Title: Song of the Current
Author: Sarah Tolcser
Series: Song of the Current, #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Release Date: June 6th 2017
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 goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.