Whispers From the Depths by C.W. Briar

Book Blurb:

Joyful and blessed are Voice-bearers, for the Heavens have set them apart.

As Whisperers gifted with the Voice, Betka and her people are enslaved. Only they can control the dangerous spirits that haunt the waters, but they are forced to serve under cruel taskmasters. Betka has little hope of freedom from her service or her own bitterness.

They toil for the goodness of others.

A powerful water spirit terrorizes the castle where Betka’s sister is serving. Betka is assigned to the crew sailing to face the foe, and she fears for the only family she has left.

Rage is found nowhere in them.

In the beleaguered, flooded castle, a new threat awaits—a magic more powerful and horrifying than anything they have ever seen. Loyalties will be tested, and enemies will become desperate allies.

Betka is their only hope of escape—if she can subdue the wrath that endangers them all.

She who wields the waters for revenge drowns herself tenfold. 

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

Review:

“Let goodness be your defiance. One day, when the waters rise to take away the wicked, you will still be standing your ground, rooted and unmoved.” – Whispers From the Depths by C.W. Briar

I expected a thrilling ride, but I didn’t expect how much Whispers From the Depths could make you sweat.

Dark fantasy is definitely a hit or miss with me. I am addicted to suspense, though not horror, so if you can give me a story that has me white-knuckling the book and wondering who will make it out alive, but also not cross that line into flat out scary where I have to sleep with the lights on for the next month; then it is the perfect dark fantasy. Whispers From the Depths beautifully fits into that category.

It really didn’t take long for this book to hook me. With such an invigorating plot line, relatable main character, and high intensity suspense, Whispers From the Depths is not only an attention-grabber, but also an attention-captivator.

I loved the pacing of this novel. The story progresses over a couple of weeks but then, once the action starts, the remaining three quarters of the book is the happenings of one day, making the book very hard to put down. Think Jurassic Park, but the dinosaurs are an angry water spirit. Another movie that I found myself considering as a parallel (seriously, don’t laugh) is like, a very dark and bloody Moana…But I’m not going to expound on that, because, spoilers. But, the parallel is there, if only in my brain–and my brain alone…Maybe?

Side note: if the fear of drowning is a one of your top fears, probably avoid this book. I’m gonna have a hard time going near any body of water for the next few days.

The characters.

Oh my word.

I’ve heard so many writers advise on creating antagonists that have human and relatable motives for their actions, but that’s something that is far more easily talked about than actually accomplished in stories. That is not the case with Whispers From the Depths. All of these characters, with their vastly different beliefs, vastly different personalities, and incredible choices, make them so human. And Asi? Oh my goodness, she is everything we should strive to be, even though I feel like most of us fall closer to Betka.

Overall, this book took my breath away. With the suspense, with the morals and values, and with the characters, Whispers From the Depths is easily a 5-star novel that my friends will have to endure me ranting and raving about.

Content: There is very little cursing –by our language standards (I only counted a couple of “d**n”s). The characters do have a way of substitute cursing, like “spirit’s breath”, “son of a sow”, and other similar sayings. The gore is pretty intense and very detailed. So, it’s not for the queasy stomach. And lastly, the sexual content is very low, though there are crude jokes made by a few of the characters, and several instances in which the two female Whisperers are afraid of being forced to do something by the soldiers, but nothing happens.

So I recommend this books to fans of Dark Fantasy!

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