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“The world can sustain the needs of many, but the greed of a few can destroy it for all.”

From the DepthsTaking place roughly a thousand years before the events of Of Thieves and Shadows, From the Depths is a deeply intimate yet marvellously epic prequel novella brimming with seafaring adventure, fearsome pirates, mystical magic, mythical creatures and artefacts, and complex family bonds that will tug on your heartstrings in ways you could never have anticipated.

From the Depths tells the harrowing tale of the notorious Brune family, whose pirating skills have recently drawn the attention of the emperor. Through the eyes of the young siblings Konar and Karliah, we embark on a perilous bounty hunt for a magical artefact that is little more than a myth. With danger and treachery lurking around every corner, bonds are tested beyond belief and soon they are faced with the devastating sacrifices required to secure their prize.

Now, I personally read Garcia’s debut Of Thieves and Shadows before diving into From the Depths, and Konar and Karliah were quite possibly two of the most intriguing and enigmatic characters in that story for me. So getting a glimpse into their past, trying to understand how they ended up as the people they are a thousand years later, was absolutely fascinating to me.

Within just a couple of pages, Garcia draws some of the most emotionally complex characters you will ever have the pleasure of reading about. I always love a good sibling dynamic in my fantasy, and the relationship between Karliah and Konar was just executed to perfection in From the Depths. The deep, undying love and loyalty hiding behind their sibling rivalry and teasing banter reminded me so much of my own childhood with my brother, and that immediately made me latch onto these two precious kids.

They are both so believably young and impulsive, yet also extremely wise and tragically jaded beyond their years. I loved the dual POV set-up, allowing us to really dive deep into both of their minds and experience their individual dreams, pains, hopes, and fears in a chillingly intimate way. Especially the complicated feelings towards their parents, whose own flaws and inner demons are brutally exposed on the page, made my heart ache in a way I was not prepared for.

Though as deeply impressed as I am with how much Garcia packed into these few pages, I do have to admit that the pacing in From the Depths felt a bit rocky to me in places. Sometimes the transition from scene to scene felt slightly rough, and especially the start was quite overwhelming and a bit choppy with how quickly we are launched into the action. I wouldn’t have minded the plot to be a bit less hectic, so that the rich character work could have shone ever brighter.


Yet aside from that, it was honestly all smooth sailing. Garcia’s prose just flows so beautifully, and her wild imagination makes this epic world so incredibly captivating and enthralling. Rich lore, diverse and unique fantasy races, wondrous scenery, mythical creatures, dangerous sea monsters, and mystical magic; I was completely submerged in this intriguing world from page one, and Konar and Karliah’s childhood innocence, optimism, and innate sense of wonder only added to the immersion.

All in all, I think From the Depths is an exquisitely executed prequel novella that serves as a wonderful way to dip your toes into the epic Heart of Quinaria series. It’s equal parts exciting and profound, filled with pulse-pounding seafaring action, poignant conversations, and heavy emotional gut punches that will make this story linger on in your mind for days to come.

Thank you to the author for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

From the Depths

From the Depths

From the Depths

From the Depths

From the Depths

From the Depths

From the Depths

From the Depths

Esmay Rosalyne

Esmay is a self-proclaimed professional book devourer from The Netherlands. While (dark) fantasy will always have her heart, she is also a big indie/self-pub enthusiast and will probably read anything if the premise sounds intriguing enough. Or, you know, if it promises complete emotional destruction. When not reading books, she is probably reviewing books, talking about books, or watching videos of fellow bookworms talking about books.

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