These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch

GoodReads Summary:
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.
These Divided Shores (Stream Raiders, #2)Review:
Okay honestly, I’m not even sure where to start with this review. This book was large. And overall, I really enjoyed it. There were a few little things that I didn’t like. The main one being Lu’s attitude. She had a few revelations about her past and they’ve really hit her hard. I can understand being thrown and upset by this for a little while, but she was made miserable the whole book, whiney and lost in herself. I honestly wouldn’t have cared if it had been for like the first half of the book at most. But it wasn’t really resolved.
I loved Ben and Gunnar. Their relationship and its development were 100% the best part of this book. They were two people from such different backgrounds and despite that, wanted to be together. I loved every word of their flirtation and ultimate coupling.
I’m going to keep this short because I took forever to write this review so I don’t have that much to say. I thought the political issues were wrapped up really well and I was very satisfied with how everything ended. I will definitely continue reading the work of this author.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

Summary:
Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.
Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.
Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.
As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.
These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders, #1)Review:
These Rebel Waves completely blew me away. I read the majority of this book in one single sitting. I just could not put it down. The summertime is my favorite time to read pirate books. This didn’t completely satisfy that though. I thought there would be more pirates and more sea travel. It was more land-based and political than I anticipated. Regardless of that, I adored this book.
Adeluna or Lu, was such a compelling character. She’s torn between trying to be the good politician that her parents want her to be now that the war is over and being the spy that her father trained her to be during the war. She uses all of her skills to do what she feels is best for the island she calls home. She learns that things aren’t always exactly how she thought they were. I think it was really interesting to follow her as she learned more about the world she thought she knew and how those things change her. Learning about the things she’d gone through and done in the name of Grace Loray really made me feel for her. I just cannot wait to see how things play out with her in These Divided Shores, especially with what was in the final pages of These Rebel Waves.
Devereux or Vex was definitely my favorite. He’s a pirate with no alliances trying to escape the thumb of someone he doesn’t want to be controlled by anymore. I really enjoyed learning about him and his past. I liked seeing him admire Lu and her strength. I wanted more pirate business. I liked the view we got into his crew and the other raider syndicates but I wanted more of it. I was completely floored by the plot twist involving Vex, to the point where I actually sat up and yelled “WHAT NO WAY.” So, I cannot wait to see what happens next with him as well.
Now Benat or Ben. I really liked him as well. His story was probably the most compelling. He’s torn between falling in line with his religion, with his father, doing what’s expected of him and following what his heart is telling him, that his father is wrong and what he’s been told his whole life is wrong. I loved the inner struggle that he faced. I also loved what his decisions ended up being. I think he was the most complicated of the three main characters. I really enjoyed seeing his path finally intersect with Vex and Lu. His story, like Lu’s, was left hanging in the final pages so I’m dying to know what’s going to happen next.
Finally, the world. I was pretty confused about the world at first, but the further I got into the story the more the details came together. I think the world was interesting and I’m dying to know how things will be settled between these war-torn countries. The magic was a bit confusing. I wanted to know more. I want to know where it comes from and what it’s limits are. It is plant-based but too many things are left unexplained. I understand that it’s because the knowledge of the characters is limited and the reader only gets to understand as much as they do, but I think it would have been interesting to learn more about it.
Overall, I loved this book. These Rebel Waves was one that I devoured and I just could not put it down until I’d read every page. I suggest if you like political fantasy with a bit of pirates this is the book for you.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.