Rating: 5/5 Swords
GUYS. I am so, so excited to review Daughter of the Deep by Lina C. Amarego today! This book was hands down in my top three favorite reads of 2020, and I cannot recommend it enough. I’d been following Lina for sometime on social media, getting more and more excited about this pirate story of hers, and when she approached me about proofreading it prior to publication, I just knew I had to do it. Cue me fangirling the majority of the time while reading (though I promise I was still professional and got the job done *winks*).
And now, I finally have my own personal copy and it’s gorgeous self is sitting on my bookshelf! *heart eyes*
So, what is Daughter of the Deep about? Synopsis provided so I don’t butcher the summary of the magnificence that is this book…
“A wedding to end a war.
It’s been four years since the blood feud between the Branwens and Mathonwys started. Four years of sunken ships and loved ones lost, four years of wounds both seen and unseen. Keira Branwen is no stranger to duty. As the first mate of a legendary pirate ship, blessed the the sea-god Lyr, and heir apparent to her clan, she would sail to the Otherworld and back to keep her family safe. But when the Council threatens banishment for her people, Keira is faced with a choice; she must marry her father’s alleged killer, the sea-snake Ronan Mathonwy, or curse her family to the deep.
But in the Seven Isles of the Deyrnas, secrets sleep just beneath the surface of the water. Her father’s death is still shrouded in mystery, and Ronan — her childhood friend, the man she once loved — is hell-bent on proving his innocence. As enemies become friends and friends become suspects, Keira must wade through the water of doubt to expose the truth, save her family, and restore her father’s legacy. But Keira soon learns that there are ties thicker than blood, and there is more than one way to sacrifice a life.”
Okay, does anyone else have chills yet??? If not, time to read the synopsis again. *winks*
What’s not to love about this book?
I mean, there are pirates, for one. And Lina’s world is completely immersive so that you forget where you are when reading, which is amazing. Very few authors have ever pulled this off for me, even traditionally published ones, and I found I had to make myself stop reading for the day so I could move onto other tasks yet to be done.
Then, there’s the enemies to lovers trope, and Keira and Ronan are champions of it. Their snark and banter, their initial hate that grows into mutual understanding and even admiration, and then the flirting that gets thrown in… Ugh, you guys! They’re absolutely perfect for each other, and you’re both simultaneously enthralled by their interactions and dying to make them kiss-already-dang-it!
And the stellar personalities extend well beyond Keira and Ronan. Every single cast member in Lina’s book has a life, personality, thoughts, and motivations of their own. Nobody is stale or reads like the other. They have individual voices even as side characters, and with such a large cast, it’s an incredible feat to pull off, especially in a debut novel.
The pacing of the plot of this book is also one of the best I’ve ever read, and I swear I’m not just saying that. Again, I was on the edge of my seat while reading, and it was a challenge to stop myself at the end of a chapter and remember I had other work to do that day. All I wanted to do was keep reading, to find out what was going to happen next, where the adventure was going to take the characters I’d come to love, and truth be told, if I hadn’t been proofreading and had been reading for simple enjoyment, I probably would have finished this book in a day or two.
And finally, if that isn’t enough to make you want to read Daughter of the Deep, there’s a MASSIVE plot twist at the end that actually made me gasp out loud. It’s so well done, and the foreshadowing for it is subtle, so I was completely shocked when Lina revealed it, but at the same time it made sense for the story.
Also, the ending made me tear up a bit, so there’s that. Thank God there’s a book two in the works!!!
All in all, Daughter of the Deep is a RIDE, and I highly recommend you check it out! Though, a note of caution to my more sensitive readers — there is some vulgar cursing, as well as innuendos and non-explicit sex scenes. Still, a 5/5 Star read for me, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!