Review: Where the Waters Turn Black by Benedict Patrick

Absolutely beautiful cover, just like its predecessor! 😍

This book has been on my TBR for far, far too long. I absolutely loved They Mostly Come Out at Night, and since finishing it I had always planned to continue the series but I got so, so terribly sidetracked. It happens, but I always feel terrible when I know there’s a book on my kindle sitting there for sooo long. Books are patient. I am not.

Really, it’s only 220ish pages long, and I’m a fairly fast reader, so I really don’t know why I waited so long. Now is the time, though! 😃

When gods and monsters battle, her music will not protect her…

The Crescent Atoll is a remote string of tropical islands, connected by long canoe journeys and a love of stories.

When Kaimana, a young ocarina player, discovers the lair of a taniwha – a legendary monster – she finds herself inspired. The song she is composing about their encounter will be her masterpiece, but her disturbance of the beast attracts the ruining gaze of the god of war. She must convince the taniwha to trust her if they are both to survive.

Where the Waters Turn Black is a standalone novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. Inspired by the myths and legends of South Pacific island cultures, this book is perfect for those seeking fantasy stories with a hint of the unfamiliar.

“Bright colours, they’re wearing bright colours. Do cannibals wear bright colours?”

“I don’t think there’s a dress code,” Kaimana muttered, drawing a number of angry glares in her direction.

Oh my this was such an enjoyable little book. It’s a standalone in the Yarnsworld series, definitely, as it takes place in a very, very different part of the world that They Mostly Come Out at Night began to describe. This one takes place in The Crescent Atoll, a series of islands that is more than a little reminiscent of Polynesia. Where TMCOaN gave me a very dark, spooky forest feeling, this one gave me a much sunnier, beachier… volcanoier (you’re welcome for this word) feeling.

Kaimana is a young girl who has left her native island to join a troupe of musicians, much to the chagrin of her parents and sister, who are all fishermen. This story, as it is in the same world, has the same Knacks that the previous did. People in this world develop a Knack for things that they tend to excel in or do in their day to day life. Kaimana’s mother and sister have a Knack for finding pearls, for example, but Kaimana herself has a Knack for playing the ocarina. She’s never found the inspiration for her magnum opus, until she goes back home to perform at the harvest festival and stumbles upon the village’s new resident – a taniwha. A giant, scary monster that eats people. The taniwha notices her, and follows her to the temple of the god of war. Then, the god of war notices the taniwha. And then… well I won’t spoil it for you. Shenanigans!

I really latched on to Kaimana early on, and found myself getting legitimately angry and upset when she was treated so unfairly by her troupe, especially the flute player who was so over the top mean girl™️ that it made it so easy to dislike her and cheer for our protagonist.

The Yarnsworld books truly do read like folktales. There are interludes between chapters that tell an actual folktale about something within the same theme as the story itself. So, this one tells the story of how the god of war became the god of war, just before introducing the god of war. It’s really fantastically done.

GUYS, I HAVE MADE YOU A DIAGRAM! (sorry it sucks)

This book was a really great afternoon of reading! You don’t have to read They Mostly Come Out at Night to enjoy it or appreciate it, either. 5/5 stars!


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