By Sarah Tolcser
Bloomsbury, 2017, 376 pages, Young Adult Fantasy
Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. Her father is a wherryman, as was her grandmother. All Caro needs is for the river god to whisper her name, and her fate is sealed. So when pirates burn ships and her father is arrested, Caro volunteers to transport mysterious cargo in exchange for his release. Secretly, Caro hopes that by piloting her own wherry, the river god will finally speak her name. But when the cargo becomes more than Caro expected, she finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies. With much more than her father's life at stake, Caro must choose between the future she knows, and the one she could have never imagined.
This book has a lot of the things I look for in a good novel: A great story, interesting characters who learn and grow, and a dash of magic. Kirkus summarizes my thoughts about this book perfectly: “Tolcser blends the right amount of epic fantasy, sea voyage, and romance for a rollicking, swashbuckling adventure.” If you like any of these things, I think you’ll enjoy this book. As an added bonus, while the second book in this series is due to come out next year, and I’m interested to see what the characters will be up to next, I think this book works pretty well as a stand-alone.