A mermaid braves the human world to find her lost sister and to seek her only love in this new fantasy.
Esmerine has only just become a siren when her older sister Dosia, also a siren, disappears into the human world. Mermaids can grow legs temporarily and live on land although, as in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, walking is terribly painful for them. But Esmerine not only longs for her sister, she’d like to locate her childhood friend Alander, a winged man-creature, for whom she secretly longs. Esmerine quickly finds him in the bookstore he runs, and although she’s sure no romance is possible, she can’t seem to tear herself away from him. He agrees to carry her on his back in a flight to the mountains to find Dosia, and adventures ensue. Dolamore writes in a simple style that feels more middle-grade than teen, but her story should also appeal to middle- and younger high-school readers, making this a good hi-lo choice. She displays plenty of imagination, especially in her setting, with its 19th-century-style clothing and quaint towns. The portraits of her two leads will convince readers, and several of her minor characters, such as ex-mermaid Belawyn and Alander’s father, stand out as quirky and individual.A simple but effective fantasy. (Fantasy. 10-14)