Song of the Current, by Sarah Tolcser | Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | June 6, 2017
Written by Sarah Tolcser
Hardcover: 384 pages
Age Range: 14-18
Publisher: Bloomsbury (2017)
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.
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 Adventure, Heroines, Magic, Pirates, Romance, Strong Female Characters, and Young Adult Fiction.