Book Review: Beneath Cruel Fathoms

Hi, hello, and welcome!! How’s your Monday going so far?! Mine is good, thank you<3

Today’s book is actually a book I’ve read last year for BBNYA, I just noticed that I have written/drafted the review but didn’t post it AND I think this is an exiting book that y’all should try out, so here you go!!

Beneath Cruel Fathoms (The Bitter Sea Trilogy #1) by Anela Deen

Genres: Fiction, fantasy, mythology


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. But 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.

Goodreads / Amazon

A child of two cultures, this kānaka maoli girl is currently living among the tulips and windmills of the Netherlands. She now fills her days with family and fiction under rainy Dutch skies. With a house full of lovable kids, a three-legged cat, and one handsome Dutchman, she prowls the keyboard late at night while the minions sleep. Coffee? Nah, she prefers tea with a generous spoonful of sarcasm.

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Beneath Cruel Fathoms is the first book in The Bitter Sea trilogy. A fantasy book with all the exciting elements; magic, magical creatures, and gods amongst them.

Its chapters are told from Isaura and Leonel‘s POV alternatively. I liked both to be honest, I felt like each POV was completing the other in a way. After the shattering end to her marriage, Isaura is heading back to her home island, Eisland, where her father and aunt await her. Her plans were literally drown deep in the sea when a violent storm attacked and destroyed her ship, everyone was swallowed by the Failock sea and she was going to join them if not for Leonel, one of the merfolk who were long believed to be extinct. Leonel is breaking one of the Blue Laws to save Isaura, but he had to, as the sea guardian, to investigate the reason behind these weird unexpected storms that seem to attack ships from nowhere, leaving behind just destruction. Isaura and Leonel form an agreement to work together to dig deep and find what’s happening. What they find out is both unpleasing and surprising, what should they do? Read the story to find out!

I truly loved this book more than I anticipated, it was very well written and touched upon some topics a lot of people can relate to. The tone used was spot on and I absolutely adored reading it!

The characters were well-descripted (both physically and mentally), though I would love to read stories on some character’s background (Ran, Leonel, Isaura, Jurek…). I really liked how the characters were vulnerable in their own ways, it made them even more relatable, and how each had their own struggles that they hopefully will be able to managed with practice and time.

I highly recommend it and personally can’t wait for the sequel!!

Have you read Beneath Cruel Fathoms?? If not yet, what are you waiting for?!!


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