I was thrilled to see Sarah Beth Durst did a standalone novel in the Queens of Renthia series and immediately dove into THE DEEPEST BLUE to see where she would take us in the world of Renthia.
Durst takes us to the island nation of Belene where we meet Mayara, a young woman on the verge of starting a life with her best friend and husband. She also hides a dangerous secret, she can control the bloodthirsty spirits of Renthia with her mind. During an attack on her village by the wild spirits, Mayara is forced to reveal her power to save her loved ones. And this line from the book was one of my favorites that described what Mayara did: She saved them. But in doing so, she doomed herself. Mayara is ripped from her family and home and taken to the Island of Testing with other women like her to either die or prove she can become an heir and help the queen control the spirits that threaten their way of life. It reminded me a bit of The Hunger Games.
To my utmost delight, the poisoner and alchemist Garnah is in this book. She is one of my favorite characters from the Queens of Renithia trilogy. Yes, she may be a sociopath but when she is on your side she is loyal. Also, she is one of the few characters I have met who knows who she is and not ashamed about any part of her nature terrible or good. One of my favorite lines from the book distills who she is: “Tell old Garnah your problems, and I’ll tell you who to kill to fix them. Never met a problem that a little murder couldn’t solve.”
DEEPEST blue is an excellent addition to the Renthia world. It’s filled with intrigue, danger, self-sacrifice, and friendship. If you loved the previous Queens of Renthia book, then you will definitely enjoy reading this one.