The Water Thief Warning: May contain copious exchange of fluids, men in corsets, and dirty dancing. Apply liberally before bedtime.
Yes, The Water Thief actually does have the above warning in its pages, and yes it is a needed warning. Those things are all very much present.
Sebastian Swift is having a bit of a rough life. He was framed for his twin sister’s murder at the age thirteen, and has been locked up in a mental institution since. He dreams of drowning nonstop, and isn’t entirely sure what happened the day August died.
Then a storm wipes out the institution, and Sebastian manages to escape. He teams up with Sven to take back his birthright—which as it turns out, it’s currently being held by imposter Macsen. Macsen is pretending to be Sebastian at the urging of his father Emrys, thus keeping Cantre’r Gwaelod away its true heir.
Clearly the best solution is for Sebastian to dress up as his dead sister August and pretend to be her.
Now, Macsen knows what his father Emrys is up to. As it turns out, Sebastian inherited a magical power over the waters, and Emrys has been using Sebastian’s power by pulling it from him while he sleeps though a brutal process that sounds a lot like waterboarding. Emrys then uses the magic to control the water in the surrounding area and force the land’s tenants to pay more for water that should be easily accessible in the first place.
But wait, there’s a huge problem. Sebastian, dressed as August, and Macsen, pretending to be Sebastian, are attracted to each other. It’s not incest, but it’s definitely…something. Cue lots and lots of largely lubeless sex (between Sebastian and Macsen and Sebastian and Sven).
Now, if the constant cringing at what is probably a lot of anal trauma isn’t enough, the plot and genre completely change halfway through.
What starts out as a fantasy book suddenly turns into a dimension traveling future meets past sort of deal. But hey, they do have lube in the future. Or present. Whatever. I wish I could tell you that the sudden change did a lot for the plot, but it really didn’t. If anything, it made an already complicated story even more confusing. There was great world building and the characters were unique, but the story got a little too unique for my taste.
This is a book that I kind of enjoyed…and then I got frustrated. I give it a C-.
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