Book Review | Deepwater King #20booksofsummer21

Book seven of my challenge and I am slowly getting excited that I might reach my goal this year for a change.


Deepwater King
Claire McKenna

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.

Amazon | Goodreads | Hive

I have been looking forward to this book for a while after really enjoying Monstrous Heart last year and I was excited to see where the story would go. I definitely found Deepwater King a lot quicker and easier to immerse myself in, I think that is because I got used to the author’s style from the first book and because I was armed with a lot more knowledge of the world this time around.

I have to admit I was quite excited that this story started with a look at the history of some of the characters, I remember having a few questions in my head after reading Monstrous Heart that I was hoping would be answered and I was pleased that this was addressed so quickly. The change of scenery was also refreshing because there was a lot of talk of the Sainted Isles in the first book so it was great to get to experience them and to see the differences between the mainland and the islands and also to get a more in-depth knowledge of the Deepwater people.

I feel that Deepwater King is a lot darker than the first book and the characters are put through a lot of suffering, this did make for compelling reading and really upped the stakes in terms of the tension but I did feel that some of what had really caught my attention in the first story; e.g the budding relationship between Arden and Jonah, and the strong friendship between Arden and Chalice; wasn’t carried over so much in this book so there wasn’t quite the same attachment to the characters that I had previously had. However, as I got further into the story I found I was as intrigued by what was happening with the plot and was curious to know how it would all pull together.

Strangely I feel that in this book Arden lost a lot of her strength, she came across a lot weaker in this book, now she does have a lot thrown at her and I admire the fact that she makes it through all her challenges but sometimes I felt especially more in the first half of the book like she just becomes a woman that has to be rescued rather than a woman trying to find her way out of a bad situation which was what I was expecting. Having said that she does start to come back to that in the second half of the book and starts to really understand herself and her power which was fascinating to read about. I already can’t wait to see how this develops in the third book and what the next change of setting will throw in Arden’s path.

I have to say that I am already looking forward to the next book, the ending of Deepwater King sets up the third book in such a way that I feel like it is going to be a magnificent and possibly quite an explosive conclusion and I just can’t wait to read it.

Reviews of other books by Claire McKenna

Monstrous Heart

book mad and generally creative

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