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Sweet Black Waves (Sweet Black Waves #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  113 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Not you without me, not me without you.

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magi
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Imprint
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Cait • A Page with a View
3.5 stars. I have been waiting forever for a YA retelling of Tristan and Iseult! Then my enthusiasm went to a whole new level when I saw hints of the Mabinogion in here, too. (Disclaimer: I am obsessed with Celtic languages & mythology, so my rating probably focused on different aspects of the book than others might). I thought the names and the author's note in the back explaining her choices were really clever & fascinating.

There were a ton of elements of this story I really loved! As
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, 2018
wow I’m really emotional. don’t miss out on this one.
- - --
update: "SWEET BLACK WAVES is the first in a fantasy trilogy"
Vic James
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I want to sail away on those sweet black waves! Sail away to romance and wild magic and chivalrous tournaments and shipwrecks and ... oh yes ... danger and disaster and HEARTBREAK. (Wait, wait... no-one warned me about the heartbreak *sobs*)

I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this fabulous book, and it is so INTENSE and SWOONY and SMART. Just like its protagonists, Branwen and Tristan. And if you're wondering where you've heard that name before, it's because this is a retelling of the
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s 330 am i am sitting at work trying not to cry or tear my heart out because this book completely ruined me. I felt as sick as branny did at the end, when it all just went down. This story was beautiful, haunting, horribly heartbreaking and genuinely amazing. The love between cousins turned sisters made me believe in family. The love tantris found with emer was exciting, and the love that bloomed between Tristan and Brawen was passionate and bold.

I really hope there will be a second book. My
Heather Ezell
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read SWEET BLACK WAVES during a coastal retreat in the PNW this past winter and it was the peeeeeeeeerfect location to become entrenched in the lands of Iveriu and Kernyv and this stunner of a story. It's stunning and lush, painful and evocative. And the ending—it BROKE ME. Come for the allure of romance (and the romance is A+) and stay for the incredible friendship between Branwen and Essy. Be prepared with chocolate and a heating pad to hold to your aching heart. <3
Rebecca Denton
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If this is the year of historical fiction, then look no further than this book. The author has the creds and it shows. Gloriously detailed and fabulous prose. A cracker of a debut.
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and Paperbacks

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

“Odai eti ama. I hate and I love.”

When I talk about how I want more books based on Celtic mythology and Irish folklore, this is what I’m talking about. As soon as I saw that this was a retelling of Tristan and Iseult, I knew immediately that I needed to read it. Sweet Black Waves was everything I could have asked for and more.

There is so much to love about this book. To start, the world-building and se
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lush and atmospheric, Sweet Black Waves is a work of magic. Pérez's writing is captivating and readers will immediately be consumed by Branwen's story. There's romance and heartache, secrets and danger—and all of it adds up to a splendid debut novel. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was really wonderful but MEAN! It totally stressed me out and that ending! Ahhhhhh! I need book 2 and hopefully it isn’t so mean to my feels
Kelly deVos
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous, sometimes sweet, sometimes steamy retelling, SWEET BLACK WAVES retains enough of the original Tristan & Iseult storyline to appeal to fans but has so many original elements that something totally new and surprising has been created. I sat down to read a bit before going to bed and finished the book in one setting. Come for the romance, the pirates and the adventure on the seas and stay for the rich, lush fantasy world created by Pérez.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Seriously ugly cry at the end of this book...I won't even try to lie or make excuses all I can say is that Kristina Perez broke my heart into several pieces and I am still trying to pick all of them up.
Branwen is lady in waiting to her cousin, the princess, and the only thing Branwen loves more than Eseult is her country. When Branwen finds an enemy half dead, she chooses to help him, even though she hates his country; but as we all know more often than not love finds a way and pretty soon Bran
Pamela Sparkman
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Sweet Black Waves. I feel like I’ve been floating on sweet black waves ever since I finished this book. It’s been about two weeks now. Or maybe it’s been three. I’ve lost count to be perfectly honest. You see, I’ve been avoiding it, hiding from it. I didn’t want to think about it because it left me broken hearted...wounded beyond repair. But let me back up to the beginning.

I approached Sweet Black Waves without knowing much about it. I read the synopsis and was intrigued, and the cover caught
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think I just got sucker-punched. By a book.

RTC on my blog in June!
Michelle Guidry
ODAI ETI AMA I hate and I love

This pretty much sums up how I feel about this book. BUT before you worry about why I say I hate it let me demonstrate my reading experience with a little story.

When I saw this book was a Tristan and Iseut retelling...

Then I started reading and it was a bit of this
and then some of this

and then a whole lot of this

Then finally this

I loved this book and the story...but I hated a little because that ending! I am assuming it's a series (or a duology at least) because tha
Lauren (The Book Slayer)
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
My thoughts on Sweet Black Waves:

So I’m a complete mess right now. I’m stuck between wanting to scream or cry. Maybe I’ll just cry very, very loudly, because I’m angry and so intensely sad. The ending of Sweet Black Waves shattered me. This book is loosely based off of Tristan and Eseult, a story that I’m not entirely familiar with, except for the fact that it’s a tragedy. I knew going into Sweet Black Waves that it wasn’t going to end with sunshine and daisies, but ugh, I still didn’t expect it
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Celtic legend
*I was given an ARC of Sweet Black Waves in exchange for an honest review.*

This book feels like a train you really want to get off, but can't. And not because it's horrible. Because it's so good.

It took me a bit to get into it at first, but the pace picks up as you go. It is full of Celtic legend and lore (with some artistic license taken.) It is a tale of love and betrayal, a tragedy of the deepest sort. It is nearly unbearable. I had to put it down several times because I was getting too an
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
I love stories about star-crossed lovers and Sweet Black Waves broke my heart in all the right ways. Kristina Perez does a wonderful job retelling Tristan & Eseult in a new and unexpected way. I was kept on edge not knowing what way this story would go, and was satisfied with the ending. I'm looking forward to Branwen's story continuing.
**I read an e-ARC of this via Netgalley - totally didn't change my opinion, but I thank the publisher for sending me a copy!!**

Okay, so I was the MOST tense that I've ever been in a book, and I knew Bad Things were going to HAPPEN and they DID and now I'm just a mess and OMG the FEELS. THE FEELS. THE FEELLLLLLSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

Um, apparently I've become a certified book mess, so this review will probably make 200% no-sense.

I've never heard the legend that this was based on, but I saw a reviewer I

3.5. "Sea and Magic" Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Imprint

I'm not very familiar with the tale Tristan & Iseult, so I won't comment on that. Still, if you're like me, I'm sure you'll still find plenty to enjoy while reading this story.

For me, Sweet Black Waves gave me its best during the first half, especially the first third of the story. There world was described in beautiful details, the main character (Branwen) struggled with what she thought right and wrong and still managed to do th
Erin Arkin
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh God...that ending!!!

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez. The cover is amazing, and the summary told me everything I needed to know. There’s magic and a forbidden relationship…sounds perfect to me. It is inspired by the story of Tristan and Iseult and focuses on the main character, Branwen. No spoilers here…I promise.

I love a story where I can feel a connection with the characters and Sweet Black Waves did this for me. There were so many great char
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You guys, I can't believe this is a debut novel! This book surprised me in the best possible way. I knew it was a retelling of Tristan and Eseult, so I mostly expected a lot of angst. Instead I got a beautifully written, deeply feminist book, full of magic, powerful women, darkly atmospheric settings, incredible world-building, impeccable research, and, yes, plenty of angst as well. Sweet Black Waves tells this classic tale of star-crossed lovers not from the perspective of Eseult, but rather fr ...more
Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense)
May 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
**I received a free eARC of this novel through NetGalley which does not influence my review**

Kristina Pérez’s Sweet Black Waves promised to combine a whirlwind romance and breathtaking magic in her novel inspired by Tristan and Eseult. Unfortunately, the romance was barely tolerable and the magical elements did not come into play until the latter part of the novel, but by this time, I had already lost interest in the characters. As a lady’s maid to the princess of Iveriu, Branwen knows all about
Laura  Hernandez
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book left me an emotional wreck and I loved every single moment of this storyline. This read has it all from action to adventure and yes, heart-aching heartbreak. I found myself swept away into a stunning and well-crafted past full of stunningly beautiful characters that kept me biting my nails until I reached the last page. I can't wait to step back in time when the next book comes out and I will absolutely be giving this another read. -YA/NA Book Divas

{I requested a copy from the publishe
Dec 18, 2017 marked it as to-read
A retelling of Tristan and Iseult. The author has a PhD in Medieval Literature. And the story is set in my beloved Ireland! Oh boy, I need this book!
J.A. Ironside
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

odai eta ama...I hate and I love...

Up front, I hate romance as a genre so when a YA fantasy tips more towards romance there is a good chance I'll be jumping off that ride. So bear that in mind with regard to this review.

This isn't a bad book at all but it is all about the romance - which shouldn't have come as a surprise to me familiar as I am with the story of Tristan and Isolde. Consequently I found this very slow paced. There are fant
allie (rosynovels)
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
A very conflicted 3.5 Stars for Sweet Black Waves. I’m so torn because for the first like two thirds of this book I was absolutely certain it was going to be a five star read.
I adored the world building and the story (I’m not familiar with the original, so I can’t speak to the similarities) and most of the characters.
Branwen and Tristan really carried the book for me, even though their relationship could be considered borderline insta-love I felt like it was well developed enough to be believa
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars

Big swoony epic fantasy with dashes of fantasy and lots of medieval legend-inspiration.

It’s a bit of a spoiler to know that this is based on the legend of Tristan and Isolde, because the hero of this story is Branwen so to mesh up with Tristán and Isolde, you know some things are going to happen. That’s a bit distracting so ignore that and just concentrate on Branwen.

She’s a cousin to the princess, a healer, a caretaker and something more. She’s forever caught between duty a
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Kristina Pérez is the author of THE MYTH OF MORGAN LA FEY (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). She holds a PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Cambridge.

Her debut YA Fantasy, SWEET BLACK WAVES––a Tristan and Iseult retelling––will be published by Imprint/Macmillan on June 5th, 2018.

I don't check in here often. If you'd like to get in touch, send me an email ;-)

kristinaperezwrites (at) gmail
More about Kristina Pérez

Other books in the series

Sweet Black Waves (3 books)
  • Wild Savage Stars (Sweet Black Waves, #2)
  • Untitled (Sweet Black Waves, #3)