Cover image for The seafarer's kiss
The seafarer's kiss
Physical Description:
214 pages ; 21 cm

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Having long wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the merfolks fortress. But when Ersels childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: Say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glaciers brutal king. Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from the divine Loki. But such deals are never straightforward, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection shes known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human shes come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-A flawed but unique mermaid romance for young adults. Ersel, a teenage Nordic mermaid, strives to escape the patriarchal system that values her only as a breeder. She is enamored with all things human and falls in love with a shipwrecked human girl. Ersel makes a deal with Loki, the trickster god, to collect a mermaid voice for him in exchange for legs. She obtains the voice, and Loki grants her wish. However, instead of giving Ersel two legs, he transforms her fins into eight tentacles. Ersel must outsmart the god to achieve her dreams. Readers will likely compare this tale to Disney's The Little Mermaid and will be pleased with the parallels. The unique elements-the steamy same-sex romance and the interweaving of Norse mythology-give this story a lift. Unfortunately the writing is clumsy at times. VERDICT A good addition to YA retelling shelves.-Elaine Fultz, Madison Jr. Sr. High School, Middletown, OH © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A free-spirited mermaid chafes against the constraints of her imperiled community, risking her life for a taste of love and freedom. Living in the glacial caves of the frozen Arctic, their formerly tropical, matriarchal society now ruled harshly by a sadistic king, the merfolks' future is at risk thanks to declining female fertility. Blue-haired, topaz-scaled Ersel has no interest in settling down to hatch babies; her forbidden fascination with human shipwrecks and the artifacts they contain has focused her sights on broader horizons. Pressured to accept a proposal from her best friend, Havamal, a hunky blue-gray-eyed, silver-scaled merman, but intensely attracted to Ragna, the fair-skinned, blonde human woman she is secretly meeting, a desperate Ersel bargains with the crafty, shape-shifting, gender-fluid Norse god Loki in a risky bid for self-determination. This adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" touches on themes of environmental destruction, reproductive rights, and feminism and is set in a watery northern world of humans on whaling ships, polar bears, and beluga whales. While there is plenty of action (spiced up with romance) to keep pages turning, the characters lack the emotional depth necessary to be compelling and engaging. Readers seeking a queer fantasy that taps into the popularity of mermaids and fairy-tale adaptations may appreciate this offering despite its flaws. (Fantasy. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.