Axie Oh has created the most beautiful Korean mythology with this novel and it made my heart so full to be able to read this. I was so excited to receive this as it is one of my most anticipated reads of the year! This cover captured me as soon as it was released and the words on the inside matched the beauty of the outside.
‘The myths of my people say only a true bride of the Sea God can bring an end to his insatiable wrath’
This follows Mina a young girl from a small village who sacrifices herself to be the next Sea God’s bride to try to save her family from the storms that have continued for generations. She is taken to the spirt world only to find the Sea God in an enchanted sleep. Mina attempts to wake the Sea God only to find there are many who would rather the Sea God did not wake.
‘Behind me, spread out like a painter’s canvas is the Sea God’s city’
The first thing that caught my attention was the irresistible imagery created by Axie Oh’s writing style. Every word on the page is so wonderfully thought out and creates a magical atmosphere that captures this world perfectly. From the market stalls to the different Houses I felt like I could picture them all through all the language used. My personal favourite part was when Mina first enters the city of souls and the markets full of celebration so the colours are so bright and vibrant.
The mythology in this book in so interesting to read about and keeps expanding the more you get into the book. I would really love to read the original story that this book was based upon in the future as I have heard that is beautiful as well.
Mina’s friendships within the Sea God’s city are so cute to see develop and expand as the novel goes on however Mina and Namgi are perfect. Their jokes and playfulness as well as their protectiveness over each other made my heart so happy. It develops so much throughout the novel that it feels like you love them more and more the further in you go.
But the thing I loved most about this book is the romance. It is such a slow burner however; it keeps you wanting more the entire time. The whole book has you wanting them to end up together yet unsure of whether they would or not.
Overall, this book has been one of my favourites of the year so far and I can not wait to see what Axie Oh comes up with next. I did end up rating this one five stars because I loved Mina, Namgi and Shin so much and the writing style reminded me why I love reading so much.
Thank you to NetGalley for this review copy!