Hello, friends! Before I dive into a new book review, I wanted to apologize quickly for how quiet the blog has become. Between some health issues and becoming addicting to Baldur’s Gate 3, the blog has definitely been on the backburner. Honestly? It’ll prolly stay on the backburner for a while. I am sorry for that! But I appreciate you all being there when I do return more regularly.
But, remember when I shared my vacation reads? The Black Tides of Heaven by Neon Yang I also started on vacation, but then it got dark on the plane ride back and I didn’t get a chance to finish it. I loved it so much I still wanted to review it, though, so here we are!
Publisher: Tordotcom | Release Date: September 2017 | Pages: 236
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Format: Paperback | Source: Bought
The Black Tides of Heaven is one of a pair of standalone introductions to Neon Yang’s Tensorate Series. For more of the story you can read its twin novella The Red Threads of Fortune
Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as children. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While his sister received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What’s more, he saw the sickness at the heart of his mother’s Protectorate.
A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue to play a pawn in his mother’s twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from his sister Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond he shares with his twin sister?
- How gender was handled. Gender is something I’m always fascinated by, particularly in books where it breaks the binary in worldbuilding. Obviously, Yang did some really incredible things with this novella that left my writer brain reeling with thoughts.
- The character dynamics. Wow, the family that poor Akeha and Mokoya grew up in. The sheer ruthlessness of it. I think my heart broke throughout the entire time reading it.
- How my heart broke by the end. I won’t give any spoilers, but goodness me, Akeha, I just want to hold you. Also, there was another aspect of the worldbuilding involving weapons that broke my heart in different ways.
I seriously enjoyed The Black Tides of Heaven. It’s exploration of gender and weaponry (and responsibility with such weaponry), on top of complex family and sibling dynamics, was absolutely fascinating to me. It also was the perfect blend of heartbreak.
This is my first of Neon Yang’s work, but I already own The Genesis of Memory and I’m really excited to read that by them, too. I definitely plan to read the next novella in this series and I recommend it for you all, too!