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Since losing her great love to the Queen of the Sainted Isles, Arden must fulfil an impossible promise before she can return home – she must complete the dangerous Rite that will return Jonah’s spirit to the abyssal Court of the Deepwater King.
This sets her off on a journey far out at sea to find believers of old religion on the oil-slick and mysterious islands beyond the horizon. But such a responsibility will not come without sacrifice, for the Deepwater folk who worship the King require the most desperate payments the soul, and with one man Arden may have to pay the greatest price of all…
This is the second book in the Deepwater Trilogy, the first book is called Monstrous Heart. I didn’t feel that it was absolutely necessary to have read book one to follow this although there is backstory to some of the characters and as to part of what is happening in this book. As well as some of the world building. But I personally have a thing about reading books in order.
This book started with a bit of backstory on Bellis Harrow’s story and how Jonah Riven had ended up marrying her.. the rest of the book is divided into three books the first is Equus, where Arden first appears in book two along with some of the other main characters from the first book. Arden believes that Jonah is dead after his fatal marriage to Bellis. She is determined to fulfil a promise she made which was to complete the Rite that will return Jonah’s spirit to the abyssal Court of the Deepwater King. This task is not without its peril’s.
Throughout the whole book it seems Arden is in danger whichever way she turns. She cannot yet return home, she has no idea who she can trust. There are rumours that Jonah is not dead, but could this be true? Arden doesn’t see how he could have escaped. Then she meets Miah Anguis who is actually Jeremiah Riven, Jonah’s Cousin. When he takes hold of the ship that had once been Jonah’s and now belongs to David Modhi. The only option he gives to Arden if she wants help is that she will have to give her body to him for 3 days, Arden refuses but does she really have a choice, especially when she finds herself in an awkward spot.
As I first started reading this I wasn’t sure if it was for me, some of the words and language made no sense it was almost like reading a foreign language, for instance some of the skills some of the characters have at times I wasn’t entirely sure what they were. It would have been good to have had a sort of reference point saying what each skill consisted of either at the beginning or end of the book. Making it easier to look back or forward to see what the skill entailed, but that is just my thought on it, others may have followed it better than me. This being a new genre for me to try.
Once I got into the story it really started to grow on me, I pushed on wanting and needing to know if Jonah was alive or not, and if Arden was going to survive, after all she got into some quite tricky situations. If you enjoy fantasy reads then this Is a book for you, this is my first venture into a fantasy read so everything was new, but didn’t disappoint. You never knew what was coming next. There are some great characters in the book as well. I do like Arden though she is a very feisty character, strong and determined, no matter what, she tries to stick to her guns, and at times that is definitely not easy. With sea monsters, and some of the flesh sacrifices some of the characters give to the sea were quite disturbing. But it seems that was their way of survival.
I actually went from being not sure about this to being sad I had finished it and ended up thinking about the characters for a few days after.
An interesting, gripping read i wonder what will happen in book 3 of the series. will it all be happy ever after? With some great world building, complex and intriguing characters that were three dimensional and believable.
I would like to thank #Harper Collins for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own and in my own words.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claire McKenna is a speculative fiction writer from Melbourne, Australia. Claire grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and came to Australia when she was young. Her stories decided to come with her. A long time writer of short fiction with a background in environmental sciences, Monstrous Heart was her debut novel with Deepwater King being the second book in the Trilogy.