Published by Fine Fables Press on May 17, 2020
Series: The Bitter Sea Trilogy #1
Genres: adult, Fantasy & Magic, Romance
Source: Signed Paperback from Author
After a violent storm destroys her ship, Isaura Johansdottir knows better than to hope she’ll be rescued from Eisland’s vast Failock Sea. Adrift and alone, her plans to start over lost, it’s a tragic conclusion after the disastrous end of her marriage—until she’s saved by Leonel, one of the merfolk, a creature long believed extinct. In repayment for her life, Leonel enlists her help to investigate the Failock’s mysterious and deadly plague of squalls. When Isaura discovers Eisland’s ruthless new Lord commands the storms, her life will be in more danger on land than it ever was at sea.
As guardian of the Fathoms, Leonel must find the cause of unnatural storms ravaging the tidal currents and destroying the sea life. There are rumors of dark magic stirring in the Orom Abyss, the resting place of old, vanquished gods who tried to submerge the land millennia ago. Yet without proof, no one in King Ægir’s court will listen to him. And if it’s discovered he broke the Blue Laws to save a shipwrecked landweller, he might not survive the consequences.
As storms spread, Leonel and Isaura uncover secrets as forbidden as the bond that grows between them. Betrayal lurks in the restless sea, and when ancient powers lay siege to Eisland’s coast, the truth may be drowned along with everything else.
Beneath Cruel Fathoms is the first book in the adult fantasy Bitter Sea Trilogy by author Anela Deen. Anela Deen is a new author to me, but she has very powerful, descriptive writing that I really enjoyed. It is no secret that I love fantasy books, but I don’t read too many adult fantasy. I really enjoyed Beneath Cruel Fathoms, so I would like to change that. Let me know your favorite adult fantasy recommendations in the comments below and I will check them out! Beneath Cruel Fathoms is a fantasy set in the sea featuring merfolks, gods and plenty of magic. I enjoyed this book, and am certainly interested in continuing on in the series.
In Beneath Cruel Fathoms, our story starts out with our main heroine Isaura as a feirce storm hits and destroys the boat she is on. It was an intense start, but it did feel a bit slow to me. The start of the book was much more focused on descriptive, flowery prose that did a great job of setting up the world, but I didn’t feel like there was too much in the way of actual plot advancement. I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get into the story, but boy oh boy was I wrong. After the bit of a slow start, this story really took off. It is a book that builds and builds. It gets better as the story goes on. And once I was half way through the book, I was really appreciative of the descriptive world set up because I felt like I really knew the motivations of the gods and the setup of the underwater sea court, and it was a really cool world! I can’t wait to discover more in the next two books. There is a big cast of characters in Betneath Cruel Fathoms. It is easy for me to get tunnel vision and only see Isaura and Leonel, but that would be doing this story a disservice. All of the secondary characters really helped bring this story to life because they helped paint the picture of what wonderful people Isaura and Leonel are.
The romance in this story was wonderful. It was soft and felt really natural, and I loved Isaura and Leonel. Leonel is one of the last of the merfolk, which you would think would make him revered and special, but no. He is basically an outcast in the underwater court. I felt for him most of all. I think I made a deeper connection with Leonel than I did even with Isaura, which was surprising to me. The gods in this story are no joking matter. They are based on Norse mytholgy, and they can be very cruel. I liked this darker depiction of the gods- it added to the dark atmosphere of the story, and Anela Deen does a fantastic job writing a rich atmosphere that jumps off the page. The story becomes very complicated and involved and by the end of the story I was dying to get my hands on book two! If you are a fan of norse mythology, Beneath Cruel Fathoms is a book that you need to read. It is totally unlike any other merfolk story that I have ever read.
INTL Giveaway on Instagram!
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– Digital/Printable 12-page Adult Ocean-Fantasy coloring book with vintage artwork from fables like “The Little Mermaid” and “The Forsaken Merman”, along with quotes from the novel.
– A double-sided 5” x 7” character art print of the two main characters.
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INTL Blog Giveaway!
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Let me know your favorite adult fantasy recommendations in the comments below and I will check them out!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2020
Jenea's Book Obsession
I enjoy any type of mythology so this sounds right up alley!
This sounds like a great mermaid mythology story!
Adult fantasy rec: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch 🙂