Book Review: SONG OF THE ABYSS by Makiia Lucier

Title in yellow on purple octop
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: yes - companion book

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for ISLE OF BLOOD AND STONE*

Synopsis:

Book cover for SONG OF THE ABYSS: title in gold on purple with a octopus above

As the granddaughter of a famed navigator, seventeen-year-old Reyna has always lived life on her own terms, despite those who say a girl could never be an explorer for the royal house of St. John del Mar. She is determined to prove them wrong, and as she returns home after a year-long expedition, she knows her dream is within reach. No longer an apprentice, instead: Reyna, Master Explorer.

But when menacing raiders attack her ship, those dreams are pushed aside. Reyna’s escape is both desperate and dangerous, and when next she sees her ship, a mystery rises from the deep. The sailors–her captain, her countrymen–have vanished. To find them, Reyna must use every resource at her disposal . . . including placing her trust in a handsome prince from a rival kingdom.

Together they uncover a disturbing truth. The attack was no isolated incident. Troubling signs point to a shadowy kingdom in the north, and for once, the rulers of the Sea of Magdalen agree: something must be done. But can Reyna be brave enough to find a way?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

SONG OF THE ABYSS is the third of Makiia Lucier’s books that I’ve read, and easily cemented her as an auto-buy author.

This companion novel to ISLE OF BLOOD AND STONE follows Reyna, a side character from the previous book, as she sails the seas in search of new lands to map and record, and gets pulled into a dangerous mystery. There are lots of references to the previous cast (and probably lots of details I missed after an almost two-year gap between reading the books) but its focus is on the new cast, with the old serving as supporting, background roles.

The book takes us beyond the island of St John del Mar and all across the seas into foreign lands, notably an isolationist kingdom. As well as enlarging the world, it also helps to differentiate the two. This is a mystery spanning the seas, rather than spanning time – though both are about missing people loved by the leads, ultimately!

I loved the world building and the attention to detail with the map making equipment. There are so many little nods to shipboard life and the practicalities of it in the richer/posher cabins. Plus, the world’s mythology is interwoven through, adding the fantasy aspect, even though there’s not really any magic (though there are more fantastical elements than in ISLE, and all are rather unsettling!)

It has the same stately pace I’ve come to expect from Lucier’s books. The story moves along with such confidence, not hurrying in order to give time to explore the characters and their world. I really like this slower style that takes its time while keeping you hooked all the while.

Looking forward to seeing what Lucier writes next!


Read my reviews of other books by Makiia Lucier:

Tower of Winds (this series):

Standalones:

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