Title: The Living Waters
Author: Dan Fitzgerald
Series/Number: Weirdwater Confluence Book 1
Publication Date: December 10, 2022
Themes: Adventure, Mystery, Lost World, Friendship, Exploration
When two painted-faced nobles take a guided raft trip on a muddy river, they expect to rough it for a few weeks before returning to their life of sheltered ease, but when mysterious swirls start appearing in the water even their seasoned guides get rattled.
The mystery of the swirls lures them on to seek the mythical wetlands known as the Living Waters. They discover a world beyond their imagining, but stranger still are the worlds they find inside their own minds as they are drawn deep into the troubles of this hidden place.
The Living Waters is a Sword-Free Fantasy novel featuring an ethereal love story, meditation magic, and an ancient book with cryptic marginalia.
Author’s note: The two books in this duology are sequential and related, but The Isle of a Thousand Worlds is not a traditional sequel; it’s more of an adjacent story with significant points of contact. It follows some of the characters from The Living Waters, but not all, and one of the side characters in The Living Waters is a main character in The Isle of a Thousand Worlds. While the first book has only one kiss, the second book is quite steamy and includes explicit, consensual sex scenes. Either could be read by itself, but readers intending to read them both should probably read them in order.
This was a really interesting fantasy story about young adults going on a “roughabout” and exploring the world through a boat tour. They are drawn in by mysterious swirls to a mythical land. I think the worldbuilding and fantasy elements of this book was really interesting. There were a lot of cool concepts and ideas about the way magic works in the world.
I really enjoyed the adventure and study aspect. We follow Temi and Silvan that are painted-faces, essentially rich kids on a tour before starting the rest of their lives. I liked the fact that Silvan was a biologist of aquatic creatures and he was constantly interested in the new creatures he got to see on his boat tour. I thought it was interesting seeing both Silvan and Temi’s motivations for being on this roughabout and what they wanted to get out of it.
I thought the beginning of the book was a bit slow as they made their way toward what they hoped were the Living Waters, but the action picked up and I liked how it all came together in the end. It was definitely interesting to learn how the two worlds were colliding and working against each other. The magic that was based in water and meditation was also really interesting.
I think this is a really interesting take on the rich kid tour and I liked that it was a sword-free fantasy and I think it is a great read for anyone who likes fantasy with not a lot of violence and was focused on exploration and character development.
Rating: 3/5 stars