I didn't have time to reread These Rebel Waves before I picked this one up, and I'm afraid that definitely had an adverse impact on my reading experience; there is little to no rehashing about the events from book one and this book picks right back up in the middle of the action where the first left off. I was struggling to remember some of the plot points and characters and sometimes I was even wondering if some of the new characters that were introduced in book two (and there were many) were mentioned in book one (they weren't).

I think the major problem that I faced with this one was the duology format. For me, when it comes to duologies, you really need to consider whether there is enough actual exciting plot to fill two whole books, and when you are looking at about 1000 pages between the two books I'm afraid that especially in this second instalment, there was much that could have been cut out to make this a single standalone.

That's not to say that there isn't a lot of action in the second book - there definitely was, however it just seemed repetitive and almost like a 'draw-by-numbers' where first you need to find this object, then you need to solve this clue, then go to this place and do this action and... You get my point? The characters were doing little to drive the plot but rather just participating, and while I loved the complexities and politically heavy storylines in These Rebel Waves, I found that it became a little too convoluted for me in this one and we spent much of the story recounting similar political/religious discussions.

The crux of this duology and the characters are compelling and the world building and magic system is well thought out. I had enough sentiment from the first book that I still gave this one 3.5 stars and thoroughly enjoyed parts of what I read.

These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders #1)


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