Thursday, March 28, 2024

🍷🍷🍷🍷 #Review of What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez

Title: What the River Knows
Series: Secrets of the Nile #1
Author: Isabel Ibañez
Format: Audible
Published: First published October 31, 2023
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Source: Audible/Libby 
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating:  🍷🍷🍷🍷 / 0 🌶️ 
Bolivian-Argentinian Inez Olivera belongs to the glittering upper society of nineteenth century Buenos Aires, and like the rest of the world, the town is steeped in old world magic that’s been largely left behind or forgotten. Inez has everything a girl might want, except for the one thing she yearns the most: her globetrotting parents—who frequently leave her behind.

When she receives word of their tragic deaths, Inez inherits their massive fortune and a mysterious guardian, an archeologist in partnership with his Egyptian brother-in-law. Yearning for answers, Inez sails to Cairo, bringing her sketch pads and an ancient golden ring her father sent to her for safekeeping before he died. But upon her arrival, the old world magic tethered to the ring pulls her down a path where she soon discovers there’s more to her parent’s disappearance than what her guardian led her to believe.

With her guardian’s infuriatingly handsome assistant thwarting her at every turn, Inez must rely on ancient magic to uncover the truth about her parent’s disappearance—or risk becoming a pawn in a larger game that will kill her.

The Mummy meets Death on the Nile in this lush, immersive historical fantasy set in Egypt filled with adventure, a rivals-to-lovers romance, and a dangerous race.

Crystal's Thoughts:

"Do you kiss all of your friends like this?"

Inez Olivera is a daughter always left behind. Since she was born, her parapets would split their time between the high society of Argentina and the glimmering sands of Egypt. Their passion for Egypt's hidden history holding more allure than their own daughter. But when word from Inez's uncle arrives of her parent's sudden death, Inez refuses to be left behind again. Determined to discover the truth behind her parent's demise and finally explore the country that captured more of her parents heart then her, Inez embarks on an adventure of truth. Sometimes though, the truth is better of buried....

"Kind of you."
"I am nothing of the sort."

What the River Knows was my first read from this author, Isabel Ibañez, and I was blown away by this story! As an 80's baby and 90's kid, I grew up with Indiana Jones and The Mummy, so as soon as I saw the premise of this book I knew that I had to read it. While I ended up listening to the audiobook instead, it was still a phenomenal tale. Though I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I had read it. Regardless, the narrators were magnificent. 

"That was the smile that I didn't trust- I just knew it come with consequences."

The world-building was rich and magical, the writing poetic, and the characters both intriguing and charming. There were times that I found the plot a bit sluggish and I was always confused by Tio Ricardo and the purpose behind his actions. I do hope that we get better insight into his character in the sequel. And that ending! Oh my gosh, I'm not sure what to think about that but I know that I will be piking up Where the Library Hides as soon as it is available to find out! 

"Is this it, Whit?" I whispered. He squeezed me and pressed his lips against mine lightly. "If it is, this is where I want to be."

Trope Checklist: 

✔️ Cleopatra / Egyptian Mythos
✔️ Forced Proximity
✔️ Slow-burn
✔️ Historical Fantasy (19th Century)
✔️ Magical Realism
✔️ 1st Person / Duo POV
✔️ Rivals to Lovers
✔️ Forbidden Romance
✔️ Touch Her and Die
✔️ Arranged Marriage 
✔️ Everyone Has a Secret
✔️ Cliffhanger
✔️ The Mummy / Indiana Jones Vibes
✔️ Adventure & Mystery 

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