Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly is a mermaid book. There are spells, tails, fancy clothing, houses underwater, animals as pets, and anemones as beds.
This blurb from the inside cover perfectly sums up the book:
“Serafina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromar, has been raised with the expectation—and burden—that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of merfolk. On the eve of the Dokimi ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil…The Dokimi proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin’s arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina’s darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela (her best friend) must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to the other mermaid heroines scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.”
It took me awhile to get into this book as the first 50 pages or so introduce dozens upon dozens of new terms specifically made up for this book series. I’m glad I trudged through, as the story picked up speed once Serafina left her kingdom (the first 100 pages). She and her best friend Neela, also one of 6 “chosen ones,” go on a dangerous quest to quell the six seas of evil.
Danger lurks behind every corner, but since this book is a part of a series, I knew the protagonist and those that are part of the chosen 6, weren’t going to die. The only mermaids in danger are (minor SPOILER) those that Serafina meets along her journey.
Humans are referred to as terragogs, and Serafina meets a few along the way. Humans are seen as bad, and spells have been placed upon them so they don’t expose the mermaids below.
The rest of the book focuses on getting the 6 female characters together, them getting used to their “powers,” and of their almost impossible quest to get some talismans that will help banish the evil from the mer kingdoms.
I would recommend this book who love richly drawn fantasy worlds (one look at the glossary shows how intensive this world is), to those who love mermaid books, and to those that enjoy non-stop action. I am looking forward to the 2nd book in the Waterfire Saga series.
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