Title: The Saltwater Heir
Author: Cassidy Clarke
Series: The Blood and Water Saga #1
Audience: New Adult
Length: 560 pages
Release Date: June 25, 2021
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Recommended for fans of: Sky in the Deep, Six of Crows, Throne of Glass
Content Warnings: chronic illness, fire, alcoholism, confinement, kidnapping, violence, death
Princess Soren of Nyx is no stranger to loss after a decade-long war with the neighboring kingdom of Atlas. But with her best friend slowly succumbing to a cruel Atlas poison, she hatches a reckless plan: kidnap the enemy prince from the battlefield and use his life to barter for the antidote.
But when that prince calls her by a different name…the name of his sister, whose death began the war ten years ago…everything changes.
Stolen away to Atlas, trapped behind enemy lines, Soren must navigate a kingdom she knows nothing about, surrounded by a family she doesn’t remember, and work to hunt down the antidote only Atlas possesses, all while strange memories fight to take over-memories of a different life, a different home, a different girl.
And memories aren’t the only thing awakened by Soren’s return. Dark, forbidden magics begin to stir, threatening both her new life and her old. With death stalking in every shadow, the lost princess must fight harder and sacrifice more than she ever dreamed to save what she holds most dear.
What a fantastic debut! This book took me by surprise in the best way. Soren is a princess and soldier of Nyx, but when battle brings her face to face with the prince of the rival kingdom Atlas, he recognizes her as his long lost sister Soleil, whose death caused the war to start ten years ago.
The beginning gave me major Sky in the Deep vibes, but imagine if that book had humor? I absolutely love the way the Atlas siblings’ relationships are depicted (shoutout to Finn), and their banter is top notch. Of course, it’s not all fun and games. Soren struggles to remember her past and reconcile conflicting loyalties. Everyone has secrets, and there’s plenty of political scheming and sneaking around. A dark magical threat looms, and powerful forces awaken.
I just loved everything about this book. It had the perfect balance between light and dark moments, between action and introspection. It has just a hint of romance (mostly pining) that still managed to hurt me and will surely play a larger role in future books. The end left me absolutely reeling: crying, screaming, gasping, and oh so excited to see how things play out in book 2!