Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Axie Oh
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: February 22nd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.
Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.
Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.
But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking.
Axie Oh is becoming an auto-read author for me. I loved her contemporary romance XOXO, and now a young adult fantasy just as amazing?! YES.
I looooved this story so much. It was whimsical and I love the retelling aspects. Mina was an awesome heroine. She was creative and full of passion for saving her people. I loved how she approached different things before her and the way she showed love to others.
And y’all. This romance was the sweetest. I never know how well a standalone fantasy will accomplish a romance and this was perfect. It was a slow build with a bit of resentment, turned friendship, turned love. And then the ending?! Oh goodness, absolutely fabulous. This is the kind of YA books I love and why I always come back to this genre.
The story itself is filled with action and intrigue. A bit of politics and dreams. I just loved the way everything moved and how fast the pages flew by. I felt transported under the sea with the entire cast and can’t say enough good things about TGWFBTS.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Fantasy
- Language: very little
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: light blood/gore
- Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved ones, memory loss, child death