The Haunting Sea

Alyssa Raymond and William Kiester at Page Street have acquired THE HAUNTING SEA, a debut fantasy novel by Joanna Meyer, for their new YA fiction list. The story is about a girl, born to be Empress, who is banished to a mysterious, distant mansion and lured deep into the ocean where a powerful sea-goddess holds the Dead captive. Publication is scheduled for Winter 2018; Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary did the deal for world rights.

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Talia was born to a life of certainty and luxury, destined to become Empress of half the world. But when an ambitious rival seizes power, Talia and her mother are banished to a nowhere province on the far edge of the Northern Sea. 

On the terrifying journey across the ocean, the sea seems to call to Talia in strange ways, and her mother—spiraling into madness—becomes obsessed with ancient myths that talk of the sea-goddess Rahn who rules the watery Hall of the Dead. And then one terrible night, her mother leaps overboard, leaving Talia to face an unknown future alone in the Ruen-Dahr, the bleak, rain-soaked mansion where she discovers she’s contracted to marry the Baron’s younger son Wendarien. 

Shattered by grief, furious at being betrothed against her will, Talia soon realizes nothing quite adds up in this dreadful place. Musician Wen and his handsome older brother Caiden are permanently at odds. Both the boys’ mothers died in mysterious circumstances. No one will let her go near the relentlessly calling and turbulent sea. And the library of old books in the abandoned tower room hold secrets which no one will explain—secrets which Talia increasingly comes to believe are connected to her mother’s death.

As Talia delves into the ancient stories of her world’s origins, she starts to believe the impossible—that Rahn and her underwater Hall might actually exist. That there's a chance she can rescue her mother, and bring her back to life. With reality and myth starting to blur, and her feelings on the betrothal gradually changing, Talia and Wen set out on a strange and perilous journey across the sea to the sources of life and history where Rahn holds the Dead captive. But will they ever return?

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Joanna describes it as: The Silmarillion meets Jane Eyre, with kissing!

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