By Eliza Chan

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$25.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around February 27, 2024. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.


This gloriously imaginative debut fantasy, inspired by East Asian mythology and ocean folk tales, is a novel of magic, rebellion and change.

"An unforgettable, must-read fantasy,"–Shelley Parker-Chan

Welcome to Tiankawi – shining pearl of human civilization and a safe haven for those fleeing civil unrest. Or at least, that's how it first appears. But in the semi-flooded city, humans are, quite literally, on top: peering down from shining towers and aerial walkways on the fathomfolk – sirens, seawitches, kelpies and kappas – who live in the polluted waters below.

For half-siren Mira, promotion to captain of the border guard means an opportunity to help her downtrodden people. But if earning the trust and respect of her human colleagues wasn't hard enough, everything Mira has worked towards is put in jeopardy when Nami, a know-it-all water dragon and fathomfolk princess – is exiled to the city, under Mira’s watch. When extremists sabotage a city festival, violence erupts, as does the clampdown on fathomfolk rights. Both Nami and Mira must decide if the cost of change is worth paying, or if Tiankawi should be left to drown.


  • "A thrilling, incisive fantasy of diaspora and dragons, Fathomfolk is an unmissable debut. If you're hungry for a beautiful Southeast Asian influenced fantasy with razor-sharp edges, this book is for you."
    Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne
  • "Prepare to be engulfed. Chan has superbly created a world as real and complex as our own, where oppression has no easy solutions and there is no success without sacrifice. Fast-paced action combined with true social depth make this an unforgettable, must-read fantasy."
    Shelley Parker-Chan, author of She Who Became the Sun
  • "A vivid, textured tale of migration, prejudice and change. Wonderful and breathtaking." 
    Aliette de Bodard, author of The Red Scholar's Wake
  • "A richly envisioned world and finely crafted tale, Fathomfolk is a luxurious and thrilling story full of political intrigue, heart-wrenching characters and edge-of-your seat tension. A glittering and magical novel from a glorious new voice in fantasy." 
    Bea Fitzgerald, author of Girl, Goddess, Queen
  • "Fathomfolk bursts with complex relationships, original world building, and timeless questions. With the confidence and command of a seasoned master, Chan weaves a riveting tale which seized me from the first word and did not let go until the end. A triumph of imagination, birthed from the mind of one who loves stories and knows how to tell them well." 
    Tobi Ogundiran, author of In the Shadow of the Fall
  • "From the glittering city heights to the criminal underbelly on the seafloor, the world of Fathomfolk feels deeply plausible and satisfyingly complex. If you want scheming sirens and snarky sea dragons then this is the book for you."
    Thomas D. Lee, author of Perilous Times
  • "Fathomfolk is a compelling tale about cultures colliding, set against a city backdrop that feels familiar yet fresh. Eliza Chan deftly and compassionately writes about the depths we'll plunge to, to change our world."
    G. V. Anderson, World Fantasy Award winner
  • "Life is better down with the fathomfolk. I was dazzled by this novel, which has as many turns as the tide, and hope to see much more of this world and this author."
    Sarah Rees Brennan, author of Long Live Evil
  • "Eliza Chan's Fathomfolk has all the feels––furious, bittersweet and heart wrenching. Gripping to the last page, the story stayed with me long after I finished the book."
    A. Y. Chao, author of Shanghai Immortal
  • "Gloriously imagined and full of heart."
    Claire North, author of Ithaca
  • "With complex, daring characters and layered storytelling, Chan's heartfelt and nuanced exploration of diaspora survival will resonate deeply with readers."
    June C.L. Tan, author of Jade Fire Gold
  • "Readers will enjoy exploring the intricate details of Tiankawi and its history through the perspectives of three wonderfully complex female protagonists. Fans of mythic fantasy will find plenty to savor."
    Publishers Weekly
  • "Chan floats beautifully between multiple point-of-view characters, and also between different facets of Tiankawi life, from the poor to the privileged. From Nami’s well-meaning immaturity to Mira’s complicated feelings about her dual identity, all the characters have fully realized perspectives and goals that clash with each other in both clever political plots and exciting action scenes. The first installment in what will hopefully be a long series of undersea adventures."
  • "A promising debut."
  • "Chan’s storytelling immerses readers in a richly atmospheric setting ... both entertaining and thought-provoking ... The book caters to fantasy enthusiasts who appreciate strong world building and themes of change and resilience. Fathomfolk stands as a captivating and impactful read, showcasing Chan’s prowess as one of fantasy’s exciting new voices."
  • "A nuanced, powerful and complex parable, one that raises questions that linger far after the novel reaches its conclusion."
    BookPage (starred)
  • "Enchantingly unique and vibrant ... The way that Chan draws her folk inspiration from so many mythologies truly makes Tiankawi feel lived in."
    Paste Magazine

On Sale
Feb 27, 2024
Page Count
448 pages

Eliza Chan

Eliza Chan

About the Author

Eliza Chan is a Scottish-born Chinese-diaspora author who writes about East Asian mythology, British folklore and madwomen in the attic, but preferably all three at once. Eliza’s work has been published in The Dark, Podcastle, Fantasy Magazine and The Best of British Fantasy 2019

Learn more about this author