- Page Count: 230
- Release Date: May 4, 2017
- My Rating: 3.5 stars
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 mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.
Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.
This f/f take on The Little Mermaid with Norse mythology is a really original and creative story!
Ersel the mermaid collects human trinkets and doesn’t want to do The Grading ceremony to find a mate like she’s expected to, so she’s looked down upon and asked if her eggs are frozen inside of her. The mage at the ceremony tells her she’s super fertile, but nobody considers what she wants: “our glacier’s need to survive had turned us all into slaves to this ritual.”
One day Ersel finds a girl named Ragna on the glacier where the mermaids live. Privateers had attacked Ragna’s clan and taken her prisoner, but then their ship sank. Ragna’s covered in magical blue tattoos that move and show her whatever she needs to find (from the bloodline of the Norse god Heimdallr). Ersel brings her food & supplies to fix a boat and they bond after a polar bear attack.
MINOR SPOILERY STUFF: Ragna kisses her because it’s said to be lucky for sailors, but then Ersel’s protective guy friend interrupts their kissing and tries to kill Ragna. He becomes all angry and controlling and Ersel gets imprisoned. Then the Norse god Loki shows up to help Ersel get out of there and find the human she loves. He gives Ersel one wish and she ends up with tentacles as new legs because she wasn’t specific enough. She has to get three voices for her next deal: one human, one beast, one mer. More action follows aaaaand I won’t spoil it further.
The story’s a pretty quick read, but the pacing is still strong, the writing’s good, and all of the relationships and decisions worked. The imaginative worldbuilding was probably my favorite part! There were so many clever ideas… and Norse mythology is always awesome!
Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC.