Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Description:Serefina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation - and burden - that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk. On the eve of the Dokimí 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. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother's hopes.
The Dokimí 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 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 other mermaid heriones 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.
I will admit, hands up, the only reason I bought this book was because the cover is absolutely beautiful and the writing is blue. I expected a really simple, fluffy book about mermaids. Turns out the only part of my assumptions was the mermaids. The storyline had so much depth (haha, get it?) to the point of maps and a glossary. There were also lots of different languages used and lots of Mermish phrases were used, hence the glossary. Parts of the story were actually quite dark, and despite the betrothal talk there was next to no romance, which is something I haven't actually found in a book in a long time. I'm not sure yet if that is a good thing or not.
The characters were mostly likeable and fun, and I really love Neela. Their stories were all pretty believable, although I do think finding the other mermaids was a bit too easy, I would have liked more than them just bumping into everyone they needed to find.
On the whole, this is a good, easy read and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I will probably get the sequel soon because I have to know what happens!