The Descent of the Drowned

Ana Lal Din

fiction young adult
adventurous emotional slow-paced

360 pages | first published 2021

She is bound to serve. He is meant to kill. Survival is their prison. Choice is their weapon.

As the sacred slave of a goddess, Roma is of a lower caste that serves patrons to sustain the balance between gods and men. What she wants is her freedom, but deserters are hunted and hanged, and Roma only knows how to survive in her village where women are vessels without a voice. When her younger brother is condemned to the same wretched fate as hers, Roma must choose between silence and rebellion.

Leviathan is the bastard son of an immortal tyrant. Raised in a military city where everyone knows of his blood relation to the persecuted clans, Leviathan is considered casteless. Lowest of the low. Graduating as one of the deadliest soldiers, he executes in his father's name, displaying his worth. When he faces judgement from his mother's people-the clans-Leviathan must confront his demons and forge his own path, if he ever hopes to reclaim his soul.

But in the struggle to protect the people they love and rebuild their identities, Roma's and Leviathan's destinies interlock as the tyrant hunts an ancient treasure that will doom humankind should it come into his possession-a living treasure to which Roma and Leviathan are the ultimate key.

Set in a colonised 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.

What the community thinks

summary of 30 ratings (see reviews)

Content warnings

Expand filter menu View warnings


dark 94%
challenging 70%
tense 70%
sad 64%
emotional 52%
adventurous 47%
mysterious 35%
informative 23%
inspiring 11%
reflective 11%
hopeful 5%
relaxing 5%


slow 47%
medium 42%
fast 10%

Plot- or character-driven?

A mix: 60% | Character: 40%

Strong character development?

Yes: 53% | It's complicated: 33% | No: 13%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 35% | Yes: 35% | No: 21% | N/A: 7%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 100%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 60% | It's complicated: 33% | No: 6%

Average rating