In Deeper Waters
by F.T. Lukens, narrated by Kevin R. Free
Published July 27th 2021 by Simon & Schuster Audio
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.
Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.
Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.
That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…
What I Liked
- The voice actor is perfect. Tal is the 4th child out of 5th siblings and he’s been hidden due to his magical abilities, so he’s a bit naive and not used to hardships. The narrator did an amazing job capturing Tal’s whines, making it clear that he IS the baby of the family. At the same time, he also able to capture Tal’s big empathy for others and his growth throughout the book. He also did a great job portraying the others siblings, especially Garrett and Cas, in coddling Tal.
- The family dynamics is just so healthy and warm 🥺💗 As I mentioned, Tal was one of the youngest so the others really babied him. And he’s also the one inheriting his Grandfather magic, which destroyed the neighboring kingdom and inspires hatred. Instead of casting him out, his family hides him while promising him that they would never use his power against his wishes. Further then the head of the kingdom is her mother, and she will pass the throne to her daughter (who’s also the first child), Isa. Her other sons, Garrett, Cas and Tal never once felt jealous or plotting against Isa and instead finding their own roles within the kingdom. It’s just really healthy, supportive, and I just love their siblings bantering against each other!
- The whole “Grandfather scorching neighboring kingdoms” and “water magicians hiding” really reminds me of ATLA lol
- The whole vibe is just so fun, with the banter and misadventures. The sea/ship/coves setting also make this book a perfect summer read.
What I Didn’t Like
- There’s just not a lot of adventure? I thought there will be more action but it’s more “things happening, our characters react to it”
- The world building and characters weren’t so fleshed out. Other than Tal and his family, I couldn’t connect with the other characters.
Overall, In Deeper Waters wasn’t a perfect read, but it was a fun and heartwarming one. If you’re looking for a quick summer adventure, this book is for you!