The Drowned Woods

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Pub Date 16 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 18 Aug 2022

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Description

The right cause can topple a kingdom . . .

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. As the last living water diviner, she can manipulate water with magic - a unique elemental power many would kill to possess.

For years, Mer has been running from the prince who bound her into his service - and forced her to kill thousands with her magic. Now, all Mer truly wants is a safe, quiet life, far from power and politics.

But then Mer's old handler - the king's spymaster - returns with a proposition: use her powers to bring down the very prince that abused them both.

Part heist novel, part dark fairy tale, and rich with Welsh legends, The Drowned Woods is an ethereal fantasy, perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and Maria V. Snyder.

The right cause can topple a kingdom . . .

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. As the last...


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ISBN 9781399703949
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Average rating from 95 members


Featured Reviews

Nobody does magical stand-alones like Emily Lloyd-Jones.

Steeped in atmospheric folklore, this is a fast paced fantasy read, featuring a corgi you will fall in love with.
This book has moody characters, slow burn romance, bisexual rep, a heist, female guild leaders, welsh mythology, a magic system that will make your spine tingle and of course, a corgi who could be a spy.

In short, I loved it, and will continue to recommend ELJ’s books to everyone.

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I loved this book. It was well written with an enchanting storyline and well developed characters that engaged me the whole way through and that I fell a little bit in love with. The world building was incredible too with vivid descriptions and rich imagery, I felt like I was there. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to read more by this author.

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The Drowned Woods

Thank you Net Galley for this ARC!

** Welcome to the City of Caer Wyddno **

Beautiful lyrical fairytale prose with an opening that gripped me tightly and did not let me go until the very end.

Mererid - I love you!!

Mer’s diviner power was so fun to read. Every obstacle she encountered forced her to use her magic in a new and exciting way. The magic system as a whole makes perfect sense and is versatile enough to be different depending on each time it is used and whoever is using it.

The dialogue was excellent - the perfect balance between sounding natural but still effectively revealing information about the plot. The detailed imagery made the world feel so REAL. So many little details that truly transported me to the city.

It can be hard to stand out in fantasy, but despite incorporating a familiar fantasy trope - the heist - Lloyd-Jones’ story was original, witty and well-written. This is really up there with the greats. Emily Lloyd-Jones is extremely talented and a brilliant writer.

The Gaelic was beautifully interwoven, and even though some of the names were very foreign to me, I was able to read this effortlessly. I liked how the mythology was explored, at times humorous, but very informative.

The relationship between the main characters - Mer, Renfrew, Fane, Gryf, Emrik - was so fun to read! I loved the banter and the camaraderie.

Every fantasy lover should read this book!

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Thank you so much to the publisher and NetGalley for this eARC of "The Drowned Woods" by Emily Lloyd-Jones.

I am Welsh so reading a retelling about a Welsh myth was so exciting to me. And this read didn't disappoint. You could tell Lloyd-Jones did her research and the story was spectacular. Lloyd-Jones didn't overwhelm non-welsh people with Welsh but also included parts of Welsh culture that fitted perfectly with the English narrative.

Overall, this read was absolutely amazing and Emily Lloyd-Jones has immediately become a new favourite of mine.

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This book delivers exactly what it promises - a Welsh folklore-inspired heist with magic and slowburn romance.

Mer was born other-touched: she can control water. Because of her gift, she was taken from her father at eight years old and raised by Renfrew, spymaster to the Prince of Gwaelog. But she was made to do terrible things and fought to escape the shackles of the prince. Then Renfrew appears in her life again, with an outrageous plan - he wants to take down the Prince by targeting the magic that protects the city. But to do that, he needs Mer’s talents.

Joined by a merry gang, including a man who traded seven years of service for an other-touched ability to kill, a scholar of faerie magic, a thief, a hired hand and a corgi, they set out to take down the Prince.

It is fast-paced and high-stakes, but the character development is just as strong as the plot. And the TWISTS. I’m actually struggling to articulate everything I loved about this book because all of it was SO GOOD. I finished it and stared into space for five minutes because I had Feelings. I can’t recommend it enough - it’s a new favourite.

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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for this book.

As a huge fan of The Bone Houses, The Drowned Woods was one of my most highly anticipate releases for 2022 and it did not dissapoint. I enjoyed every moment reading this and felt immersed in such a well crafted world, with exposition revealing enough to be engaging but leaving part to the imagination, creating an air of mystery and myth surrounding the story. The story itself was so much fun, balancing tension, levity, and emotional hits that certainly landed for me (tears were shed by the end). Taking what may seem a typical heist story The Drowned Woods succeeds in its originality and firmly has it's own identity. The exploration of themes of guilt, identity, and responsibility were very well handled; however my one fault with the book is that at moments it did feel eager to move things along, rarely lingering on any moment, although this may just be my tastes speaking as I do prefer slower paced stories and would have loved to spend even more time with these characters.

My love for the main characters of this book really cannot be understated. While there were many intresting side characters I couldn't take my focus away from the main four: Mer, Fane, Ifanna, and Renfrew. Each character has a layered complexity and I couldn't help but get attached to them, with Mer and Fane in particular becoming new favourites of mine. Each has their own internal struggle and this leads directly into their complex relationships between one another. For these character trust is hard, trust can be dangerous, but trust is necessary; this world can be unforgiving and brutal and doesn't shy away from consequence and the horrors of power and betrayal. But this makes all of the connections formed the more heartfelt. Interactions are laced with desperation and longing for comfort, influencing how these characters act and the important choices they have to make; for better or for worse.

The Drowned Woods is an extremely fun read, filled with complexity, and the emotional core of it's main characters. It feels fresh and its own, with an immersive world full of personality and characters that were hard not to love. I highly reccomend it.

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A beautifully written book. Really enjoyed reading this. Thanks to publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read

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TW: mention of drowning, blood, death, violence, burning of homes, poisoning

REP: f/f romance, queer MC (not defined sexuality but has dated women and men)

Where do I even start with my review. I’m not sure I know how to put into words my thoughts around this book. I finished this book two hours into a eurostar journey back to the UK and valiantly tried not to cry for the remainder ~20% of this book.

I loved The Bone Houses and as soon as I saw Emily had another book coming I knew I needed to read it. I am so glad I did. The world, the characters, the plot - all divine. I am obsessed with Mer and Fane. They are precious to me and I adore them.

I just have no words. The pacing of this book was excellent from start to finish; it never felt slow or rushed and I settled into the world easily and with no confusion. What I loved about this book and what I loved about The Bone Houses is that it’s the characters that really matter. There is plot and there is world but the characters are so at the heart of the writing and it just seeps through the pages.

Also - there is a dog. A delightful and adorable dog who anyone would want as a companion. Spoiler alert: the dog survives.

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Loved everything about this book, the characters, the adventure, the magic, the writing and especially how fast paced it was. It was so well written I was hooked from the start and couldn’t stop reading it until I had finished. The ending was beyond beautiful and finished the book in such a way I think it will stay with me for a while. Also…loved Trefor the dog <3

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Emily has done it again! the bone houses was one of the best books I've read last year (I think) and I was drawn to the way she created compelling characters that I could relate to despite it being a fantasy. the romance was incredibly well done too. I genuinely dislike books with heavy romance but this was so subtle I adored it. the plot was easy to follow through, not too dense. absolutely well done <3

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Mer, sold by her family at a young age has a coveted gift and Prince Garanhir takes an interest in her for ill gains. Trained by a spymaster, Renfrew, she escapes and so does he....and they team up for a heist with some company including Fane and the lovely Trefor.

The characters were likable but Fane was the one I connected to but him and Mer were alike in many ways.

Mer - 'The nobility called such people diviners.'

Renfrew - 'He was whisper and steel, poison and shadow.'

Fane - 'Fane was death itself.'

I really enjoyed this story full of Welsh folklore and I ached to read more about it and searched up some terms!

The writing was utterly beautiful, there was lots of action, drama and a few bombshells dropped!

The end made my heart sing a little. Overall a brilliant standalone!

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The Drowned Woods follows Mer, the last water diviner, as she's offered the chance to bring down the prince who abused her. With the Prince's former spymaster, a fae-cursed young man, the lady of thieves, and a corgi that may or may not be a spy, she goes on a journey to find the magical well that keeps the prince’s lands safe and destroy it.

The Welsh mythology intwined with an amazing plot and lovable characters made for such an enjoyable read! It was fast paced with a slow burn romance that was perfect. Each of the characters had their own motivations and struggled with trust which led to some amazing twists!

Mer was a great protagonist (I loved her magic and backstory!) but Trefor the corgi stole the show for me. I didn't realise how badly I wanted more dog characters until this book. I highly recommend it if you're looking for an enchanting standalone full of Welsh mythology!

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Part heist novel, part dark fairy tale, and rich with Welsh legends, The Drowned Woods is an ethereal fantasy. This was just the most beautiful book ,from it's gorgeous cover to the immersive storyline. I haven't read anything quite as engaging as this in recent years!

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The Drowned Woods is an exciting, fast paced adventure with lovable characters and lots of magic!

Mer is the last living water diviner, who is on the run from the prince that forced her to kill with her magic. When approached by her old handler with an opportunity to bring him down, Mer agrees.

This fun heist had Welsh influences woven throughout and I became incredibly invested in it. I would have liked it to be a little longer because the plot felt a little rushed at times, but overall I thought the fast pace suited the book.

My favourite character quickly became Trefor, the lovable corgi. The addition of a dog really added to the book and made it truly unique in comparison to other fantasy books!

This is the first book I have read by this author and I am very eager to read more. Halfway through reading, I discovered that book is in fact set in the same world as The Bone Houses, however The Drowned Woods can be read as a standalone.

Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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An absolutely bewitching tale of a witch on the run, an unwilling muscle for hire who refuses violence, and a chaotic good thief, The Drowned Woods is a fast-paced and enchanting Fantasy heist story that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.

The main character, Mer, is a water diviner who was stolen from her biological family by the crown prince to be used as his weapon. She is every bit the YA heroine you would love to read about--she has no issues killing people for survival, but she will happily throw away her freedom and risk her life to protect innocents. In fact, it's her unwavering moral compass that lands her in trouble and sets off the story; Mer is on the run when she is recruited by Renfrew, her former kidnapper/stand-in-father, the renowned spymaster. He gives her an offer she cannot refuse: destabilize the prince and his precious kingdom, still his fortune, and win back her freedom.

I'll admit, in the beginning, it was a bit hard to delve into this story. And I found it a bit difficult to even appreciate Mer as a character. But with every chapter, she grew on me. I loved watching her transform from a woman on the run, to a woman on a mission to pull off an impossible heist, to becoming a hero who chooses the lives of others over her own.

The book is narrated through multiple perspectives, the primary being that of Mer and Fane--our other main characters who stole my heart immediately. Like Mer, Fane is also powerful, but while Mer isn't above using her power to shed blood, Fane is completely against the use of violence even if it is to save his own skin.

Which is extremely ironic because Fane's gift is that he can kill without ever being wounded, and when he is recruited on the heist, his role is to play the muscle for hire.

Oh, and we also have a corgi! He is quite an important main character too. I absolutely every single scene he was in.

It is through these contradictory characters that the story begins to unveil itself. On the surface, The Drowned Woods seems like a thrilling YA fantasy adventure about a heist, but since the plot is very much character-driven, the author slowly and masterfully reveals an unexpected twist that I could have never predicted. There is a bit of romance thrown in, but it is never the focus and develops very, very slowly as our main characters grow and mature over the course of the events of the book.

The world-building was phenomenal; I absolutely loved the descriptions of each and every location, but particularly those of the fairy lands and otherwordly creatures. There are many, many references to Welsh myth here, a subject that I am completely unfamiliar with but will definitely be looking into now, and they were interwoven masterfully into the plot of the story. The magic system was intriguing too--it was just the right amount of mystery, but there was a balanced logic to it that made it almost believable.

And the character development was absolutely spot on for everyone--not only for Mer and Fane, but also for other characters such as Renfrew, Mer's secondary love interest Ifanna (yay for bisexual rep!), and even the "villain" Prince Garanhir. I say villains with quotes, because in truth, while there are cruel and merciless characters in this book, there are no stereotypical good guys or bad guys--all of the characters are varying shades of morally grey, and I absolutely loved it.

"The greater good" is a central theme of this novel, and I loved how the author makes us question: at what point do we draw the line? At what point does justice become vengeance, and how can we, as mere individuals, choose which lives should be sacrificed, when all life is innocent and sacred?

As this is a standalone book, the author wraps up the ending perfectly. All lose ends are tied, and yet, I am a bit conflicted about the final resolution. A part of me wishes that the author had ended the story several chapters ahead--with an unexpected tragedy. It would have been more realistic and profound, in my opinion. At the same time, the real world has enough tragedies on its own, so why not have a happy ending in fantasy instead?

And what a beautiful, happy ending it was.

It took me a while continue with this book and truly immerse myself in it, but boy am I glad I took my time and finished it. A truly phenomenal, and unforgettable fairy tale, The Drowned Woods is a must-read for anyone who loves fairy tales, magic, unapologetic heroines and cute adorable corgis.

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Inspired by Welsh folklore the protagonist Mer is the last water diviner. The kingdom and Prince 'own' her and take advantage of her special gifts. She longs to be free. Mer is a unique MC and her story reflects her individuality. Beautifully written, Emily Lloyd-Jones is a genius!

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They say that a girl was responsible for the flooding of Cantre'r Gwaelod, an ancient kingdom off the coast of Wales where Cardigan Bay now stands. They say she was the guardian of a magical wellspring, and when she deserted her post, the magic failed and the sea rushed in, drowning The Lowland Hundred.

Now, we hear the tale from her perspective.

Mererid is the last living water diviner, taken from her family as a child and pressed into service by the prince of Caer Wyddno. After the prince uses her powers to find and poison the wells of a neighbouring kingdom, Mererid realises the true nature of the man she serves and runs.

She has spent years of the run, the prince's men forever on her heels. Just when she thinks that perhaps she will never be able to stop running, her former teacher, spymaster Renfrew, offers her the chance of a lifetime: find the Well, steal the magical items within, bring a kingdom to its knees. She would be rich enough to run somewhere that she could truly begin anew. She would finally have justice, finally be free.

All they need now is a team.

Fane is an ironfetch, pledged to the service of the Tylwyth Teg, the fae. Blessed with the ability to sense iron and cursed with the magic of death, Fane once sought to avenge his family, killed by mercenaries when he was a child.

Now, Fane is tired of death and violence. He only wants his seven years of service to be over. But when he kills the mercenary that Mererid sought to hire, he finds himself signing up for a heist.

Together with a princess of thieves, a scholar, a man of dubious background and a corgi who may or may not be a spy for the Tylwyth Teg, the group must find their way through treacherous sea cave and magical traps, and past the water horses known as the Ceffyl Dŵr and the legendary chief of the boars, Ysgithyrwyn.

The Drowned Woods is a magical tale that transports you to the beautiful lands of Wales, filled with legend and myth. It's beautifully written, and the characters each have their own, understandable motivations. The line between good and bad and hero and villain is blurred in many cases. There is intrigue, humour and adventure, and throughout it all Welsh folklore is interwoven in a way that feels so alive.

A wonderful, captivating read.

And yes, the dog survives!

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First of all thank you so much to Hodder&Stoughton and NetGalley for sending me an advanced copy of this in exchange for an honest review!
Also, everybody needs to set a reminder right this second for the 16th August to pick this up. This was so amazingly written and had me rooting for every single character. I honestly don't think I have ever felt so attached to main characters as I did to Mer, Fane and Ifanna. I adored the plot and thought the concept was so interesting and unique. This book made me feel every single emotion - I laughed, smiled and even cried. This will 100% be one of my top recommendations to anyone who asks for a fantasy for the foreseeable future! I am so excited for more of the author's work :)

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★ Absolutely stunning. ★

Emily Lloyd-Jones has outdone herself. The Drowned Woods was so beautiful, and is without a doubt my top book of the year so far. I will cherish this book forever, and am so glad to have stumbled across it on Netgalley (thanks to its gorgeous UK cover).

If I was to talk at length about everything I loved about The Drowned Woods, we'd be here all day, and I'd rather anyone reading this review spend their time reading this masterpiece of a book instead. What I will say, however, is that these characters completely captured my heart. I adore Mer, and how complicated she is, and her history, and her dynamic with Renfrew especially (ELJ really tugged at my heartstrings with this one). Fane was wonderful, but of course Trefor the corgi was even better (what a sweet little baby <3). And I can't not talk about Ifanna, the princess of thieves who exudes the most Chaotic Good energy.

I usually prefer a bit more romance in my books than what we got here, but honestly, I don't even care. The Drowned Woods didn't need any more romance than what it had, and everything else about it was so perfect anyways. Unfortunately I didn't have time due to university exams, but I could have very easily devoured this in one sitting. It was simply enchanting, and I was hooked from the very beginning.

I will 100% be reading more of Lloyd-Jones' work now (especially The Bone Houses); her writing style is so beautiful, and the 'fairy tale' description you've no doubt seen alongside this book is right on the money. I really hope ELJ writes more books set in this world, because I adored the worldbuilding and magic system, and would absolutely love to see more of it.

Anyone who enjoys fantasy books should pick this up. You won't regret it.

The biggest thank you to Kate Keehan at Hodder and Stoughton for the eARC!

↠ 5 stars (and a place on my all-time favourites list)

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Taken from her family against her will when she was only a child and forced into service for the prince, Mer is a water diviner with power so great that she can manipulate the seas themselves. She is also in hiding, having been neglected, branded and used for so long as a weapon in wars she did not understand, and now that she has escaped all she wants is a quiet, normal life. Three months on, serving drinks in a tavern, she thinks that she might have that, but when her new home is overrun by guards, and the prince’s spymaster approaches her with an opportunity to escape again and have revenge against the man who put her through so much trauma, she finds herself unable to refuse the chance.

I think I may have found a new favourite author. This was incredible, I enjoyed every moment I spent reading this. The world-building is rich, the characters stand alone from each other with several individual quirks that made me question their intentions but like them no less. I loved the magic system, the concept of different kinds of diviners and fae-touched humans, and although I do wish that we had more page time given to them and a deeper exploration of this magic, I didn’t feel like something was missing during my initial read because despite there being potential for elaboration on it, the limits of Mer’s story were well defined from the beginning.

I loved the host of characters that we got, but especially Fane. The concept of fae-touched humans in general fascinated me, I hope that in future books we might get more of that. Generally I thought that he especially was fantastically written, with a fairly brutal internal struggle and a love for a little dog that really touched me at points. His complex relationship with Mer as the book went on got me incredibly invested, I was really rooting for them as potential love interests even when alternatives were introduced and I can’t begin to put into words how lovely the final scenes between them were.

This was a really solid fantasy-heist and I am really eager now to read more of the author’s work, especially after seeing how well received all of Lloyd-Jones’ work seems to be. A perfect YA fantasy that was quick to read and incredibly satisfying, this was just what I needed right now.

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<i>Thank you Little Brown and Netgalley for providing me an eARC of this book in return for an honest review.</i>

There are so many things that drew me to this book. First of all, the cover is GORGEOUS. I can't wait to have it on my bookshelf. Secondly, the blurb instantly drew me in. I truly believe that this book can be the biggest winner of 2022. I don't say that lightly.

A heist? Elemental magic? An animal companion?

I got sucked into the world so quickly and fell in love. It reads like a thrilling fairytale with high stakes and I can't wait to turn to the next page. The story has Welsh folklore and mythology woven into it and it makes it so intriguing.

The main character is a young woman on the run from her past. A water diviner that used to work in service of the prince. Used and tricked to participate in wars against her will. Her old mentor and father figure, the prince's ex-spymaster offers her a job that would allow Mer her one dream. Enough coin to get far from the prince's clutches.

Joining their little band of outcasts is Fane, an ironfetch connected to the otherfolk and haunted by death. And his corgi, who might very well be the star of the book, just for his overall cuteness and the fact that he may or may not be a spy?

The dynamics and relationships of the characters are amazing and at moments utterly surprising. Every character has its own complexity and I got attached to every single one.
The worldbuilding and history are top notch and wanted more in a good way. The magic system made me enthralled with the descriptions of how it differed for every magical capable being.

Overall I really loved this book, staying up until 2 am to finish it was no hard choice. It was a great, fresh YA Fantasy standalone that didn't have a boring moment from the prologue to the ending. Also, that epilogue? It left me a sobbing mess.

I'll definitely pick up Emily Lloyd-Jones' other books.

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★★★★★ 4.5/5

As the last living water diviner who was once owned and controlled by the prince, eighteen year old Mer is no stranger to conflict and being on the run. Still dealing with the knowledge that the prince poisoned the wells she found, killing entire villages, Mer would do anything to exact her revenge on him.

When Renfrew, Mer’s old mentor and the prince’s spymaster offers her a chance to do just that, Mer is more than ready to join him. What she isn’t expecting is the rest of the people who form their crew, including an adorable corgi, and the lady of thieves herself.

Together, they must destroy the magical well that protects the prince’s lands, and what seems so straightforward at first, soon becomes a dangerous and life-threatening endeavour. Mer wants the freedom she was promised when she undertook the job, but she’s not the only one with an agenda, and people she thought she could trust are never who they really claim to be.

This was my first Emily Lloyd-Jones book, and after seeing the rave reviews for The Bone Houses, and with the Welsh mythology that The Drowned Woods is loosely based upon, I knew I just had to read this. As a fan of Welsh mythology, I had briefly heard of Cantre’r Gwaelod (basically the Welsh Atlantis), and whilst this place is a focus in the novel, you don’t need to have any prior knowledge of the mythology, or even of Wales. The world building does more than enough to give you a sense of place, explaining where necessary everything you need to know.

As for the characters, I loved them all, and I especially loved the dynamics between Mer and Renfrew, as well as the past between Mer and Ifanna. I also enjoyed how instead of having reveals of character’s backstory through conversations with main character, Mer, the book was made up of alternating between three character’s points of view. I found this was such an effective way to develop the characters, offering a deeper insight into them. Most of all, though, Trefor the corgi stole my heart, and minor spoiler alert – he doesn’t die. The dog is fine, which I will admit was a worry whilst reading.

The plot does begin to lull just slightly in parts, but then it picks right back up, and before you know it you’ve finished the book. As a standalone novel it’s an easy read for those looking to read a single novel instead of the beginning of a series, and then having to endure the wait for a sequel. And as a standalone, everything is neatly wrapped up by the end. I do wish there was a little bit more to it in terms of length, as some small parts seemed rushed, but this doesn’t stop it from being a new favourite for me, and I can’t wait until it’s out so I can recommend it to everyone.



Did I like the book? Yes

Did I love it? Yes! There was so much to love, from the characters to the magic, and the world it’s set in.

Would I recommend it? Without a doubt. I will be adding this to my favourites list. It’s perfect as a standalone, and for anyone who wants a heist novel with deceptive characters, magic and an adorable dog, this is for you.

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5⭐️

I loved this! It was like LOTR x ATLA x SoC all meshed into one. It was a little slow in the beginning but still drew me in and the plot had enough twists to keep me thinking and surprised.

I liked the vibes in the book and felt it was well-written, I feel like I’d enjoy an adult version of this with maybe a little more grit and darkness, but it was still good as it was. It had a bit of a fairytale vibe or like an old legend, which I think is what the book was going for – so it definitely succeeded there!

I thought the rep in this book was good too, I love when there are bi MCs and it’s just not a big deal, it’s simply there. Also the little corgi was so cute and mischievous.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this and thought it was a great read.

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(Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an eARC in exchange for an honest review)

One of my favourite parts of this book was the Welsh mythology. It was super interesting to read about, magical and enchanting. This book is filled with myths, legends as well as mythological creatures and places (including Welsh Atlantis!).

I really liked the main character Mer and her powers (she is essentially a superpower water bender). She was smart and resourceful, fierce but also kind. She had some great dialogue and I loved the interactions she had with all the other characters. There was a great mixture of characters with different skills and personalities that created a fun group dynamic.

And I have to talk about the corgi!!!! He was one of the best parts of this book and was so adorable just following everyone around (not to mention he's also a spy). The plot was great and even though it is a little slow in the middle, the ending more than makes up for it. There's tension and mystery but also humour and even a cute slow-burn romance which I loved.

This was a great standalone and perfect for anyone wanting to read something featuring a heist, Welsh mythology, magic and the cutest corgi!

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Absolutely breath-taking, LGBTQ+ representation with a stellar storyline. Completely loved it, thank you for such a wonderful novel

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I loooooooved this standalone so much. The writing and story of the Welsh myth Cantre’r Gwaelod was so beautiful and gripping. I loved Mer and her strength, despite all that she’s been through. Adored Fane and Trefor (the cutest dog I have ever seen in any book) and Fane’s character development throughout the book. Ifanna was also a great addition and I loved her spirit and attitude.

The plot twists were amazing and I literally gasped at one at the end. I really didn’t see it coming. The author really has a way of capturing your senses so that you are completely off guard when she throws a twist out of nowhere.

The epilogue was soooo cute and I wish we could have had another 50 pages of it. Another review mentions it being connected to “The Bone Houses”, which I haven’t read yet so that will be next on my list!

In summary, we need more Welsh folklore in our lives.

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I wasn't sure about picking this title up. But after being convinced by one of my dearest friends to dive in - I went head first into this Welsh folklore based ethereal setting and fell in love!
What happens when a water diviner, an ironfetch, a spymaster and a corgi who senses magic (Yes you heard me!) decide to take down a treacherous Prince in an adventure filled heist? Honestly - not what you expect, and that's one of this books stand out features!

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This book was an absolute JOY! Like a welsh version of Little Thieves, I absolutely adored this adventure with Fane, Mer and little TREFOR!

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I absolutely adored this book! It was original with a beautiful blend of myth and adventure. I felt that there was the perfect balance between character and plot development - and I just loved Mer and Fane. The grappling of both characters between who they were and who they wanted to be was fascinating.

A real pageturner that I devoured in a day !

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