Monday, August 10, 2020

ARC Review: Bright Raven Skies by Kristina Pérez

Title: Bright Raven Skies (Sweet Black Waves #3)
Author: Kristina Pérez
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Publisher: Imprint
Pages: 464
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Reviews for book 1 & book 2

To save the kingdom, Branwen embraced the darkest aspects of her magic. But she may have lost herself––and the two people she loves most.

Tristan and Eseult are missing. As Branwen searches for them, she must hide the truth surrounding their disappearance from both the king and her lover. Above all, she must find the Queen and her Champion first.

New and old enemies circle Branwen, clamoring for power and revenge, and threatening to destroy the fragile peace that she has sacrificed everything to secure. 

Sweet Black Waves and Wild Savage Stars are two of my favorite YA fantasy books of all time. Both were incredible reads for me, full of magic, romance, and heartbreak. I was very impatient to read Bright Raven Skies so I could find out the ending to Branwen's story and was SO grateful when I had the chance to read it early!

Bright Raven Skies picks up immediately after Wild Savage Stars, with Eseult and Tristan missing, and Branwen angry at them both. Despite her part in their betrayal, Branwen is unable to forgive. Still, she owes it to her aunt to keep Eseult and the alliance between the kingdoms in tact and, as usual, puts others above herself. Usually I get fed up with characters who constantly self-sacrifice, but my love for Branwen is undying. Her love for her family and country is hard not to root for and I read this wanting nothing more than a happy ending for her after so much heartbreak.

There was a lot to wrap up in this trilogy and I think Bright Raven Skies did a good job of it, although there were things I would have liked to end differently. Knowing the original tale of Tristan and Eseult, I knew some of what to expect, but this still managed to fall a little short. My main issue was that a lot of the book was overly drawn out. The political aspects of the story overtook the relationships and the plot went to several places I didn't care much about. There was an entire side plot that seemed to come out of nowhere and took up a huge chunk of the story.

Despite all that, I still enjoyed this finale! I loved the relationship between Branwen and Eseult and even found myself loving Tristan again by the end. There was so much done right about this trilogy, I just wish the final installment had packed a bit more punch. If you like tragic love stories and want a YA fantasy that's a little different, I still definitely recommend giving this series a try!