The Descent of the Drowned by Ana Lal Din

The Descent of the Drowned by Ana Lal Din

Illuminating qualities of magic and originality, Ana Lal Din’s gripping novel, The Descent of the Drowned, leaves a path for an equally powerful sequel.

Ceccelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

The Story

From the publisher:

Set in a colonized Indo-Persian world and inspired by pre-Islamic Arabian mythology, The Descent of the Drowned is a tale about power, identity, and redemption, and what it takes to hold on to one’s humanity in the face of devastation.

Ana Lal Din, The Descent of the Drowned

Before I begin my review, I want to caution readers as this book can be a difficult one to read.

Trigger Warnings: Rape, transphobia, prostitution, violent physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault, suicide, bigotry, drug abuse, and human trafficking.

My Review

A social commentary on the caste system and the people it specifically endangers and harms, The Descent of the Drowned is an intriguing fantasy debut.

Roma is one of the many young women dedicated to a sacred goddess whose task is to maintain the balance between the gods and men. Though the harsh reality of these girls circumstances is one of complete submission, subjugation, and servitude to the whims of men.

My Thoughts

And after her first and only patronage, one of horror and abuse, the main protagonist, Roma only wants freedom. She wants to be her own person and have control over her identity and body. We see over the course of the novel her struggle with what’s happened to her and the harsh realities of her circumstances. Though, Roma is determined, even after all that she has suffered, to end her enslavement. It is the transformation, like an adder shedding its skin, of Roma’s mental state and this unknown magic within, that makes the ending unexpected.

I seriously did not see that coming.

Whereas, the tyrant rulers’ bastard son, Leviathan is a man seeking redemption. He happens upon Roma at his mothers funeral and is drawn to Roma, like a moth to the flame. He offers Roma protection, but at a cost that will have her (unknowingly) thrown into a situation that will have catastrophic costs on her emotionally and physically.

A Few Last Thoughts

Further, when Roma’s brother is put to trial and sentenced a horrific vitric, it sets into motion a tense plot full of deception, corruption, and violent assault. And underneath the violence and human suffering, deep within the soil of this richly imagined world is a coveted magic. A magic that the tyrant ruler is willing to do anything to find and exploit.

With an astonishing ending, (my jaw friends, was on the floor) readers will be anxious to find out what happens next.

Happy Reading  ̴ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blot – Satisfyingly Inked


Author: Ana Lal Din

Publisher: White Tigress Press

Publication Date: March, 2021

Pages: 338

ISBN-10: 183804650X

ISBN-13: 978-1838046507

Audience: 14 and up

Jacket Design: Unknown at this time

Cover Illustration: Marcela Bolívar

Calligraphy: Ana Hernández

You can find The Descent of the Drowned at TOPPSTA


Similar Books to The Descent of the Drowned Recommended by Sheaf and Ink

Six of Crows
Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo

An Ember in the Ashes
An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir

We Hunt the Flame
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


Need More Book Recommendations?

Sheaf & Ink has reviewed a number of Young Adult novels in fantasy like The Descent of the Drowned. Read The Gilded Ones and The Merciful Crow reviews to find your next favorite book and join the conversation. We love hearing from you.



The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna



The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen


Resources after reading The Descent of the Drowned

Sheaf & Ink feels strongly in supporting victims of abuse or those who suffer from mental health illness. The Descent of the Drowned discusses suicide, abuse, transphobia, rape, and sex trafficking. If at any time you are in need of support please go to one of these resources listed below to seek help:




National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Crisis Text Line is also available 24/7: text “hello” to 741741.




The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project hotline, for LGBTQIA youth in crisis is available 24/7: 1-866-488-7386.




LGBT National Help Center

LGBT National Help Center is a non-profit organization, dedicated to meeting the needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community and those questioning their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Call LGBT National Help Center:

1-888-843-4564 (adults)

1-800-246-7743 (youth)




RAINN National Sexual Assault Line

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline. Free. Confidential. 24/7. 800-656-HOPE (4673)


Author Ana Lal Din of The Descent of the Drowned Spreads Awareness for the Rohingya Refugees Crisis

As readers and fellow human beings it is imperitive that we be aware and advocate for groups that are persecuted to the point of genecide. Author Ana Lal Din provides media coverage and ways to help. Here are some websites to educate yourself on the issues and ways to assist refugees in this human rights crisis.

We can all do our part.


Myanmar Rohingya: What you need to know about the crisis




‘Kill All You See’: In a First, Myanmar Soldiers Tell of Rohingya Slaughter




Myanmar Genocide of the Rohingya




Myanmar Genocide of the Rohingya



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