Daughter of the Merciful Deep


By Leslye Penelope

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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 June 4, 2024. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A woman journeys into a submerged world of gods and myth to save her home in this powerful historical fantasy that shines a light on the drowned Black towns of the American South. 

“Our home began, as all things do, with a wish.”

Jane Edwards hasn’t spoken since she was eleven years old, when armed riders expelled her family from their hometown along with every other Black resident. Now, twelve years later, she’s found a haven in the all-Black town of Awenasa. But the construction of a dam promises to wash her home under the waters of the new lake.

Jane will do anything to save the community that sheltered her. So, when a man with uncanny abilities arrives in town asking strange questions, she wonders if he might be the key. But as the stranger hints at gods and ancestral magic, Jane is captivated by a bigger mystery. She knows this man. Only the last time she saw him, he was dead. His body laid to rest in a rushing river. 

Who is the stranger and what is he really doing in Awenasa? To find those answers, Jane will journey into a sunken world, a land of capricious gods and unsung myths, of salvation and dreams made real. But the flood waters are rising. To gain the miracle she desires, Jane will have to find her voice again and finally face the trauma of the past. 

For more from Leslye Penelope, check out The Monsters We Defy.

  • "Daughter of the Merciful Deep is a mesmerizing tale that deftly blends history and magic. It’s a thoughtful, timely, and immensely compelling read. Readers will find much to admire and marvel at from the first page to the very last!" 
    Nicole Glover, author of The Conductors
  • Daughter of the Merciful Deep skillfully weaves the mythology of the age-old gods, with all their feuds and foibles, through this poignant and mystical story. It will leave you filled both with the hope of all that can be when one is reminded of the magic found in family and community, and the unimaginable power of generational memory and the thread that binds us to the ancestors.”
    Rita Woods, Hurston/Wright Legacy Award-winning author of Remembrance
  • "Penelope fuses magical realism, folklore, and African American history into a profound and rousing fantasy. Jane’s character leaps off the page, buoyed by a supporting cast who breathe life into the narrative. This potent work packs a punch." 
    Publishers Weekly
  • "Deftly combining historical fantasy and magical realism with myths and legends from the African diaspora, Daughter of the Merciful Deep sings of hope and magic." 
    Library Journal
  • "Leslye Penelope has been one of fantasy’s most indispensable voices for the past decade, and Daughter of the Merciful Deep showcases all of her storytelling powers. It is fast-paced and told in simple prose, with plenty of engrossing plot twists, but there’s a deep exploration of trauma and resilience hiding just under the surface." 
    The Washington Post
  • "As magic entwines with the Black American experience in the early 20th century, an ode to Black communities and the way memories can last generations emerges. Unflinching portrayals of racism and violence are paired with agency as Jane and her friends and family make their own choices about how to live their lives and when to make a stand. Miracles can happen—if we remember." 
  • "A historical fantasy must-read."  
  • "While Penelope addresses the harrowing real-life facts of drowned Black towns, magic and Jane’s growth offer hope and levity. With its foundation in history, enchanting underwater scenes, and endearing townsfolk, this original novel should appeal to readers of both fantasy and historical fiction." 
  • "This powerful novel about trauma, racism, resilience, and community is full of heart and magic." 
  • "A historical fantasy that mixes folklore, African American history and magical realism this second novel from the author of The Monsters We Defy is lyrical and haunting. Penelope uses an underwater realm of gods and ancestral magic to explore and reflect the all-too-real stories of drowned Black towns of the American South, and the end result is fascinating."
    Paste Magazine

On Sale
Jun 4, 2024
Page Count
416 pages

Leslye Penelope

Leslye Penelope

About the Author

Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of fantasy and paranormal romance. Equally left and right-brained, she studied filmmaking and computer science at Howard University and sometimes dreams in HTML. She hosts the My Imaginary Friends podcast and lives in Maryland with her husband and furry dependents.

Learn more about this author