Tag Archives: In Great Waters

Kit Whitfield – In Great Waters Book Review

Review done by David Jooste

Well guys and girls I’m back with another review for our fantasy fans. This time round I had my hand on Kit’s new book, In Great Waters, an alternative history/fantasy novel.



What if Mermaids really existed, but not your Disney-fairytale all smiles type, instead they are powerful tribal creatures that are very territorial and did not take kindly to humans invading the ocean.

The rule of the Deepsman started with the fall of the young city of Venice, overthrown and at the mercy of a Deepswoman named Angelica, the city of Venice crowned her queen. As time passed the royal bloodline found seats of power on all the thrones of Europe.

Now centuries have passed and the bloodline is too contaminated to breed healthy children.

A young princess with no right to the thrown is fighting with all here might to ensure the safety of England and prevent it from falling back into the hands of a Landsman or the French.

A bastard is found washed up on the shore, hidden away and raised with the promise of the English thrown.

Well there you have a bit of a teaser for the book, but let’s take a deeper look into the story.

As I said at the start, this is an alternative history novel, with the main change coming about when the Deepsman invade Venice during its younger years. Landsman-Deepsman half breeds then went forth to establish control over Europe and no Landsman could have a nave unless they had a treaty with these Deepsman. Bu centuries of inbreeding has lead to a bloodline that can no longer be sustained and since it is against the law for a Landsman and a Deepsman to have a child there is no new blood to be brought in.

The Tudor style setting that Kim creates functions perfectly for this novel, along with the intrigue created for the royal court.

The story itself is also filled with everything you would expect from a novel set in this time period; poisonings, attempts to overthrow the thrown, struggles of a queen to keep her thrown and an outcast trying to learn his way in a world that is the complete opposite of his own.

And as can be expected the Church also plays a prominent role in the story, and even invokes an interesting question towards the end.

Kit definitely placed a lot of thought and effort into the setting of the story and making it as believable as possible.

The characters you meet throughout the story are also very well crafted,  from princess Ann to the bastard Henry.

As the story progresses you see a young princess Ann grow from wanting nothing more than her mother’s admiration to becoming a queen who would do anything in her power to protect her kingdom. The character of Ann especially was perfectly crafted in my opinion, from the wisdom she has to the role she plays throughout.

Henry on the other hand should be approached in a completely different way, his character was also written especially well. Creating a character with views that are supposed to be completely different from what a normal humans view point should be could not have been easy. For Henry the approach was more in line with learning to deal with aspects such as stories, history, language, objects and many more such mundane things that are everyday to use.

As with the previous review I did for The Forest of Hands and Teeth, the role of Religion also plays a big part in the story. In this case however it comes down to the fact that the Deepsman have no such concept, yet now a newly born half breed with no knowledge of this concept is to ascend to what is a Christian thrown.

The storyline itself jumps through time every now and again, allowing you to follow the lives of Ann and Henry form their birth all the way to young adults. This concept helps you to understand why they are the way they are and why they think and act the way they do.

Over all this was a really good story with a lot of attention to detail, and as Kit’s second novel I think there is a lot of promise for this author, can’t wait for the next book. If only history books were really like this.


If you want to find out more about Kit Whitfield then you can find her website here,
or if you would like to buy the book our SA readers can find it here,
UK readers can find it here, and US readers can find it here.


Posted by on August 5, 2009 in Reviews


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