Dive into the curious correspondence of Sylvie Cathrall’s delightful debut novel, A Letter to the Luminous Deep. Perfect for fans of A Marvellous Light and TJ Klune, A Letter to the Luminous Deep is a whimsical epistolary fantasy set in a mystical underwater world with mystery and heart-warming romance.
Orbit UK Commissioning editor Nadia Saward acquired World rights in the Sunken Archive duology from Natasha Mihell at The Rights Factory, with Senior Editor Priyanka Krishnan acquiring for Orbit US. Publication is planned for Spring 2024.
A beautiful discovery outside the window of her underwater home prompts the reclusive E. to begin a correspondence with renowned scholar Henerey Clel. The letters they share are filled with passion, at first for their mutual interests, and then, inevitably, for each other.
Together, they uncover a mystery from the unknown depths, destined to transform the underwater world they both equally fear and love. But by no mere coincidence, a seaquake destroys E.’s home, and she and Henerey vanish.
A year later, E.’s sister Sophy, and Henerey’s brother Vyerin, are left to solve the mystery of their siblings’ disappearances with the letters, sketches and field notes left behind. As they uncover the wondrous love their siblings shared, Sophy and Vyerin learn the key to their disappearance – and what it could mean for life as they know it.
Acquiring editor Saward said: ‘I knew from the first paragraph I needed to acquire this book. The gorgeous underwater setting is unlike anything else I’ve seen in fantasy, and the epistolary romance between the two main characters, a brilliant but reclusive young woman and a renowned scholar, will break your heart and put it back together again.’
Author Sylvie Cathrall said: ‘Like a letter sent by chance to the perfect recipient, my epistolary fantasy found its ideal match in the Orbit team. I’m grateful for the opportunity to unlock the sunken archive that is A Letter to the Luminous Deep and share this curious correspondence with readers.’
Agent Natasha Mihell said: ‘The joy infusing A Letter to the Luminous Deep is sublime and propulsive, and the prose is handled with extraordinary grace. It is a story that will leave you with a deep trust in the beauty of life. Cathrall reminds us that, though we may sometimes feel disillusioned by our circumstances, we are all of us entitled to our own magical adventure. And we can own every aspect of ourselves, every step of the way.’
US editor Priyanka Krishnan said: ‘I want to say that reading this book felt like a breath of fresh air, but it doesn’t quite feel like the right analogy given the gorgeous underwater setting! However, it’s true—A Letter to the Luminous Deep is unlike anything I’ve read recently, and I adore it. It captured my attention with its unique world, its whimsical epistolary structure, and its charming letter banter (is there anything sexier than flirtation by post?) And it captured my heart with its emotional depth, the way it gently addresses trauma and mental health concerns, and its beautiful exploration of relationships (both romantic and familial). I love this book and am thrilled Orbit will be publishing it!’
About the author: Sylvie Cathrall writes stories of hope and healing with healthy doses of wonder and whimsy. She holds a graduate degree in odd Victorian art and has handled more than a few nineteenth-century letters (with great care). Sylvie married her former pen pal and lives in the mountains, where she dresses impractically and dreams of the sea.
You can find Sylvie on Instagram @sylviecathrall – go give her a follow!