Beneath Cruel Fathoms

Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Author: Anela Deen

Published: May 2019

Series: #1 of The Bitter Sea



Thank you so much to the author, Anela Deen, for giving me an ARC of Beneath Cruel Fathoms via Goodread’s Making Connections group in exchange for an honest review.

Have you ever stood on a shore, and simply let the waves roar in your ears, the strong smell of the sea invade your nose, and let the sea air brush against your face? And you just stand there, still for a moment, letting the sea work on its glory. This is that book but more.


Beneath Cruel Fathoms is inspired by the Scandinavian folklore. Two different creatures in two different worlds meet due to a catastrophe. Different yet so similar in their own brokenness and loneliness, Isaura and Leonel find comfort in each other. However, a catastrophic storm tries to pry them apart. A healer and a guardian, they discover the secrets of the seas.

This book was just wonderfully magnificent. We see Isaura and Leonel’s point of view, and how their mind works is incredibly vivid to the point I was able to say “Yeah, I think like that too.” Their chemistry was also so outstanding. My heart broke for them, especially Leonel, and every touch they made, every interaction, had me on edge. Can’t stop yelling to get on with it!


The descriptions of the settings, especially those of the sea, were magnificent. If you’ve loved The Little Mermaid, and the Magnus Chase series, you’ll be bound to recognize a few concepts and names, but it also introduces new Scandinavian folklore.

This book also talks about infertility, overthinking, overcoming self-doubts and feelings of unworthiness, and how we all deserve love, and to be treasured. This book hit me in different spots. The plot, the characters are wonderfully made. (I’ve been repeating the word wonderfully for the nth time but it really is wonderful and more. Can’t get the right word at the moment).

First of The Bitter Sea trilogy, I can’t wait to read the next book!

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