Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.
Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.
Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.
Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
With such an interesting cover and synopsis, I was super intrigued about Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh, and decided to give it a try. I’m happy I did. It was a strong YA fantasy book that had good, strong characters, and interesting lore behind it.
Bridey and her family were really fantastic and reminded me a bit of the girls from Little Women, allowed to be strong and free willed in a time where perhaps they were expected to be a bit more demure. Bridey herself was a lovely character that was strong in both her fears and then overcoming them. What Sarah Glenn Marsh really did well, for me at least, was in keeping Bridey’s reaction to finding out the truth about Fynn realistic. There are so many other YA books that would have romanticized that revelation, but Marsh kept it true to life and I absolutely love her for doing that. It would have been completely out of character for Bridey to simply accept Fynn instantly.
Marsh also perfectly encapsulates what small town life is like where everyone is involved in everyone else’s business. Everyone knows about Fynn being taken in by Bridey’s family and word is just continually spread about every time piece of gossip that can be found, included that of the “old witch” Morag, who is such a sympathetic character towards the end (though I really like her from the start).
The mythology and fantasy of Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh is incredibly solid. The pacing is fantastic, never do you feel it go too fast or move too slowly. Build-up to relationships is good and so is the climax and ending (which had me sad, happy, and hopeful at the same time). If you’re a fan of historical YA with a bit of romance and mythology/supernatural, this is definitely a winner for you!
About the Author
Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since.
When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watercolor painting, ghost hunting, and pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like.
Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued greyhounds, a bird, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the Reign of the Fallenduology, and several picture books.