Hey, writers and readers!
It’s not a good month without an indie novel or two. Today I’ll be reviewing When Rains Fall by Cassidy Taylor, or the first novel in the Lost Fields series. Check out the review below and make sure to give your two cents in the comments section if you’ve already read the book, too!
Rating: 4 stars
When rains fall and tides rise, you must decide on which shore you stand.
Sibba Hallowtide finally has the opportunity to strike out on her own and search for independence. However, a few things stand in her way: a young man who wants her crown (whatever that means), and the stern request to bring her brother safely home to become chief. She soon realizes that she has to let go of past hurt while learning more about her mother’s secrets in order to move on with her future plans.
Rayne Crowheart was taken from her royal family when she was twelve, and now five years later, her one mission is to assassinate her own sister. Her past failures and her empathy for her sister makes this her most difficult mission yet. However, an unlikely ally helps her face her corrupt father, her ignorant sister, and her manipulative future brother-in-law.
What I Enjoyed:
You’ll soon realize that the story follows two POVs: Rayne Crowheart and Sibba Hallowtide. I thought the pacing was well done and the exchange back and forth was well done; since we were going back and forth, there were more opportunities for cliff hangers and they weren’t annoying or ill-placed.
There were also a few characters that stood out to me. I especially enjoyed Tola. I imagined her as a mature, witch version of Merida. It’s probably the wild red hair that gives that image. I really enjoyed how she’s introduced, her personality, and the role she takes in the novel. She’s a healer, which is nifty for someone like Sibba who gets stabbed and cut more often than one prefers. She’s also the voice of reason when Sibba gets violent. She’s also a fantastic character on her own and I didn’t feel like she was primarily functioning as a support character.
Overall, I loved how there were smart and flawed women on both sides. Rayne and Sibba both made excellent protagonists.
What I Didn’t Enjoy:
As much as I truly enjoyed the world building and history, some aspects of past events were confusing to me. There’s a bit of family and royal drama and I had to read certain passages multiple times to understand the gravity of current events. Granted, I read this during a red-eye flight, so maybe I wasn’t in the best circumstances to take in exposition. All I can say is that the drama and who’s related to whom took a bit of extra work to internalize and understand.
My Final Thoughts
As a bonus, you should also read the short story prequel, The Dry Season. I read it first before When Rains Fall. It’s a super quick read—it probably took me twenty minutes to finish. It’s a quick story from Jamisen Malstrom’s point of view. I really liked this choice. Oh, you’ll learn more about Jamisen from the novel, so don’t worry if this doesn’t mean much to you right now.
As for whether or not it’s helpful, the full novel is written in a way that whether you read the prequel, and regardless of when you read it, it won’t tamper with the experience. Since I read the prequel first (as was probably intended), I had a better handle of the story’s history and how certain characters related to each other.
I’m also happy to say that this novel (and probably the rest of the series) is LGBTQT+ friendly. Yay! We could always use more of that.
I hope I shared enough to pique your curiosity without giving too much away! If you’d like to learn more about Cassidy Taylor and her work, you can catch up with her via social media:
Have you read this novel? How do you feel about super hero novels? Share with me in the comments! You can also see all of my other book reviews by checking our the Book Reviews tab.