There is no cure for being who you truly are…
In a cottage high atop Llanfair Mountain, sixteen-year-old Clara lives with her sister, Maren, and guardian Auntie. By day, they gather herbs for Auntie’s healing potions. By night, Auntie spins tales of faraway lands and wicked fairies. Clara’s favorite story tells of three orphan infants—Clara, who was brought to Auntie by a stork; Maren, who arrived in a seashell; and their best friend, O’Neill, who was found beneath an apple tree.
One day, Clara discovers shimmering scales just beneath her sister’s skin. She realizes that Maren is becoming a mermaid—and knows that no mermaid can survive on land. Desperate to save her, Clara and O’Neill place the mermaid-girl in their gypsy wagon and set out for the sea. But no road is straight, and the trio encounters trouble around every bend. Ensnared by an evil troupe of traveling performers, Clara and O’Neill must find a way to save themselves and the ever-weakening mermaid.
And always, in the back of her mind, Clara wonders, if my sister is a mermaid, then what am I?
***I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Skyscape.
The Mermaid’s Sister is a magical story about the love between 2 sisters of different worlds and the risks they’ll take to save each other.
- The Mermaid’s Sister reads like a fairytale. Dark and enchanting, there’s a whimsical beauty that flows from page to page as the story turns from fable to reality. The stories within the story are like campfire tales and bedtime stories, full of wonder and mischief. Each and every one is memorable and charming in its own right. From the very first page I was transported to an early time, one before technology, where superstition and herbal remedies reigned supreme, where traveling caravans and sideshows were a cause for celebration. Fantasy meets reality, converging into a story that feels real despite its magical quirks.
- Maren and Clara have an unshakeable bond. From the way they irritate each other to the gentle way they soothe each other’s troubles. They’re loving, wonderful siblings whose devotion will help them move heaven and Earth for each other and face the staunchest of adversaries.
- Told from Clara’s perspective, the story is full of her unique brand of insight, one that takes into account the minute details of her personality. Clara is a modest young woman, who is very conscious of social constructions and propriety. Her decisions are weighed against what is acceptable and virtuous. Clara doesn’t believe herself a heroine and if anything, she thinks she’s too bland, too normal. The moment when Clara realizes that she can face anything and overcome all obstacles with a little faith and hard work is uplifting and powerful.
- Each character is dazzling and unique. Complete with fantastical stories that make them seem so much more than human. Even fleeting characters make a lasting impression.
- Travelling caravans, magic, dragons, mermaids, churlish banter and pure adoration, what’s not to love?
- Osbert is hilarious, he’s like a temperamental puppy looking for attention. For such a huge beast with fire-breathing power he’s a total snuggle monster.
- O’Neill is a sort of Peter Pan character, he oozes charm and dazzles everyone he comes into contact with. He’s touched by magic and provocative story-telling power. There’s nothing overtly sexy about him and there’s not a blatant romance. I enjoyed that this was a story of family and sisterhood above all else.
- Scarff and Verity. ❤
- Some sections were resolved too easily and felt like there wasn’t enough extended suspense to feel true peril.
- While Maren and Clara’s bond is there, I would have liked to see more memory and interaction between them before Clara’s changes began.
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