Title: In Deeper Waters
Author: FT Lukens
Review by: Dani Hoots
Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.
Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.
That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…
This books was so cute and charming! Tal is sailing around the kingdom as his coming-of-age tour and saves a young man by the name of Athlen. Athlen jumped off the boat and Tal believes he is dead. Heartbroken, he tries to distract himself—until he runs into him on land.
Tal is a kind character who wants to help. He wants to listen to his people and do whatever he can to ease their suffering. There is one catch, however, and it is that Tal can use magic. Magic is very frowned upon in this world since Tal’s grandfather destroyed many other kingdoms with magic and killed a lot of different creatures. This puts a large target on Tal’s back—so much so that he is kidnapped.
Athlen is a complex and fun character as well and the two are so adorable together. This felt very much like a Little Mermaid retelling and I loved it for that. It was a quick read, which is also nice for me since I get distracted easily with all the stuff I juggle… If you love YA gay romances with princes and fantasy, then definitely check this story out!