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A Study in Drowning

By Ava Reid
A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

An instant Indie and #1 New York Times bestseller!

“Achingly atmospheric and beautifully sharp, A Study in Drowning will draw you in from the first page.” —Rory Power, New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls

Bestselling author Ava Reid makes her YA debut in this dark academic fantasy perfect for fans of Melissa Albert and Elana K. Arnold.

Effy Sayre has always believed in fairy tales. Haunted by visions of the Fairy King since childhood, she’s had no choice. Her tattered copy of Angharad—Emrys Myrddin’s epic about a mortal girl who falls in love with the Fairy King, then destroys him—is the only thing keeping her afloat. So when Myrddin’s family announces a contest to redesign the late author’s estate, Effy feels certain it’s her destiny.

But musty, decrepit Hiraeth Manor is an impossible task, and its residents are far from welcoming. Including Preston Héloury, a stodgy young literature scholar determined to expose Myrddin as a fraud. As the two rivals piece together clues about Myrddin’s legacy, dark forces, both mortal and magical, conspire against them—and the truth may bring them both to ruin.

Part historical fantasy, part rivals-to-lovers romance, part Gothic mystery, and all haunting, dreamlike atmosphere, Ava Reid's powerful YA debut will lure in readers who loved The Atlas Six, House of Salt and Sorrows, or Girl, Serpent, Thorn.

404 Reviews

Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes“honestly adored this book!! only thing keeping this from being 5 stars is i felt that some of the twists were predictable (although they made narrative and thematic sense), and i wasn’t 100% sold on the romance. felt like things progressed too fast. otherwise, probably one of the most beautifully written books i have ever read 🥹🥹”
Believable charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingDark settingDarkThought-provoking
Thumbs Up“This is a story about stories and truth and who decides what gets told and who gets credit for it. It is for people who have ever felt like an outsider, fighting for their voice to be heard. The setting was beautifully described. I fell right in. I wanted the mystery/plot twist to be more complex. It was just a group of predatory men taking advantage of a woman because it was in their power to do so. I suppose it was meant to parallel Effy’s story but it wasn't very interesting. I’m glad she got some measure of justice in the end.”
Believable charactersBeautifully writtenBeautiful settingDark settingDarkMisogynySexual assaultPredictable
Thinking Face“I felt like this book had such a long build up only for the ending to be very anticlimactic”
Characters change and growDescriptive writingDark settingMisogynyUnsatisfying plot
Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes“This is my second book I’ve read by Ava Reid and I’ve learned that her writing style is beautiful, descriptive and incredibly immersive. I have a hard time putting down anything she writes. For this book especially, I loved the setting, the feel and the slow character changes in Effy. She was insufferable at times but I appreciate that she was different than most young heroines are in books like these. She was a survivor in her own way, and that is enough. A lot of this book reminded me of Wuthering Heights, in both setting and controlling/mad men. But I think the themes in this book are really important, especially for the young women reading it. I cannot wait to see what else Ava Reid writes next: she is an auto-buy author in my book. 💕”
Characters change and growBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingAddictiveTwistyDark settingImmersive settingDarkRomanticMisogyny
Surprised Face with Open Mouth“An atmospheric read that’s a perfect blend of gothic literature, dark academia and fairytales. The writing was stunning and the world the author created will enchant you and horrify you in equal measure. This was a haunting story of survival, of hope and love against all things. This story will stay with me, not because of the plot or characters but because of the way it made me feel.”
Believable charactersCharacters change and growLikable charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingFast-pacedTwistyDark settingDark

About Ava Reid

Ava Reid was born in Manhattan and raised right across the Hudson River in Hoboken but currently lives in Palo Alto. She has a degree in political science from Barnard College, focusing on religion and ethnonationalism. 

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