Blog Tour: These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

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Welcome to the These Rebel Waves Blog Tour!  This marks one of twenty-four stops on the Fantastic Flying Book Club (FFBC) blog tour hosting These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch, a historical fantasy set in the dark era of The Inquisition.  Stay a while to learn more about the book and author, read my review, and find other stops to visit along the tour.  Now, drop anchor, grab your magical plants, and let’s fight the forces of evil!

About the Book

These Rebel Waves

These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders #1)
by Sara Raasch

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: August 7th 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.

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My Review

A grim and tragic past lurks. One that trails three children of war–Adeluna “Lu” Andreu, Devereux “Vex” Bell, and Benat “Ben” Gallego–like a shadow waiting to eclipse their hopes for a brighter future. A danger that had once stolen their family, friends, and innocence promises to rise again.  These Rebel Waves is a perilous fantastical journey, set in an Inquisition-inspired era, following three teens as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of politics, religion, and war that hangs as heavy as a storm cloud threatening to wash away their freedom and lives.

Eighteen-year-old Lu, a former soldier of the Argrid-Grace Loray war turned politician, secretly struggles to cure her friend and fellow survivor as deadly Shaking Sickness racks her body when peace treaty negotiations between the two nations dissolve into chaos.  General Ibarra, an Argridian delegate, is missing and presumably abducted by stream raiders, former Grace Lorayan allies during the war. Desperate to prevent another war, Lu takes matters into her own hands, hiring Vex and his crew to find Ibarra before the fog of war can overtake everyone and everything they hold dear.

When their paths collide, notorious stream raider Devereux Bell has his own problems: he and his crew are being harassed by a powerful enemy relentlessly amassing huge stores of Grace Loray’s magical plants.  Vex must find a way to break free and master his own fate before a torment from the past claims his life.  Ben, crown prince of Argrid, knows all to well the lure and danger of these plants–deemed evil by Argridians’ deity, the Pious God.  Yet, Ben cannot shake his desire to study and use them to find a cure for Shaking Sickness, an incurable illness at present that is fraying at his people’s already weakened faith.  A desire that destroyed his uncle, cousin, and the lives of countless others who dared defy or resist the Argridian Church and its leader, his father.  When his father grants him a chance to prove his worth, Ben cannot help wondering if he can truly rescue his people from oppression, uncertainty, and death, or be branded a heretic and executed for his sins.

With the help of friends and allies, Lu, Vex, and Ben set out to uncover the mystery of their worlds and slowly piece together a sinister plot far beyond anything they could have imagined.  As phantoms of their past reemerge and force them to question all they think they know, Lu, Vex, and Ben must join forces if they hope to dismantle a crazed villain’s hold on the island of Grace Loray and the mainland.  But can they hope to accomplish much before they drown in pain and sorrow…

Raasch’s story traverses magic-laden waters and human issues plaguing society during the dark age of the Inquisition and even now with skill.  It is drenched with the power and fear the dregs of society exploit to exact control, and force their beliefs and desires on others–even under the guise of good intentions.  In addition, Raasch depicts the damage different factions and society as a whole often inflicts upon its most vulnerable members–the youths, the ill, and the poor.  The physical and emotional abuses as well as the neglect and indifference they suffer, leaving scars both visible and invisible.  Yet, throughout it all is the undercurrent of Lu, Vex, and Ben’s resilience, endurance, and determination to right the wrongs the Argridians and other villains have committed in the name of progress, religion, and survival.

Raasch eloquently weaves a complex tale with a third-person narrative, alternating among Lu, Vex, and Ben perspectives.  Raasch’s impressive world-building, magic system (based on Grace Lorayan plants), exciting concept of river pirates, and incredible cast of characters all conspire to create a tale that excites the senses (and took over my world until the very last page).  These Rebel Waves is a Inquisition-esque fantasy filled to the brim with oppression, deception, and redemption you’ll want to plunge into head first with twists and turns that will keep you guessing.

Rating: 3.5/5

I received a free advanced copy of These Rebel Wavesas part of the FFBC Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author


Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

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Tour Schedule

August 6th

That Artsy Reader Girl – Welcome Post

August 7th

Singer of Stories– Review
Luchia Houghton– Review
Books & Babbles– Guest Post

August 8th

The Book Nut– Playlist
Reader Voracious Blog– Review
A Dream Within A Dream– Spotlight

August 9th

My Thoughts Literally – Guest Post
Bookish Wisps– Spotlight
Book Slaying– Review

August 10th

One Last Chapter- Review
Kait Rose Reads- Review & Favorite Quotes
Absolute Bookishness- Review
NovelKnight – Interview

August 11th

Hauntedbybooks- Review
Book Beach Bunny- Review & Favorite Quotes
Morgan Vega- Review & Book Tag

August 12th

Library of a Book Witch- Q&A
Kalli’s Book Nook- Review
The Desert Bibliophile- Review & Favorite Quotes
Another Book in the Wall- Review

August 13th

JennRenee Reads- Review
Katsyxo- Review
Snark & Squee- Review

Follow the tour!


Thanks for sailing by! See you again soon.  Until then…

Happy Reading!  ^_^

The Fantastic Flying Book Club


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