The Black Tides of Heaven // Book Review

 Book: The Black Tides of Heaven (Tensorate 1) by J.Y. Yang
Release Date: September 26th 2017
Tags: Fantasy / Novella / Adult / Asian Inspired Fantasy / Rebellion / Twins / Oppression / Diversity / LGBTQ+ / Gay / Non-Binary / Choosing Own Gender / POC / Asian



Reading Challenge(10)

Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as children. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While his sister received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What’s more, he saw the sickness at the heart of his mother’s Protectorate.
A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue to play a pawn in his mother’s twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from his sister Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond he shares with his twin sister?

Reading Challenge(11)

The Black Tides of Heaven is the first novella in a collection of novella’s called the Tensorate. I’ve been curious about this for quite some while because it sounded like it was going to be very different. And it was. It couldn’t quite pull me in entirely but I have high hopes for its sequel.

This book is telling the story over the course of 30 years and as such it feels quite rushed.  The basics of the story as well as the world building. It made it harder for me to connect with the story.  I honestly had higher expectations of the world building for this. There were some great glances into the Protectorate and the monastery but never enough. The slack, which is a power of sorts, was never properly explained and it left me with many questions.

Having said that however there are also some great elements in this book. One for sure is that children are seen as genderless (using they/them pronouns) when they are born up until the moment they confirm their own gender. If they are born with breasts or a penis doesn’t matter. When they confirm they can undergo a surgery to change that if needed. But also not everyone does that. I thought that was just an amazing element in this story. I also loved that some confirm at 16-17 and others are a 100% sure at the age of 3.

The start of the story focuses on the twins who are born because their mother wants to settle a debt. You can already see that, that relationship is going to be a struggle. It was great to see the relationship between the twins however and how they start trying to find their own identities away from each other. Struggling with each other’s choices.

In the second half of the novella we focus on Akeha, one half of the twin. Akeha shows us how life outside of the monastery and the big city is like and how people feel about the protectorate.

Overall it is an interesting start to a series. One that I kind of wished had been a full novel. Even so I am still very curious about its companion novella The Red Threads of Fortune.


12 thoughts on “The Black Tides of Heaven // Book Review

  1. Black Tides is definitely my favourite by far in the Tensorate series but I am in the minority with my love for it. Most people think it’s okay but really fall in love with Red Threads so maybe that will be the magic book for you as well

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the sequel is easier to get to grips with – it fills in many of the world-building blanks, although I don’t think either novella stands alone in this regard – the world-building is split between them, which is an …interesting choice. Also Red Threads is set in a much shorter period of time so has a much more focused/coherent narrative. Still, I love how Black Tides presents gender identity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I’ve heard that more about the second. I think I will like it more for the shorter period of time it will spend. But the gender identity was great in this I agree!


I welcome your thoughts and opinions!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.