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Once again, Sarah Beth Durst absolutely captivates me with a fantastical story which in some ways reminds me of a beach side Game of Thrones meets The Hunger Games. I absolutely adored Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst which I first read in December and I was delighted when she reached out to me and asked me to review The Deepest Blue.
The Deepest Blue is the story of a young spirit sister in the fictional world of Renthia. Life is simple for Mayara. She has a fiance and her mother and father whom she loves as well as a large extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Her fiance is the love of her life and the story really starts with the tale of their wedding which heads for disaster when a spirit storm reaches their side of the island. Mayara, who has hidden her power of being able to control the spirits, must use them to save the people she loves. In doing so, she has now exposed herself to the Queen who send the Silent Sisters after her. She tries to flee with Kelo, her now husband, but when the Silent sister catch up she has to choose to abandon her life that she loves – and Kelo – to join them, or she must choose to battle on the island for a spot as an Heir or die trying, and only the strongest survive. Her sister died on this island.
The world building in this novel is phenomenal and so important to moving the story along. I loved this world and the spirits that are the magic of this fantasy world. It was easy to feel like I was in this world with the characters. Sarah Beth Durst does such a good job jumping right into the action of the plot and moving it along in a quick, but understandable way.
There are a lot of characters in this world, but each character has their own persona that makes them easy to tell apart and relate to. One of my favorite characters is the Queen who leads a complicated and emotional existence. You can tell she really struggles with who she is in the position she is put in which I really related to.
One of my favorite aspects of this world was the idea of spirits, although most are vengeful, the spirits ranged from human like, to sea foam, to dragons, to birds. Everything seemed to have its own life which made the setting and the characters very united. I loved the idea of tiny sea foam spirits dancing on top of the waves and when Mayara took control of the dragon spirit at the beginning of the novel, I was absolutely taken with the idea of her powers.
Although this is a standalone, this book takes place in the same world as Sarah Beth Durst’s other series: The Queens of Renthia
I recommend this book to fans of Game of Thrones for complex characters in a complex world and fans of The Hunger Games for the same feeling of survival. I also recommend to any 16+ readers who love a good fantasy novel. I ended up giving this novel 5 out of 5 stars!