Title: The Drowned Woods
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Once upon a time, the kingdoms of Wales were rife with magic and conflict, and eighteen-year-old Mererid “Mer” is well-acquainted with both. She is the last living water diviner and has spent years running from the prince who bound her into his service. Under the prince’s orders, she located the wells of his enemies, and he poisoned them without her knowledge, causing hundreds of deaths. After discovering what he had done, Mer went to great lengths to disappear from his reach. Then Mer’s old handler returns with a proposition: use her powers to bring down the very prince that abused them both.
The best way to do that is to destroy the magical well that keeps the prince’s lands safe. With a motley crew of allies, including a fae-cursed young man, the lady of thieves, and a corgi that may or may not be a spy, Mer may finally be able to steal precious freedom and peace for herself. After all, a person with a knife is one thing…but a person with a cause can topple kingdoms.
Mer, sold by her family at a young age has a coveted gift and Prince Garanhir takes an interest in her for ill gains. Trained by a spymaster, Renfrew, she escapes and so does he….and they team up for a heist with some company including Fane and the lovely Trefor.
The characters were likable but Fane was the one I connected to but him and Mer were alike in many ways.
Mer – ‘The nobility called such people diviners.’
Renfrew – ‘He was whisper and steel, poison and shadow.’
Fane – ‘Fane was death itself.’
I really enjoyed this story full of Welsh folklore and I ached to read more about it and searched up some terms!
The writing was utterly beautiful, there was lots of action, drama and a few bombshells dropped!
The end made my heart sing a little. Overall a brilliant standalone!