Royals, Pirates, and Mermen Oh My!


Lazarus Mendoza

So, this post is what can be shortly known by as a glorified book report that I’m doing as a tribute to my sister’s want for me to do a report on said book; “In Deeper Waters” by F.T Lukens.

The book, “In Deeper Waters,” was released on April 20, 2021, though I didn’t get a copy of it until the month of June, at Barnes and Nobel as it was on display with a few other books in tribute to Pride Month. The book itself is a slow-burn romance and young adult fiction novel; it portrays a slow yet healthy relationship between Tal, a human prince with magical abilities in relation to fire, and Athlen, an abandoned and mysterious man.

The main plot takes place in the introduction of Tal’s coming-of-age tour around his kingdom, by ship, as he was forced to hide within his kingdom’s walls for sake of his own and others’ safety, and all went well until he met Athlen, a prisoner held captive and forgotten in an abandoned and sinking ship they came across.

While Tal was led to be the one keeping track of Athlen, he felt a strange connection with him, he felt more alive and himself – something in him clicked. But soon after, Athlen was said to throw himself off the edge of the ship – certainly not surviving the harsh waves, leaving Tal devastated and feeling responsible for what had occurred.

Days later, now on land – he bumped into a familiar face, Tal was angered and confused: and as they tried to reconnect and get answers of the strange boy’s survival and sudden jump that day, they were jumped by pirates. Tal was taken captive and held for ransom, threatening the use of Tal’s fire or else an even greater war would ensue – it’s now wondered if Tal can make the “right” choice, but every action has a consequence. Knowing Tal can’t do this alone, Athlen’s assistance might be his only option for survival: as long as he could find him in time.

Now as previously stated, my sister, Danielle Mendoza, is the one who greatly suggested this review of an article, claiming it to be, “very entailing,” it’s a story that consumes you and “makes it feel so real – the love and hate, the heartbreak and twists and secrets, the passion all felt so real when we first read it together!” Danielle explained to me with this genuine smile, and proceeded to wonder more about why this story had her at the edge of her seat.

Then I got a second comment on the opinion towards this book, another admirer of the fantasy tale, from Cameron Martinez.

“In Deeper Waters is an amazing book! It’s filled with adventures and magic, I love absolutely everything about it,” Martinez said. “This book really got me into fantasy more and it’s one of my favorite books ever! I love the story, the plot twists, how the characters interact with each other, the relationship between Athlen and Tal, I just really love the book itself.”

I would have to agree with both Mendoza and Martinez, for me, the book is a comfort book. If I have a bad day and need a pick me up, if I want to read a lovely scene of romance and the occasional joke, “In Deeper Waters” is certainly one of my go-to’s.

Now the book itself may not be for everyone, and that is always okay as everyone has different taste – but if you are looking for an LGBTQ+, inclusive, action, pirate, merman, and magic invaded book – “In Deeper Waters” is certainly one of my top recommendations for you. But like all books, it comes with triggers, which I will list as an early head’s up for you!

-passing of a relative (mentioned)





If any of this triggers you, be wary about reading it (if you choose to do so), and if not, thanks for staying to hear my review on the book. I hope some people look into said book, as personally, I truly fell head over heels for the characters as well as their relationship, it felt genuine and never forced or like a last minute get together. But this is all just my opinion, of course. <3