This is a story of humanity that has lived underground for many generations, so long that no one knows what light is.

This underground society is vast and has many cities and cultures, as well as a leviathan.

This story starts off with a boy who is orphaned in a fishing village. This boy seeks revenge against this leviathan that killed his father. He trains and prepares to hunt and kill the leviathan but the village people tell him it's to dangerous and to leave the leviathan only for it only takes a little here and there. They didn't want it to come and kill them all. But the boy doesn't care and one day years later the leviathan comes. The boy runs and challenges it and by sheer luck and determination the boy kills it. The boy is praised by all and his fame spreads. The boy does not wish to stay but to leave the village.

Next the story shifts to a young woman and she is a priestess. She is a political leader and there is a possible war against an empire that enslaves people. She must forge an alliance with a major figure to rally the people's support for the war. She hears of a young man who is admired by the people for killing a leviathan and she is hesitant to form a alliance with him for he is an unknown.

They meet to form a alliance and to finalize the agreement they marry each other.

Now after this my memory is less sharp and there is a point where war happens and she is taken as a slave into the enemy empire and he fights in the war to find her. She is trained by a prominent family and she later escapes back to him. Both of them and many refugees leave upward and finally find a way outside and the book ends with everyone experiencing first the night sky they think is very bright and then the sun rise.

This story I thought was unique but I have forgotten the name and author. It's a long story.

  • This reminds me a little of this post. Not sure if this helps but there are a few good answers with similar books. Jan 13, 2023 at 14:56
  • 1
    Does the society literally have no light, or have they just never seen sunlight and starlight?
    – Milo P
    Jan 13, 2023 at 17:54
  • Are they pre-stone age? It would appear they don't have fire, or even commonly do anything that might produce sparks, like smashing rocks together. Jan 13, 2023 at 20:44
  • From what I recall they used there ears more for lack of light and that they were around dark age tech. There were boats and there were weapons made of metal Jan 14, 2023 at 3:47
  • Do you remember when you read this or any other publishing/author details? Jan 24, 2023 at 1:51

2 Answers 2


There's an off chance that this could be Dark Universe by Daniel Galouye (1961). Some of the details are a poor fit, but the overall description sounds similar. Excerpts from the Wikipedia synopsis:

The Survivors live deep underground in a world of complete darkness, divided into two clans, one living in the Lower Level and one in the Upper Level. [...] Jared is the son of the Prime Survivor, the leader of the Lower Level clan. [...] Jared's quest for Light is interrupted by unexplained disappearances and an arranged marriage to Della, a girl from the Upper Level, the daughter of their chief 'the Wheel'. Things get progressively worse as strange monsters roam the world and the hot springs begin to dry up. Along with his betrothed, Jared sets out for the Zivver world, hoping it will bring him closer to Light, instead they find themselves fleeing from the monsters once again, and being pushed closer to the Original World.

My recollection from long ago is mostly that the protagonist is from a clan that uses only auditory feedback (bat-like echolocation) to function underground. The heroine is from a different group that have been selected for a mutation that allows them to see sufficiently far into the infrared that they can operate using their eyes rather than their ears. They call it "zivving" rather than "seeing".

  • Although this does sound interesting and I'll check it out. It's not it. The one I'm looking for focuses more on an enemy empire later in the story and the monster was the leviathan in the beginning. Jan 14, 2023 at 3:52
  • There was not a distinction between any human with another pertaining to special abilities. There was no mention of mutations or zivving. Jan 14, 2023 at 18:15

the book I was looking for was Children in the Night by Harold Myra

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-"Yosha and Asel, who come from a society that lives in darkness in caverns deep underground, search for the light which their people's traditions have never forgotten"

this book took a while for me to find because the author mainly wrote Christian titles and he wasn't well known at that. its a good story and I'm surprised this book isn't more popular.

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