DEEPLIGHT is a wonderfully imaginative fantasy, perfect for deep sea lovers. I love how unique the world is and the descriptions of the different islands and old gods.
As intricate as the world building is, what really shines are two strong themes: friendship and historical narratives. It’s easy to see how Hark developed a strong loyalty to Jelt with their past. Jelt isn’t a flat villain who is always cruel. He has moments of decency. But the more he turns to selfishness and greed, the more you see how toxic his friendship is becoming to Hark. Hark has to learn to be brave and stick up for himself.
Between the legends of the gods and the stories Hark hears from the priests, you see how history can become mythology and specific narratives take shape, ones that don’t include the full picture. Even Hark, with all his desire to learn more about the gods, easily finds himself romanticizing a past he doesn’t have much information on, let alone accurate information. The shape of the narrative comes from who is telling the story and whose voice (or voices) is being purposefully left out.
Overall, DEEPLIGHT is an engaging, one of a kind story about friendship, gods, and finding courage.