What the River Knows Review

Hello, all!

If you went through an Egyptology phase growing up, then you need to pick up What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez. Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 10-31-23
YA - Historical Fantasy

Inez Olivera lives a life of luxury as part of the glittering upper crust of Argentinian society. She has anything she could ever want except for one thing: her parents. Inez's parents are part of an archeological dig in Egypt and often spend months away from Inez. Inez has always longed to go with them, but her parents have never allowed it. But when Inez receives a letter from her estranged uncle with the tragic news of her parents' passing, Inez decides to go to Egypt for answers.

Inez crosses the seas with little more than her precious sketchbooks and a mysterious golden ring her father sent her. When she arrives, Inez quickly realizes she's in over her head. Her uncle is not pleased to see her and will barely acknowledge her, leaving her to be dealt with by his infuriatingly charming assistant, Whit. But Inez is determined to uncover the truth about her parents' disappearances, no matter the cost. But when old magic embeds itself into Inez, she must rely on it to guide her hand or risk becoming a pawn in an even greater game.

I wasn't sure if I would like this because the first half felt incredibly slow, and you could tell that Ibañez was laying the groundwork for an intricate plot to unfold. But once we hit the halfway mark the action ramped up, and I couldn't get enough. Inez was such a strong-willed character, and I loved how she refused to back down from her pursuits. She and Whit butted heads at every turn, but the kind of interaction that had you going, "Ok, now kiss." They had great banter and had me smiling the whole time. I liked the mythology throughout this, but I wish the magic system had been explained more, as I still don't have a firm handle on it. Aside from that, I did see one of the plot twists coming from a mile away, but so many others took me by surprise. My jaw was on the floor by the end, and I'm already preparing my heart for the fallout. If you're in the mood to get swept away in an atmospheric adventure, I highly recommend checking it out.

Rating: 4/5


  1. I'm so excited for this one because of the archaeology angle! I'm glad you ended up enjoying it (and I'm really excited to see the FairyLoot version when it arrives!).

    1. I can't wait to see what they did with their edition!


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