Title: The Drowned Woods
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling / Mythology
Publication Date: August 16th, 2022
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.
“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.” (Goodreads)
I enjoyed The Bone Houses and couldn’t wait to start the author’s latest book. The blurb mentioned a lot of cool aspects that could be found within the book and I was definitely more sold than before. Although I did like a lot of the book, there were things that were just bland and or didn’t grasp my attention as much as I had wanted.
The book is told from multiple point-of-views and I don’t know if it was worth it to have. I did like the past scenes that gave more information on the characters, but it meant less time with the main character Mer. I also wouldn’t saying that knowing more about them actually made me care about them. They kind of had their knack and that was that. When plot twists happened to the characters I can’t say that I felt any emotion towards them. I’m not saying they are bad characters because at times they were funny, but they didn’t keep me motivated.
The author does like animal sidekicks and there is one in this book who is a corgi. I like corgis but frankly, I thought the dead goat was better.
The prologue really pulls you in and is beautifully written. You feel for Mer and her situation and you want to know if she will ever get free from it all. I did like her for the most part but there wasn’t anything that made her stand out compared to other characters in the same genre. The prologue sets up nicely but there was pacing issues for me throughout the rest of the book. Nothing with the heist really happens until a bit after the halfway mark. There is more time talking about a past relationship than the relationship that is mentioned in the epilogue so I’m not really sure why it was mentioned since it felt insignificant. I could probably say that about other plot points as well.
Even though I had issues with the book, I still thought it was a good and quick read. It may not be memorable to me but it wasn’t terrible even if it may sound like that is how I felt, haha.
Overall, it was fine but just not entirely what I was expecting.