Book Reviews

Book Review: Deepwater King by Claire McKenna

Happy Wednesday bookish people! Today is my stop on the book tour for Deepwater King by Claire McKenna, the sequel to Monstrous Heart and the second in the Deepwater trilogy. Thank you to Jennifer Harlow for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

As with all my reviews in this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Deepwater King Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I enjoyed the plot of this book overall. I liked the premise and the fantasy elements of the story. One of the main parts I enjoyed was the complex magic system, I did find myself getting confused sometimes about this but this always passed quickly. It was nice to see, in this novel, a different type of special ability that I rarely see in books, in this book it is a type of blood magic called Sanguinem – or bloodworker. From the very first chapter there is a dangerous energy to this novel and the story has threads of danger, religion and sacrifice as an undercurrent which was very intriguing. This book felt slightly too dark for me but this is because I usually read fantasies that aren’t so complex however, I still enjoyed the worldbuilding and plot of this book. I’m also very drawn to books that feature water (and this book has it in the title) so it was a good one for me to pick up.

Deepwater King Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The two main characters in this book are Arden and Jonah and both of them were very well developed in this book. I didn’t feel much of a connection to either of the characters within this novel, and that is something that makes me really enjoy a book, so I wasn’t completely engaged with everything that happened in this novel. It didn’t take away from the story completely and I did still enjoy the characters and how they interacted with each, the background characters as well as the main characters.

Deepwater King Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I struggled with some of the writing style to begin with, because the language has a slight historical feel to it in my opinion, and so this meant I wasn’t fully immersed in the story the whole time. The author has created beautiful imagery within this book though that helped to create some atmosphere that I wanted to keep reading and be involved with.

Deepwater King Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Overall I gave this book three stars because although I enjoyed this book I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would and I am undecided if I will read the third book in the trilogy.


Since losing her great love to the Queen of the Sainted Isles, Arden must fulfil an impossible promise before she can return home – she must complete the dangerous Rite that will return Jonah’s spirit to the abyssal Court of the Deepwater King.

This sets her off on a journey far out at sea to find believers of the old religion on the oil-slick and mysterious islands beyond the horizon. But such a responsibility will not come without sacrifice, for the Deepwater folk who worship the King require the most desperate payments the soul, and with one man Arden may have to pay the greatest price of all…

Astonishingly original, with world-building to rival the depths of the ocean, McKenna has drawn a rich tale of longing and courage – penning the perfect oceanic steampunk fantasy.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!