Thanks again to MICRONESIA for talking me off the ledge (so to speak) and everyone else who helped me see that what I was trying to fix wasn't really broken. Here's a slight twist on the older versions that hopefully maintains the same spark:
In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can’t swim. After losing both legs, she is weighed down by the metal prosthetics needed to keep her stable in the currents. Still, nobody makes her feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, rides her manta ray in the deadliest races, and doesn’t give an urchin’s spine what other Seafolk think.
That’s probably why no one believes that she saw the king’s spymaster meeting with agents of an enemy kingdom. No one except Antipater, one of the few people who truly understand her, and even he is hesitant to act. Ondine decides to confront the spymaster alone, only to find him dead and herself accused of murder.
To clear her name, Ondine must find the real murderer. However, she’s already caught in the middle of a conspiracy and sitting at the top of it is Antipater. Stopping him means killing a man who is like a second father to her. But if she doesn’t, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, it will be that of her real father, the King of Syren himself.
OCEANS DEEP is a 90,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of the political intrigue in Marie Lu’s THE YOUNG ELITES, and the strong female lead in Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING. Nearly all natural phenomena in the novel—from fluorescent corals to glowing sea cucumbers to underwater waterfalls—are real.
Thank you for your time and consideration.