Beneath the Haunting Sea
By Joanna Ruth Meyer
Published January 9, 2018 by Page Street Publishing
Beneath the Haunting Sea is a beautifully written young adult fantasy with gothic sensibilities. It starts off with a bang. Young aristocrat Talia Dahl-Said learns that she is the Emperor of Enduena’s daughter and is named heir to the throne. Moments after the announcement is made, the emperor dies, Talia’s half-sister steals the throne, and Talia is branded a traitor and exiled to a remote outpost of the empire. She arrives in Ryn to stay at the estate of a baron and his slightly odd son Wendarian, to whom Talia is betrothed as a condition of her banishment.
The estate is glooming and forbidden. The Baron’s two wives died under mysterious circumstances that no one will talk about. There are locked rooms that Talia is forbidden to enter. And the sea seems to be calling her. The gothic elements are really well done. The writing really lovely, and the creepiness is so well done.
A big part of the story deals with the mythology of the empire’s gods and goddesses. Talia isn’t really a believer, but she has to reevaluate her beliefs when she comes to Ryn and feels called by the sea. The myths are caught up in the mysteries of Ryn, and the author does an excellent job of integrating them into the story.
I really enjoyed this book. Talia is a great character, the gothic elements were great, and there’s a very sweet romance. Highly recommended.
I received a review copy from the publisher.