This book is my least favorite out of the WaterFire Saga so far. In the beginning it pulled me in, but by the end I was glad it was over. This book isn’t agonizing, but it isn’t very good, either.
This book contains four different perspectives: Serafina and Neela, Becca, Astrid, and Ling. Serafina and Neela are carrying out missions for the Black Fins and also getting allies to fight with them. Astrid meets up with Becca, but they both split up after a while. Astrid goes to her home and Becca goes to retrieve her talisman. Ling is in a very tough spot. She was captured by Rafe Mfeme in the last book and is put into a camp that she needs to escape in this book. All of the mermaids soon find themselves in rough spots and with the clock ticking, they need to find all of the talismans before Rafe Mfeme does.
This book starts out very weak. Serafina and Sophia somehow find the place that holds the rest of the information about the other talismans at the beginning of the book. The book also introduces new characters just to have them die a couple pages later. I was worried that this book would be filled with clichés and plot conveniences, but it’s not. Instead, it repeats things that have happened in the first two books.
There is a lot more romance in this book, but it doesn’t work as well and it does with Serafina and Mahdi. In this book, Astrid and Becca get struck with the romance wand. Astrid falls in love with a merman she helps escape and Becca falls in love with a human. I can tolerate Astrid falling in love with this merman since they travel together in most of the book, but what I cannot tolerate is Becca falling in love with a human in about four days. The main thing I dislike with the romance in this book is that there is absolutely no chemistry between the characters. It doesnt feel like love, it just feels like lazy writing.
That isn’t the only thing this story copies. For some reason there is a lot of royal family drama in this series. It all has to deal with the same plot device, too. There is a good family ruling, but then they are killed and an evil ruler takes over. This has happened with Serafina, Neela, and Astrid. With so many royal deaths, I’m surprised the mer realms have been at peace for so long.
There is one thing that I have liked throughout the whole WaterFire Saga and that is the world building. Jennifer Donnelly does a wonderful job building this world under the waves. Every time I’ve read a book from the WaterFire Saga, I’ve always been impressed with the world building. In this book, there are some new areas the characters go to and each place feels unique and intriguing.
Even though I don’t like this book as much as I like Rouge Wave, I’m glad that this book isn’t a filler book. In Dark Tide, the reader learns more about the Black Fins and new characters are introduced into the story. The reader also learns more about Ling, Becca, and Astrid. Even though this book isn’t as good as its predecessors, it still makes for an interesting read.
A ruler’s greatest power comes from her heart-from the love she bears her subjects, and the love they bear her.