These rebel waves (Sarah Raasch)

I’ve been seeing Fairyloot subscription boxes every month on Instagram, and I decided that as August’s theme was pirates, I was gonna treat myself. After a mission getting the parcel delivered, I got a candle, a water bottle, a banner thing, a wax seal and the book was These Rebel Waves by Sarah Raasch.

It’s about pirates, magic and royalty, and follows the viewpoint of three different teenagers five years after a revolution on the island of Grace Loryan, gaining independence from the magic-averse, purity obsessed church state that had been governing it for generations.

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have picked this up of my own volition. I like pirates, and magic and fantasy, but I would have read the three-character breakdown of the blurb and put it back. The pirates are called Raider Syndicates, there are four cultural syndicates on the island, and they don’t really get on with the council.

This book is pretty queer – there are at least two queer explicitly queer couples, and it’s all acceptable in this society. What isn’t acceptable to Agradian church is magic, and impurity – they’re big in heresy and burn the witch vibes are strong. A bit of self- loathing and lots of secrets for the Prince going on.

The bit that I thought was the most wildly unbelievable (I’m happy to suspend disbelief – I love sci fi and fantasy- but this was just crazy) was that two of the main characters take six-year-old Teo with them (albeit accidently and with great reluctance). That’s not too unbelievable – the kid is a bit mischevious and likes climbing – but what was unbelievable is that not once does he misbehave. Even the mildest mannered kids aren’t that perfectly behaved. I’ll give him some leeway because he’s excited, but that was the thing I kept getting hung up on – Teo is overly well behaved and doesn’t really throw an I’m-tired-but-dont-want-to-admit-it tantrum. So yeah, magic, and confusing political structures aside, the bit that has really stuck in my brain is Teo.

It’s a good enough book, ends on a horrid cliffhanger so if I hadn’t have already found out it was a series, that would have been a bright neon flag. As it is, I’m not sure I’m going to carry on with the series. It was good, but not amazing. I gave it 3/5 on Goodreads.


I’d quite like a story about a crew of female pirates being the scourge of the sea … any recommendations?


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