Sunday, November 20, 2022

Where Oceans Burn by Casey Bond



With these three virtues, we shall rise. With these three, we shall conquer.

Truth. Honor. Blood.

To my people, the sky-reigning Empyreans, Intention Day is sacred…

To me, it’s the day my carefully crafted lie crumbles and my truth gives way to my ruin. The intense power surging through my veins is revealed, immediately coveted by those eager to exploit me for what they deem a greater good. If they have their way, the future I long for will be ripped away. But I am a warrior born to fly. To fight. Not to be caged and controlled.

The great scale of the goddess Neera has tipped out of my favor. The pans teeter between weighty punishment and deadly opportunity. My choices? Capture my most formidable enemy before next Intention Day, or forfeit my wings.

But life’s loftiest plans are often a breath away from disaster, and tragedy strikes as unpredictably as a bolt of lightning. When I find myself at the mercy of my greatest enemy, the terror known as the Shark of the Sea, the monster who killed the person I loved most, I accept my fate. My death. But the Shark does not lash out in revenge for all I’ve done. He tells me his true name is Crest. And while he calls me a Scourge, he honors his orders to guard me.

Forced together, Crest reveals that the truth only exists in the place between our perspectives and shares his hope to garner peace before the land is further soaked with the blood of sky and sea. The longer I am among his kind, the more I wonder if he might be right. Could an alliance be the salvation of both our peoples?

I am Elira, great Scourge of the Sky.
He is Crest, cunning Shark of the Sea.
Together… we could be unstoppable.


This was my first Casey Bond experience, and it won't be my last.  She joins my very short list of authors who are on my now insta-buy list.  First of all, I read this as an e-book and it might possibly be the most beautiful e-book I've ever read. I can't wait to see how gorgeous the physical book is.

The world building is deep and immersive with out feeling like an info dump. Things are gently laid out as we go, and we learn how complicated Elira's world is, with political games, and intrigues that mean life and death to those within the city. Those with power want to keep it, and no one wants to join the ranks of the clipped.

I loved Elira. I cried with her EVERY. TIME. I shared her grief, her frustration, and her successes.  I don't know how Casey Bond did it, but her enemies were my enemies, friends were my friends, and I couldn't set this book down until I finished it. Such a contrast in cultures between the Elyreans and Kehlani's add to the depth of the vivid storytelling. 

The romance in this story was the slowest of slow burns.  Usually I'm not a fan of enemies to lovers, but this was done so well that now I'm wondering if I have a new favorite.  Crest and Elira have much to overcome, and their cultural differences make the development of their relationship difficult. Even what it means to be someone's partner is completely different in each culture. They have a lot to learn about each other, and each other's cultures to make that connection and to hopefully bring peace to their two warring societies.

If you like fantasy romances, with slow burn, enemies to lovers tropes then you would really enjoy this book. Prepare yourself for the book hangover. It's all well worth it.

Where the Ocean Burns is available on Amazon and Bookshop.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book on my own, and freely wrote this review.  There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

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