Rivers of the Dead by Samuel D Roe (Cynus).
A tale of star crossed lovers whose fate takes our hero Caleb on a long voyage through the underworld in search of Ethan the boy for whom he never had the courage to declare his love. Both boys have shared the friendship of Liz, another outsider, whose world of magic will play an important part in their destiny.
Sometimes aided or perhaps thwarted by others, never certain that things are what they seem, nor that everyone’s intention is true to what they profess. This is a struggle with the destiny of their very souls and a battle with Death.
The author evokes an ethereal beauty in the descriptions of the landscapes, both real and surreal. The dialogue between the characters is clever and complex, we are at once privileged to know what our hero may be thinking, yet never quite certain that he may not be mistaken. It is a battle of wits as well as power, and we are kept guessing as we hope our hero will triumph, but will he?
I know it is a well worn phrase, but I simply could not put the book down, and I highly recommend it.
Available to read online here: https://castleroland.net/story-synop/?id=3717
or as an ebook or in print from Amazon: