HomeBest Kids StoriesSong of the Current, by Sarah Tolcser | Book Review
Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser Book Review

Song of the Current, by Sarah Tolcser | Book Review

The Children’s Book Review | June 6, 2017

Song of the Current by Sarah TolcserSong of the Current

Written by Sarah Tolcser

Hardcover: 384 pages

Age Range: 14-18

Publisher: Bloomsbury (2017)

ISBN: 978-1-68119-297-0

What to Expect: Magic, Pirates, Romance, Strong Heroine

Girl meets boy. Boy turns out to be prince. Girl becomes pirate… We all know what to expect next, right? What I loved most about this absorbing fantasy was that at the end of the adventure, the girl did not even consider marrying the prince. Packed to bursting with sword-fights, smuggling, dragons, and magic, what this story did not make the mistake of doing was reinforcing the typical gender stereotypes which so often spoil an otherwise decent young-adult fantasy-romance adventure.

Caroline is the daughter of a wherryman, in a long line of wherrymen (and women) favored by the God of the River: she knows her destiny is to become a wherryman like her father, and transport (sometimes-illicit) cargos up and down the river. However, when the town of Hespera’s Watch is torched by pirates only moments before they arrive and her father is arrested on smuggling charges unless he will agree to transport a mysterious cargo to Valonikos, Caro finds herself dragged further and further from the fate she thought was hers. Desperately, she waits for the River God to speak to her in the language of small things, so that she will know the God has chosen her like so many of her ancestors, and will help her on her difficult quest. Unfortunately for Caro the God remains silent, the cargo turns out to be an arrogant young prince fleeing the political uprising which has murdered his entire family, and it looks like a dragon may be tailing her boat. Will Caro ever find the destiny she expected, or is something deeper and darker waiting in store in her future?

Song of the Current is one of those fantasy novels in which a new world is created in such stunning detail and depth that it immediately feels like home, and the best part of the novel is that despite a steamy romance sub-plot and a teenaged heroine, there is no trace of the stereotypical Cinderella plot-line. This heroine knows her own mind, lets no one do her job for her, and knows how to stand on her own two feet. It is a story worth reading for that alone – we need more pirate heroines like this one!

NOTE: This novel contains graphic sexual scenes potentially unsuitable for younger readers.

Available Here: 

About the Author

Sarah Tolcser lives in New Orleans, where she is an elementary technology teacher. A graduate of St. Lawrence University, she double majored in writing and philosophy. She enjoys video games and NBA basketball. She is married, with two cats.


Song of the Current, by Sarah Tolcser, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Song of the Current by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with , , , , , , and

Jen Harrison currently teaches English Composition and Composition Skills at East Stroudsburg University. She completed her PhD in Children's and Victorian Literature at Aberystwyth University in Wales, in the UK. There she also acted as an instructor teaching undergraduate courses on literature and literary theory, as well as further education courses on Children's Literature and Creative Writing. After a brief spell in administration, Jen then trained as a secondary school English teacher, and worked for several years teaching Secondary School English, working independently as a private tutor of English, and working in nursery and primary schools as a substitute teacher. After moving from the UK to the USA in 2016, Jen is very happy to have returned to higher education. Her current research focuses on three primary areas in the field of children’s literature: reader-writer relationships, thing-theory, and the supernatural; she is a reviewer for the International Research Society for the Study of Children’s Literature (IRSCL), as well as the Children's Book Review. Jen also writes an academic blog on Children's Literature, Worrisome Words: http://quantum.esu.edu/faculty/jharrison/. You can also find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.harrison.73594

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