Tensions are building, and as a tyrant hunts down an ancient treasure, the consequences may be explosive. The book begins slowly, with lots of characters and world-building that make it a bit tough to get into at first. However, once it picks up, things really move quickly and the plot becomes quite absorbing. There are definitely challenging and intense topics covered within, including trafficking, prostitution, self-harm, and violence. The characters are really well constructed, and the way that they are forced to fit roles in society that are dangerous and harmful is conveyed strongly, as well as the personal consequences of such choices.
Dark, atmospheric, and with challenging themes, THE DESCENT OF THE DROWNED is a heavy but compelling YA fantasy read.