cover image Daughter of the Merciful Deep

Daughter of the Merciful Deep

Leslye Penelope. Redhook, $19.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-316-37822-2

Penelope (The Monsters We Defy) fuses magical realism, folklore, and African American history into a profound and rousing fantasy set in 1935 in the American South. Twelve years after armed men forced Jane Edwards and her family from their home, a traumatic event that caused Jane to lose her voice, she faces the daunting task of saving her new home in the all-Black town of Awenasa from the construction of a dam that threatens to bury the community underwater. As the threat looms, Jane encounters a man named Rob, whom she believed to be deceased, emerging from the very waters where his neighbors laid him to rest. Rob introduces Jane to an underwater realm of ancestral magic and gods—a discovery that could be the town’s salvation. Now Jane and Daniel, the son of Awenasa’s founder, race against time to persuade the community that their redemption lies in embracing magic. Along the way, Jane must reckon with her traumatic past. Jane’s character leaps off the page, buoyed by a supporting cast who breathe life into the narrative. Meanwhile, the romance that develops between Jane and Daniel adds sweetness. This potent work packs a punch. Agent: Arley Sorg, KT Literary. (June)