Mermaid Moon by Susann Cokal, #62 review

Publication date : 3 March 2020

An award-winning author tells of a mermaid who leaves the sea in search of her landish mother in a captivating tale spun with beautiful prose, lush descriptions, empathy, and keen wit.

Blood calls to blood; charm calls to charm.
It is the way of the world.
Come close and tell us your dreams.

Sanna is a mermaid — but she is only half seavish. The night of her birth, a sea-witch cast a spell that made Sanna’s people, including her landish mother, forget how and where she was born. Now Sanna is sixteen and an outsider in the seavish matriarchy, and she is determined to find her mother and learn who she is. She apprentices herself to the witch to learn the magic of making and unmaking, and with a new pair of legs and a quest to complete for her teacher, she follows a clue that leads her ashore on the Thirty-Seven Dark Islands. There, as her fellow mermaids wait in the sea, Sanna stumbles into a wall of white roses thirsty for blood, a hardscrabble people hungry for miracles, and a baroness who will do anything to live forever.

From the author of the Michael L. Printz Honor Book The Kingdom of Little Wounds comes a gorgeously told tale of belonging, sacrifice, fear, hope, and mortality.

A never told before perspective of “The Little Mermaid” in which a Marreminde who doesn’t quite fit in with her flok sheds off her seavish legs in favour of landish ones to find her birthmother – the woman who blessed her with such power in her Marreminde song. Cokal rewrites the fairytale with the narrative of showcasing the underrated power of female mermaids that was shadowed by the men as the hero and washed down in centuries of history. She births them a new life that displays the true power of these magical creatures and how women are the real heroines in fairytales. The writing of this book is phenomenal, it weaves a story together with silver-lined scales of the moon so delicate and enchanting that you want to take your time to savour every word, every chapter and every song. This book is dark, if you think it will be all rainbows and sunshine, you are wrong. It is a twisted retelling that will have you cheering for more haunting ways the author lure you in.

“𝓑𝓵𝓸𝓸𝓭 𝓬𝓪𝓵𝓵𝓼 𝓽𝓸 𝓫𝓵𝓸𝓸𝓭; 𝓬𝓱𝓪𝓻𝓶 𝓬𝓪𝓵𝓵 𝓽𝓸 𝓬𝓱𝓪𝓻𝓶.
𝓘𝓽 𝓲𝓼 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔀𝓪𝔂 𝓸𝓯 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔀𝓸𝓻𝓵𝓭.
𝓦𝓱𝔂 𝓼𝓱𝓸𝓾𝓵𝓭 𝔀𝓮 𝓬𝓱𝓪𝓷𝓰𝓮?
𝓒𝓸𝓶𝓮 𝓬𝓵𝓸𝓼𝓮 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓽𝓮𝓵𝓵 𝓾𝓼 𝔂𝓸𝓾𝓻 𝓭𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓶𝓼.”

– Mermaid Moon

Anyone who loves mermaids, magic and mystic will enjoy this tale. Why?

Here’s why:

Sanna: Our protagonist, the Marreminde. The crazily powerful monster that has the heart of an angel and the look of a saint. I find that with each chapter, I grow to love her empathy that brings her silly little troubles. Despite her naive innocent looks as how most mermaids are portrayed, she is one badass spirit that has unique magic in her in which allows her to outshine the other mermaids. I am absolutely in love with her.

Sjaeldent: In every clan of the merflok, there is an ancient witch that serves as their advisor. Sjaeldent is so old that no one remembers how old she is including the witch herself. The only proof of her ancient age is her appearance that can be described metaphorically as a disfigured battered ship that sunk a very long time ago such so the sea creatures and plants made a home of it. Despite her cold harsh exterior, she has a gentle heart when it comes to Sanna after she took her under her tail as an apprentice to learn magic.

Thyrla: The Baroness of the Thirty-Seven Dark Islands. She has lived lifetimes by feeding on magic and life itself drawn from her very own relatives and stillborn children. She thrives in her castle, enjoying luxuries with the money she accumulated for centuries by preying on innocent people that has magic and wealth. Despite all her evil doings, I feel sorry for the way her story ended. Such an impactful character that possesses a hold on the tides should somehow have a grander ending. Though, maybe since she lives in grandeur, the lack of it is what the author intended.

Peder: Son of Thyrla and only heir. A charming landish privileged boy that could pass as a Prince save for the brains of one. I am overjoyed to say that even though he has a high rank, at the end of the day he is merely a side character that only added to the shine of Sanna. In many stories, the Prince/ Male Character tends to have an equal share of the spotlight. Peder however, he is needed yes, that’s all. He does not take away too much attention from Sanna. Rather, his character gives the space for Sanna to perform.

Tomas: A paid companion to Peder titleless boy from the village who has nothing to offer except his heart. A boy who loves his family fiercely, so gentle and sweet in the harsh hard-edged Dark Moon Harbor.

The love I have for this book is a jar the size of an ocean. I am so glad that I took nearly THREE WEEKS to finish the book, not because the book was too long ( it is the perfect length in my opinion ), rather due to I was busy working ( arggggh, real life hits hard!! ). In the three weeks, I slowly savoured this gourmet meal of a book, my heart is full.

Mermaid Moon is a carefully constructed castle that sits on a rocky cliff nourished by the elements. Thank you so much to @definitely.books for sending me a copy, I can never thank you enough for the enchanting book. I hope reading my review will convince you to pick up the book, if not, the cover is surely a #CoverBuy for its art.

Disclaimer :I did not photoshop my body in the photo, I pushed my left hand out when taking the photo for the edit so the camera captures the book title better. Thus, it might look awkward. It took a lot of courage to post this photo, please be kind. #bodypositivity 💖

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

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