Howdy booklovers! Welcome to my stop on the Paperback tour for Deepwater King by Claire McKenna! Thank you so much to HarperVoyager for my gifted copy.
The sensational follow up to MONSTROUS HEART; a magical tale of intrigue on dark waters and a love story for the ages. The perfect gothic, gaslamp fantasy – ideal for fans of V.E. Schwab and China Mieville 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 the 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… Astonishingly original, with world-building to rival the depths of the ocean, McKenna has drawn a rich tale of longing and courage – penning the perfect oceanic steampunk fantasy.
Oh wowzers! Where to begin?! We pick up with Arden and co at sea and not long from where Monstrous Heart ended with her mission to return a soul to the Deepwater King.
This books is full of surprises. A few scenes that some may find triggering (attempted sexual assault/domestic abuse/forced marriage) there was no lack of action in this book.
Arden as a character remains strong willed but the lines of her strict personal conduct become blurred as she finds herself having to do things she has previously refused. She is a woman desperate to complete her task and there is absolutely nothing that she will not do to achieve it, while navigating the world and reeling from betrayals and those yet to come.
I wish the Sanguinity/abilities were explained better (this applies to both books) as the writing seems to assume the reader has a prior knowledge. The world building is strong and provides the reader a vivid image of the world we’re experiencing.
There are reunions, betrayals, friendships and unlikely allies book 2 was just as immersive as book one and thoroughly enjoyable. McKenna has a knack for building tension and drama all whilst maintaining a beautiful writing style. Whilst I personally preferred Monstrous Heart due to my now unhealthy obsession with Jonah Riven, Deepwater King does not disappoint
If you’re a fan of books like Fable by Adrienne Young or All The Murmuring Bones by A.G. Slatter, I think you’ll enjoy this one!