Review Detail

4.3 1
Young Adult Fiction 1719
What the River Knows
(Updated: November 24, 2023)
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What the River Knows was a beautiful, well-written historical fantasy, and I found it to be a highly engaging read. I liked that it was a story I could check in and out of as needed without feeling the need to recap every time I returned.

What initially drew me to the book (aside from the gorgeous cover & title) was the fact that in what is quickly coming to feel like an oversaturated market, Ibañez approached the fantasy genre with an unlikely angle which kept it really fresh in its feel. The descriptions were immaculate and alluring, the characterizations were layered and full of heart, and the banter was simple & witty in a way that I hadn't realized I was missing till I got to observe Inez and Whit.

Some of the narrative choices did come off a bit disjointed, like much of the Cleopatra plot, but nothing drastic enough to pull from my overall enjoyment.
There were also a lot more romantic-action-drama moments than I was expecting coming into this book; it's not something I was prepared for coming into a historical fantasy, but I didn't necessarily dislike it.

Also, I was ABSOLUTELY NOT PREPARED for the cliffhanger ending. I fully thought this was a standalone until I got to the end, was promptly & rudely shocked, and am eagerly anticipating a follow-up ASAP thankyouverymuch.
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