Once Stolen – Book Review

Title: Once Stolen
Author: D.N. Bryn
Series/Number: These Treacherous Tides #2
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Adult
Publication Date: July 7, 2021
Publisher: The Kraken Collective
Themes: Friendship, Magic, Disability, Autism rep, Trans rep, family, enemies to lovers

Synopsis:

No one with half a brain would rob the jungle’s most notorious energy cartel. The vibrations of their power-producing stones are the only thing that calms the mer-snake Cacao’s agonizing sensory condition though—and after being banished from his homeland swamps for similar thefts, he’s desperate.

When his attempt fails stunningly, a chaotic escape leaves him chained to a cartel prisoner: a self-proclaimed hero with a hidden stash of power stones so large, Cacao would never need to steal again. He’s determined to get his hands on it, even if it means guiding her home straight through the mist-laden and monster-filled swamp that exiled him, with scheming poachers and a desperate cartel leader on their tail.

But the selfish and the self-righteous can only flee together for so long before something snaps…

Return to Our Bloody Pearl’s steampunk-inspired world of merfolk in this fun, fast-paced adventure with a hate-to-love romance, a boat-load of sass, and even more heart. It is the second book to take place in the These Treacherous Tides world and functions as a standalone prequal and a first book for the Aurora Cycle mini-series. (For more information on reading order, please visit D.N. Bryn’s website.)

I adored this book! D.N. Bryn is honestly becoming an all time favourite author. I have adored both of the Treacherous Tides books and I know I will adore the third. For starters I loved that the whole story was action packed. From the beginning of the book there is a lot of action and things going on that really sucked me into the story.

I really loved the characters in this book. Cacao was so interesting to read from. He had gone through so much in his life and the heartbreak and sadness I felt while reading about him and his life made me want to give him a hug. One thing that I really loved was Cacao’s character development, while on his journey and while getting to know Thais, Cacao grew and changed as a result.

I also really loved the the rep in this book. There are multiple nonbinary characters, autism rep, m-spec rep, and other representation. I loved how casually the representation was brought up in the book. It was nice to have a world where those things are just accepted. I also really liked Cacao and his representation. I really enjoyed the way his differences and the discussion of equality and accessibility within a society that thinks everyone is already equal came about and how it was treated.

Overall, I adored this book. The action was fantastic, the characters were fantastic, the plot and discussions were a joy. Honestly, D.N. Bryn is a favourite author and I can’t wait to read all their future work. I highly recommend this book to fantasy fans.

Rating: 5/5 stars

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