BENEATH THE HAUNTING SEA, by Joanna Ruth Meyer, Page Street Publishing Co./Macmillan



Sixteen-year-old Talia was born to a life of certainty and luxury, destined to become Empress of half the world. But when an ambitious rival seizes power, she and her mother are banished to a nowhere province on the far edge of the Northern Sea.

It is here, in the drafty halls of the Ruen-Dahr, that Talia discovers family secrets, a melancholy boy with a troubling vision of her future, and a relic that holds the power of an ancient Star. On these shores, the eerie melody of the sea is stronger than ever, revealing long-forgotten tales of the Goddess Rahn. The more dark truths that Talia unravels about the gods’ history—and her own—the more the waves call to her, and it may be her destiny to answer.

About Joanna Ruth Meyer

16278742 Joanna Ruth Meyer hails from Mesa, Arizona, where she lives with her dear family, a rascally feline, and an enormous grand piano. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to convince her students that Bach is actually awesome, or plotting her escape from the desert. She loves good music, thick books, loose-leaf tea, rainstorms, and staring out of windows. One day, she aspires to own an old Victorian house with creaky wooden floors and a tower (for writing in, of course!)


Okay, I received this book from Page Street Publishing in exchange for my honest review.  Let me get the following out of the way: The romance in this book, I feel, was messy and written more for a filler than written out of necessity. It could have been left out without impacting on the story as a whole. The beginning moves glacial slow, but in this kind of book, I don’t mind that since there are many important details that needed to be made clear before the book moved on to bigger and better things.  However, the pace was choppy, leaving me feeling like I was in a car on a journey to discovery where the car stalled all the time, and at places where it shouldn’t have.

With all that said, if you are a reader who enjoys immersive goth fantasy, then this book is exactly for you and you will enjoy it immensely.  If you enjoyed the whimsical feel you got from books like The Chronicles of Narnia, or, The Secret Garden, or “The Little Princess,” then you’ll fall hard for this author’s writing style, it is just as mesmerizing and engaging.  She writes with an eloquence that I’ve seen used by many masters of the same genre. Her voice will certainly take you places.

I did feel that the characterization of the Protagonist was complex, and even weak at times, however, for the points where this happened, perhaps, they could have been deemed necessary and she would have failed as a character without these flawed complexities. There were two characters that I absolutely loved: Wen and Talia’s mother. The undying devotion that Talia showed for her mother was exquisitely written. I also loved, loved, loved the author’s world building style and her use of magical elements added to the story in such a whimsical way.

Even with all the issues listed above, I absolutely enjoyed this book and recommend it to all who love this genre. I would welcome any comments or thoughts you may have about this story and author’s writing style, so feel free to leave your comments below.

I gave this book:


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