by Carolyn Turgeon
Genre: Fantasy / Fairy-Tale Re-telling
Ages: 15 and up
Under the sea there lives a mermaid who longs to see the world above. Lenia knows that she will be allowed one day, her eighteenth birthday, to visit it. On that day, the day she has waited for for so long, there is a terrible storm. Lenia comes to the surface to discover a sinking ship. Seeing the men dying, she is determined to save one, and carries him to shore. It is love at first sight, and from that moment she tries to find a way to be with him.
Princess Margrethe has been hidden in a convent, her identity concealed, in order to protect her from her father's enemies. Her quiet existence is abruptly shattered when she witnesses a mermaid pulling a man onto the beach. She runs to him, then fetches help. During his recovery, she finds herself attracted to the handsome Christopher. When he turns out to be the son of her father's worst enemy, it seems that she will never see him again.
This book was beautifully written and bittersweet. Lenia and Margrethe are brilliant in their different ways. Both are strong and determined. Lenia is willing to give up everything, endure horrible pain and risk her life for the love of a human man and the hope of a soul. Margrethe sees the people's suffering and will defy even her father to save them from yet another war.
However, this book has one fatal flaw, and his name is Prince Christopher. One would think that the object of such longing to two such strong, vivid women would be something, well, more. From what little you see of him in the book, he came across as being selfish, immature and careless of the feelings of others. In short, a jerk. It was painful watching what he did to Lenia and Margrethe, and yet they still continued to love him. Grrr. Other than that, the book wasn't bad.
There is no profanity in this book.
I give this book an 8.10 in sexuality for two middlingly graphic scenes, one fadeaway, some female nudity and sensuality.
There are several scenes of mild violence and some macabre bits involving corpses. I give it a 4.10.