When the Sea is Rising Red – Cat Hellisen
Felicita flees her privileged life and arranged marriage in hopes of finding a fate better than her late best friend did. Living on the streets is not what she expected and she soon becomes wrapped up in matters that are far beyond her comprehension.
One comes to a YA fantasy expecting certain things. The female main character will do some growing up, she’ll find a lover (possibly more than one) and the world will be affected for her having been in it but mostly we’ll just be happy that she gets to live happily ever after in the end. It’s one of those genres that can become formulaic.
Let’s be clear about something: there is nothing about this novel that is formulaic. At times it flirts with those expectations, and then subverts them. At times it dances with ideas of normality, and then abandons them. You never know where the plot will take you next and that is so amazingly refreshing.
The best part about this book is the world-building. The descriptions are so rich that when you put it down you will miss it terribly. So you don’t put it down. You just read until 3am, until it’s done.