Song of the Current

Song of the Current

Title: Song of the Current

Author: Sarah Tolcser

Series: Song of the Current, #1

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens

Release Date: June 6th 2017


Four Stars

Caroline Oresteia has always been 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. But at seventeen, Caro may be too late.

So when pirates burn ships and her father is arrested, Caro volunteers to transport a dangerous 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 never could have imagined.

– Blurb courtesy of

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“The beginning of an idea is like the wake behind your boat when you first shove off from the dock, nothing but little bubbles twirling in a lazy circle. But then it deepens and picks up speed, until there’s a frothy white wave trailing away from your stern. My idea started like thatβ€”a tiny flicker of bravery that grew.”

Caro knows exactly where her life is going. She travels along the river with her father on his wherry and knows the day will come when the river god calls her name and she will be able to hear the god’s language of small things her father hears, that all wherrymen hear, which enables them to travel and deliver cargo along the river. However Caro is seventeen, and she is starting to wonder when her name will be called, after all her father was fifteen when the river god called him.

However Caro’s life takes a very different turn when, travelling through Hespera’s Watch with their cargo, not all of it legal, Caro and her father discover the town destroyed, and the wherries docked there burnt and sunken. Heading to shore to offer whatever assistance their can Caro quickly discovers the damage was done by the Black Dogs, pirates, in search of some very specific cargo.

As the only wherry left still capable of navigating the river Commander Keros turns to Caro and her father to deliver the cargo the pirates were so desperate to find. However without knowing what is in the crate Caro’s father refuses, and ends up being arrested for smuggling.

“The crate, blanketed with canvas, loomed up in the circle of lantern light. What was in it that men would kill for?”

Knowing this could mean her father loses more than his freedom, the Commander could give the Cormorant to one of the other wherrymen who is willing to deliver the cargo with no questions asked, Caro agrees to transport the cargo in her father’s place. She strikes an agreement that states her father will be released when the job is done, as long as she doesn’t open the crate. However with the pirates still searching for the crate, searching for Caro’s wherry, it’s not long before her desire to know exactly what she’s risking her life for outweighs her fear of the Commander’s warnings.

Caro finds herself undertaking a very dangerous journey, and it’s not only the pirates who stand to gain from what cargo Caro is carrying. One wrong move could mean her death and with no god guiding her on her journey Caro is taking her life in her own hands.

Song of the Current was a highly anticipated release of mine, and while it was a good story I felt it was missing that spark that could have made it a brilliant one. Still it was an engaging read, I was always eager to read the next chapter and find out what would happen to Caro, read more about how she would escape the pirates when they next found her wherry.

…The Characters

“You don’t think I’m ready.” I dared to whisper my doubts aloud. “You said when my fate came for me, I’d know.” I lifted my chin. “What if this is it?”
He exchanged glances with Fee. “Oh, Caro. Of course you’re ready.”

Caro has always known where her life would go; even with the doubts swimming around her mind she believes the river god will call her name, that she’ll continue sailing with her father until he retires and she takes over the Cormorant. However when her father is arrested it’s the start of Caro’s life changing. Caro seemed to me a character very set in her ways. She believes things with everything she has and doesn’t change her mind very easily which can sometimes blind to her to what is really happening around her.

Despite the river god not having called her name Caro is still an incredibly talented wherryman. She has spent her life on the river with her father, and though she cannot hear the god’s language of small things the way her father can she knows the rivers well enough to sail circles around the pirates chasing after her. In some ways she reminds me of Lila from the Shades of Magic series, a character who knows her own mind and isn’t afraid or willing to be cowed by others.

“Despite their differences, you only had to meet my parents for five minutes to know there was a mighty spark between the two of them. They just couldn’t live with each other on a very small wherry.”

One thing I loved about this book was the family dynamic. A little while ago I posted a list of relationships I wanted to see more in YA books and Song of the Current ticks most of them off. Caro’s parents may not be together but they are very much a part of her life; guiding her and supporting her in whatever ways they can, even when that support may not be obvious to Caro. Also Caro’s extended family play a part in this story. On her father’s side the stories of her grandpa, and those before him who captained the Cormorant, are stories Caro knows well and leans on when things are tough. Her cousins on her mother’s side are close friends, and in a way the fellow wherrymen Caro knows from her years at her father side are an extended family of sorts. There are strong female friendships and, basically, in terms of the characters Song of the Current has everything I want to see in YA fantasy books.

“I have the honour of being a courier for the Akhaian Consul.”
Too much honour, if you asked me. I failed to muffle the laugh that escaped. His stiff manner of speech was so at odds with out surroundings. Who exactly did he think he was?

There is a love interest in Song of the Current, unfortunately I can’t talk too much about him without spoiling part of this story. All I will say is I loved the dynamic he had with Caro. The two come from completely different world and clash more often than not. However the more time he spends with her the more Caro’s love interest tries to prove he isn’t the vain arrogant boy he was when they first met, someone who knew nothing about wherries and seemed to look down on Caro for being part of that world.

…The Setting

“There is a god at the bottom of the river.
Some folks will tell you that’s just a story. But us wherry folk will know different. When the reeds along the banks whisper that a squall is rushing across the marshland, we listen. When the tide flows up from the sea, flooding the river with muddy brown water, we know enough to watch.”

The world building in Song of the Current was incredibly vast but very detailed, it was really well written but there’s a lot of it to try and wrap your head around. Caro has spent her life on the rivers alongside her father and that is her whole world; where the river gods speaks in small gestures to those he guides, where the pig god sail the rivers alongside the wherries selling his wares and sharing fates, where the other captains are an extended community during endless days of sailing and smuggling. However there is more to the world than just the rivers Caro knows so well. There is upheaval and political unrest in Akhaia and somehow Caro finds herself right in the middle of it all. Mythology has always been one of my favourite things to read about, and as such I loved the mythology in Song of the Current. The gods and their domains was something that was touched upon in this book, but I feel there’s still a lot more open to explore and I really hope we see more of it in the second book.

Song of the Current is the first book in a series and all in all it was a brilliant debut. I’ll definitely be interested in picking up the second book when it’s released, after the way Song of the Current ended I feel the series has been left open for literally anything to happen. I can’t wait to read more of Caro’s adventures, hopefully they’ll be just as full of intrigue and danger as they was in this book.

What did you think of Song of the Current? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

28 thoughts on “Song of the Current

  1. I like that this one actually has the whole family dynamics theme going on. That is quite timely hahah Glad to hear you enjoyed this even if it didn’t blow you out of the waters (see what I did there? πŸ˜€ :D) Great review, Beth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here, it makes it stand out from a lot of other fantasy books because it has the family dynamic you don’t normally see in the genre. πŸ™‚
      Nice pun, and yeah overall it was a god book which I guess is the important thing. Thanks Lashaan! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohh lovely review, Beth! I have to say, it warms my heart knowing there are such strong family dynamics in this book, a fantasy, YAY! This too rarely happens so I’m glad that one does it really well. I have to say, I’m a bit afraid of the complexity of the world-building and of feeling a bit lost….oh well, it still sounds like a great book, thank you for putting it on my radar πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie! πŸ˜€ ❀ Yes we definitely need more family relationships in YA fantasy books, but Song of the Current had everything I love seeing when it comes to families in it. It does rarely happen but this book is proof it can be done! I don't think the world-building in this book was too complex, not more than any other fantasy book I've read recently at least. I've definitely read books where the world building has been a lot more complicated.
      That's all right. πŸ™‚ If you do decide to pick this one up I hope you enjoy it! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohh okay, well that makes me feel a bit better. If I’m reading more and more fantasy for sure, I’m always a bit nervous about the world-building and to feel a bit lost in it all ahah. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think you should be all right with this book. Obviously there’s world building but it’s light and well-written within the story that it should leave you feeling confused or lost. I hope anyway, I really think you’d enjoy this book. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I still need to read this one! And I get this mixed up with Given to the Sea. πŸ˜‚ (Is that the right name???) Anyways, great review! I’m glad this has a family dynamic because YAS WE NEED MORE FAMILIES IN YA!!! And agh, sorry it didn’t have that SPARK for you! But I’m glad you enjoyed it overall. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, if we’re thinking of the same book then Given to the Sea is the right name. That’s one on my to-read list as well so one day I’ll be getting around to that one too.
      Thanks so much May, and yes Song of the Current had everything I love seeing when it comes to family dynamics in it. I’d love to see more YA fantasies with family relationships like Caro had with her family in this book. πŸ™‚
      Yep, definitely enjoyed it overall, and I have a feeling the next book will have that spark for me! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Deepika. πŸ˜€ Oh I really hope you enjoy the rest of this book then, but it does sound like you’ve enjoyed what you’ve got through so far. The cover is definitely gorgeous, it’s what first caught my eye when I saw it on Goodreads! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah it definitely was a shame, especially considering this was a book I was really anticipating. Still I have a feeling the second book will have the X factor, and I enjoyed Song of the Current well enough either way.
      Thanks Meggy! πŸ˜€


  4. I’ve sort of skimmed this because I still have this on my tbr – but I’m glad to see that you enjoyed it!! I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews around for this book, so I’m looking forward to making my own opinion πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome review, Beth! I’ve put this book on my TBR after Tiana mentioned how wonderful it was. I love how the book has quite a bit of diversity and delivers on family dynamics as well as a variety of much-needed relationships in YA! I’m sorry it wasn’t a 5 star read for you, but at least it sounds like it has a a grand amount of potential. I’m always up for a book with pirates and highly detailed world-building. I live for those two things LOL. Again, great review! ❀ I really want to read this one now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Azia! πŸ˜€ Oh that’s good to hear, and in that case I hope you really enjoy it when you get around to it. Yes in terms of the characters and their relationships with one another I could not have asked more from this book. I’d like to see the kind of family dynamic the characters in Song of the Current had with one another in more YA fantasy books.
      Yeah it’s a shame, but I have a feeling the second book will be a five star read for me. I’m already a little excited about it and part of me feels like it’s going to be epic you know? πŸ™‚
      Thanks Azia! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Beth, I hope so too! πŸ˜€ We definitely need more relationships like this in YA. We’re gettin’ there. I haven’t read the first book yet but I’m already excited by it now LOL
        No worries! ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I read Song of the Current earlier this year and absolutely loved it! It’s definitely one of my top reads for 2017. I also loved Caro’s family dynamic, it was so refreshing to read about a YA character with both parents at her side. I’m eagerly anticipating book 2! ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought it was really good, I loved the story and can certainly see why it’s one of your top reads for this year! πŸ˜€ Yes it definitely was. I was a little shocked when I read that both Caro’s parents were alive and present figures in her life, I’m not used to seeing that in YA fantasy books. πŸ™‚
      Same here, I hope book two will be as good as this one was. ❀


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