Review: A Dark and Drowning Tide by Allison Saft

A Dark and Drowning TideA Dark and Drowning Tide by Allison Saft
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Dark and Drowning Tide is the upcoming Adult debut for beloved author, Allison Saft. I have loved all three of Saft’s previous YA Fantasy releases, with my favorite probably being, A Fragile Enchantment.

Saft’s writing is accessible and fluid. It’s magical and enchanting, but without feeling overly-done. Her plots never get drowned out by flowery writing. It’s easy to follow along and become emotionally attached to her characters, as well.

In this story we mainly follow Lorelei, who is a folklorist making her way through her academic career. At the start of the tale, she’s getting ready to set out on a serious expedition with her mentor and some peers.

Their goal is to find a fabled spring said to be a powerful source of magic. They’re being commissioned by the King, who believes the powers of this spring will help him better secure his reign of their embattled country.

Shortly after the group boards the ship however, the unthinkable happens. Lorelei’s mentor, their group leader, is murdered in the middle of the night. An ominous start.

Since the ship was sailing at the time, the suspects are limited. It has to be one amongst them. To me, Lorelei’s academic rival, Sylvia, is immediately suspicious.

She keeps popping up at strange times and places. A bit of a midnight wanderer, if you will…

But Lorelei feels she is innocent. Plus, the four others have equal amounts of motive. Honestly, it could be any of them.

It’s too late to turn back though, so Lorelei takes charge and hopes that they’ll be able to find the spring before the murderer strikes again. Unfortunately, dangers do not just lie aboard the ship, there’s dangers all around them.

The group knows they need to band together in order to survive, but that’s easier said than done. Tensions are high and tempers flare on a regular basis. Is anyone going to make it through this expedition alive?

Saft’s Adult Fantasy debut succeeded in transporting me to another time and place. I had a very good time reading this, although I will say, it definitely has a more serious tone than her YA stories. Nevertheless, it’s still as powerful.

This also had a slower build than her YA-stories, but I did like the introduction to the characters prior to them setting out on the expedition. Once they board the ship though, that’s when things really pick up.

I enjoyed the combination of the academic side of this story mixed with the dangerous Fantasy world. I thought that was a lot of fun. The expedition provided plenty of setting changes and you were seeing unique circumstances in each one, different terrain, magical creatures, etc.

The expedition group has a good mix of personalities and there’s a lot of tension running among them, which provided solid drama throughout. Some of them were fairly insufferable, but I love having characters to hate.

There’s also a light Romance element to this; an enemies-to-lovers trope that develops nicely over the course of the story. The Romance, IMO, isn’t the focus of the story, but it does provide a means for developing the two characters involved more deeply.

Saft’s character work is always top notch and happily, that carried over into this Adult release. There’s also a ton of action though, so Plot Lovers, you won’t be disappointed.

Overall, I think this is a sensational Adult debut, and I feel like so many Readers are going to absolutely adore it, and I know I’ll continue picking up Saft’s work regardless of what age category it falls into.

Thank you to the publisher, Del Rey, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This is a lush, exciting, engaging and entertaining read!

View all my reviews