The Descent of the Drowned

The Descent of the Drowned
Age Range
Release Date
March 15, 2021
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She is bound to serve. He is meant to kill. Survival is their prison. Choice is their weapon. As the sacred slave of a goddess, Roma is of a lower caste that serves patrons to sustain the balance between gods and men. What she wants is her freedom, but deserters are hunted and hanged, and Roma only knows how to survive in her village where women are vessels without a voice. When her younger brother is condemned to the same wretched fate as hers, Roma must choose between silence and rebellion. Leviathan is the bastard son of an immortal tyrant. Raised in a military city where everyone knows of his blood relation to the persecuted clans, Leviathan is considered casteless. Lowest of the low. Graduating as one of the deadliest soldiers, he executes in his father's name, displaying his worth. When he faces judgement from his mother's people-the clans-Leviathan must confront his demons and forge his own path, if he ever hopes to reclaim his soul. But in the struggle to protect the people they love and rebuild their identities, Roma's and Leviathan's destinies interlock as the tyrant hunts an ancient treasure that will doom humankind should it come into his possession-a living treasure to which Roma and Leviathan are the ultimate key. Set in a colonised Indo-Persian world and inspired by Pre-Islamic Arabian mythology, The Descent of the Drowned is a tale about power, identity, and redemption, and what it takes to hold on to one's humanity in the face of devastation. TW: Physical and emotional abuse, mention of rape and sodomisation, sexual assault, suicide, bigotry, drug abuse, and human trafficking.

Editor review

1 review
dark and intense YA fantasy
Overall rating
Writing Style
THE DESCENT OF THE DROWNED is a riveting and dark YA fantasy. The book follows Roma, a sacred prostitute, unhappy with service to her gods, and Leviathan, a soldier in the lowest caste. Each has major struggles in their own lives, forced to fit a mold that does not work. Their social status as the lowest of the low is constantly made aware to them, and they see the others around them in the same positions, and it is defeating to see such abuse to yourself and those you care about.

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.
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