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The Descent of the Drowned by Ana Lal Din
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, arcs, arcs-read, reviews

** spoiler alert ** Free eARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger + content warnings: self harm (mentioned), death, parent death, sickness (mentioned), violence, guns, sexual assault, sodomization, grief, addiction, drug abuse, suicide (mentioned), castration (mentioned), transphobia, bigotry, human trafficking.

The Descent of the Drowned is set in a colonised Indo-Persian world and inspired by Pre-Islamic Arabian mythology.

Ana Lal Din has such a way of writing that you literally do not want to put down. Once I started, I just want to keep reading and fully submerge myself into the story and characters that she’s created. Her characters are real and even though both her main characters are from completely different backgrounds, they are both very similar.

The first thing that I want to note are the trigger warnings at the start of the book! While not every trigger warning was included, most were listed and to be honest, listing some trigger warnings is better than none.

I really loved is the way the book deals with a lot of different topics like assault, shame, human trafficking, transphobia and guilt. They were discussed in a good way, even if most were only mentioned and that is something I am very grateful for.

The book was a bit slowpaced but not in a bad way! Usually, this really makes me want to drop a book, but in this case it made me want to read even more. This gave me a chance to meet the characters and really get to know them with all their thoughts and flaws and doubts, which makes them even more real.

I loved all the characters (both main and side) so so much! I'm going to be honest, Roma's chapters were hard to read. Not because I found no interest in them (quite the opposite actually), but because of the way I related to her story. Her hardships were ones that hit deeper than I wanted them to. It was heartbreaking to read about her suffering but more importantly, I was so grateful that her trauma and abuse was not the only thing that made her character. In books, usually when characters have experienced sexual abuse, that is pretty much their entire story, but Roma's story was about freedom and power and most importantly, self discovery.

Then there's Leviathan. Through the book, two of the things that Levi struggled with was his grief because of the loss of his mother and his self discovery, just like Roma, but this time it was to step away from his title as the Blade. His grief was something that I also related to, especially since his mother died because of sickness and how he wasn't there for her at that time. Levi is the type of character that seems bad but is actually good. He has a lot he has to work through, especially if he wants to get rid of the mental cage his father put him in, but he is such an interesting character.

And the side characters! I loved Chirag, Junho, Kanoni, Malev, the White Wolves and so many others. I think despite them only being side characters, you really felt those characters while reading. They weren't just side characters, but they were just as important as Roma and Levi.

The ending literally left me in shock. It was one you could not see happening until you reach the very last chapters. Also, the way while reading I saw some of the tales I used to be told about as a child was also very heartwarming. For example, there was the tale of Habil and Qabil. It did bring a very nice memory back.

In conclusion, The Descent of the Drowned was one of my most anticipated reads for 2021 and this book made me very emotional. I can’t wait for the official release so I can recommend it to literally everyone.
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Reading Progress

September 9, 2020 – Shelved
September 9, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
December 12, 2020 – Started Reading
December 12, 2020 –
10.0%
December 13, 2020 –
24.0%
December 13, 2020 –
31.0%
December 14, 2020 –
40.0%
December 16, 2020 –
59.0%
December 17, 2020 –
83.0%
December 18, 2020 –
100.0%
December 18, 2020 – Finished Reading
January 25, 2021 – Shelved as: favorites
January 25, 2021 – Shelved as: arcs-read
January 25, 2021 – Shelved as: arcs
February 8, 2021 – Shelved as: reviews

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