Book Review: Fear the Drowning Deep
Published By: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Page Count: 304
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Historical Fantasy
I love a good historical fiction novel, but I adore it when an author can combine history with some element of fantasy. Sarah Glenn Marsh has crafted a tale set on the Isle of Man, a setting which evokes magic and myth all on its own, but she puts a spin on things that may or may not include witches, sea monsters, and ancient lore.
For starters, I have to admit that I know very little about the Isle of Man. I always assumed it was part of England or Ireland, but reading this prompted me to do a little research. I discovered its a self governing entity with close ties to Great Britain located in the Irish Sea between the countries of England and Ireland. I suppose my original assumption was fairly geographically correct, but my ignorance made me want to know more. The island is fascinating. I knew nothing of the Manx culture, the island's history, or the folklore surrounding this unique place. I, yet again, have a new travel item for my bucket list. The images online showcase beauty and rugged terrain. It appears to visit the locales from the book would truly be like stepping into the past. Marsh does a gorgeous job of bringing this setting to life.
In addition to learning about the Isle of Man and its culture, I loved the folklore in this one as it was new to me. I've heard European stories about fey and various creatures, but the ones in this one were slightly different. I won't spoil what exactly is in the waters, but it gave me chills. I'll certainly be eyeing the waves next time I visit the ocean.
There is a romance in this one and it took me awhile to get on board with it, but eventually I was happy with the development of relationship. It wasn't my favorite aspect of the book, but it didn't disrupt my enjoyment either.
One of the strengths of this novel is the main character, Bridey. She is headstrong, courageous, and intelligent in a time period when none of these traits were desirable in a woman. Bridey chooses to cast aside society's notions of how she should act and who she should be in order to focus on her dreams. It's refreshing to see a historical character standing up for herself and speaking her mind. I also admire those moments when Bridey sets aside her fears in order to do what's right.
All in all, I loved this novel. The setting, rich historical details, well developed characters, and folklore create an intoxicating read that kept me spellbound.
One Last Gripe: There were some "twists" that were predictable.
Favorite Thing About This Book: The setting
First Sentence: They found her body at dusk, washed up in a tide pool with a handful of sea urchins and a slender green starfish.
Favorite Character: Bridey
Least Favorite Character: Thomase
Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.
Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.
Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.