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On These Black Sands

By

Must read 🏆

Swashbuckling high seas adventure blended with angsty pirate political drama and romance.

I waited until the last minute to read this book and I completely regret it! My grandmother passed away a month ago leaving me in a really bad headspace and I couldn’t bring myself to read. I finally forced myself to pick this book up and was blissfully swept away into a gorgeous world of piracy, enchanting sirens and deadly quests. I was immersed in the story and was quickly captivated by Captain Declan and Aoife. I was able to get lost in the story and it was a welcome escape from reality.


This book is well on the mature side of YA fantasy, slipping slightly into New Adult with a bit of gore but the romance stays mostly on the clean side. It’s pirates, so there is plenty of snark, a bit of colorful language and plenty of blood and action.


Aoife was a great MC and her pairing with Declan was brilliant. I do love a good “one bed” trope. Aoife is trying to pull herself together and make a new plan for her life after losing her birthright. She’s on the run and lands right in the path of Declan who has been tasked to find an enchanted dagger by his sister, Cait. She absolutely needs a book of her own. The quest for the dagger is fully of deadly action and intriguing mystery. Not to mention Cait plans to use the dagger to overthrow the very council of Pirate Lords that Declan sits on.


Declan is the perfect morally grey love interest for slightly awkward Aoife. Both make mistakes, have flaws and feel completely realistic and relatable. Their feelings for each other are perfectly paced, never feeling too drawn out or too rushed.


I loved the world building. There was plenty of politics, from the women run isle of Cregah to the Pirate Lords. There was plenty of family drama and a great friendship with First Mate Tommy, who also absolutely needs a book of his own as well.


This story was the perfect book at the right time and even though I love pirate stories I was pleasantly surprised with just how much I enjoyed it and it helped me escape my own emotions. The characters feel well rounded and fleshed out with plenty of growth. The writing is detailed and descriptive. The world feels wide and the seas deep. This book is one to savor every sentence of.



Reviewed by

Daniele's travels have taken her around the world and back again, but her favorite adventures will always be found between the covers of a good book. She is now a farm girl with her horse trainer husband. Daniele loves all things Outlander and Disney and can't grow a garden to save her life.

Declan

About the author

Vanessa Rasanen is a professional juggler of too many projects. By day she wrangles her four kids, works as a data analyst, and runs a small business creating gifts for book nerds like herself. She lives with her army pilot husband, their kids, and a three-legged dog on the windy plains of Wyoming. view profile

Published on August 10, 2021

130000 words

Contains graphic explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Reviewed by