The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska

The amazing The Dark Tide came out about a month ago, and as you can see from my review, I adored this book with my whole soul, and Amber loved it too. I seriously encourage you all to pick it up, so go ahead and add it on Goodreads or buy a copy from your local indie or Amazon – I just noticed it’s on sale there!! Sasha ❤

The Dark Tide was an absolutely phenomenal, dark and complex enemies to lovers f/f fantasy that quickly became a new favourite. Once a year, the Witch Queen who rules over the island of Caldella must choose a boy to sacrifice on the full moon. A life to appease the sea that would consume the whole island. 

Led by two fierce girls who find themselves falling for each other, with a distinctive magic system and intricate world building, fierce witches, wonderful sibling dynamics and a pet sea monster, The Dark Tide is an unmissable debut that I cannot recommend enough.  

I can’t put into words how much I absolutely adore Lina and Eva and their dynamic. It was perfection, genuinely.

Lina is brave, stubborn and caring. She’s smart, has a deep passion for dance and would do anything for those she loves. Lina is a complex character with great development throughout the book as she learns what – and who – she wants, and I loved her pretty much immediately. She’s at once compassionate and considerate and sharp and bold.

Eva was her opposite, cocky, brash and cold, unflinching ice where Lina was passionate fire. I was absolutely smitten by Eva – I mean she’s a morally grey witch queen who struts around her castle in suits, smoking magical cigarettes and taking care of her pet sea monster. 

These two were perfect for each other and I loved their dynamic – their banter was perfect, and it’s a trope I really want to see more – girl who believes love is the most important thing meets girl who doesn’t believe in love and convinces her it’s real. I loved how they became more of themselves around each other, Lina not worrying about being likeable or putting Eva’s needs before her own, and Eva able to be more caring and soft. I love these two SO MUCH I am absolutely obsessed with them. 

I adored the world of The Dark Tide! It was SO atmospheric, vividly described, and almost spooky. The concepts Alicia Jasinska explored were unique, intriguing and wonderful. Witches who must give up parts of themselves for magic? An island who must give over once of its own every year to save itself from the sea? A Witch Queen who must choose and fall in love with someone every year just to sacrifice them for the greater good? *chef’s kiss* all around! I was so awed by the idea of the tide as a force within its own mind, the wild sea personified. As Eva became less of the central villain and more love-interest-who-is-still-evil, it was the tide that was the antagonist, that our characters had to fight to save their world. This was just such an interesting and amazing concept to me and it was executed magnificently. 

Alicia Jasinka’s gorgeous writing just contributed further to the mystical and haunted atmosphere the world created. Her prose was lyrical, stunning and deeply evocative but without being overwhelming.

I found myself speeding through this book almost too fast – I wanted to savour it but I couldn’t help but read on! The plot was complex, tension building up to the incredible finale! My only complaint with this book is that I wish it was longer – I’d love to see more interactions between Eva and Lina as they fell for each other, a little more back story for Lina and Finley’s relationship and more of Yara! 

The Dark Tide quickly won my heart and I cannot recommend this book enough. If you’re looking sapphic A Court of Thorns and Roses but with witches instead of faeries and the atmospheric and unique world building of a Ghibli movie, The Dark Tide is for you. 

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