Publisher : Interlude Press
Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy
Page Count: 230
Synopsis : 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. (From Goodreads)
*I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review*
Thinking about The Seafarer’s Kiss makes my heart swell, swell, swell, that’s how much I loved it. IT IS SO AMAZING, GUYS. This book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017 and it didn’t disappoint, not at all. In fact, it was different in more ways than one and better than what I expected. I think it is scientifically proven (ok maybe not) that it’s impossible not to be excited about this gem. Little Mermaid retelling? Bisexual MC? Norse Mythology? My answer was automatically GIMME.
The writing is absolutely stunning. It is soft and lyrical, and I didn’t expect anything short of that coming from Julia, she’s a word whisperer, she wields them to her will and does beautiful things with them. My favorite part about it has to be the descriptions, they were mesmerizing and set a whimsical tone to the story, the magic seeps through them especially when it comes to the mermaids, I was all heart eyes.
The world building is seamless, it’s so well weaved into the story that i didn’t realize how much I knew about the world the author created until I knew it all, it wasn’t overwhelming in any way. This being a retelling, I was afraid it would be predictable in some way but the author was inspired by the original tale only lightly, she took “staple” pieces from it, twisted them and put them to a different use to be able to bring in the Norse mythology element. And it was a very successful mix.
Now, this was darker than I expected. It started off slow (not the bad kind) and things escalated progressively until the pace picked up and kept me on my toes for the rest of the novel, it even managed to surprise me with some minor twists a few times. You know how I have a soft spot for morally grey characters, right? Well this one hit all the marks with me in that area. I absolutely adored how the lines between evil and good were blurred and everything and -almost- everyone was in the middle, much more complex than the black and white default settings.
The Seafarer’s Kiss is written in first person from Ersel‘s POV and she has my heart. Like most characters in this book, she’s flawed and selfish. But also gorgeous, clever and resourceful. She doesn’t give up on her goals no matter what challenges are thrown at her. Although she did some questionnable things for questionnable reasons, the fact that she tried to make it all right made me love her even more. Special mention to her mom who is a total badass, super supportive and loving.
Next comes Ragna, the human girl and love interest. She’s confident and absolutely stabtastic but I also felt like I had to protect her at all costs even though I was fully aware that of the two of us, I’m the one in need of protection heh. Here comes a confession and the reason for no giving this book a full 5 stars, a completely selfish reason but you know. I WANTED MORE ERSEL/RAGNA PAGE SPACE. I shipped them so hard that I just wanted way more of them than I got (which wasn’t a lot to be honest).
Havamal. is. a. mess. He acts out on impulse and regrets it afterwards but he is so endearing and I’m total trash for him. There it is, I said it. I ADORED Havamal no matter how much I wanted to smack him because of his choices, it just is what it is. Last but not least is Loki, they took the gold for my favorite villainous characters of all times, THEY WERE AMAZING, smart, sneaky, ruthless and quite funny. I love the original Loki but the way Julia wrote them here is just fantastic. That being said the fact that Loki is the only non binary character and them being a villain has gotten very mixed responses from NB folks, some loved it and felt empowered, some hated it and were hurt because of the deceiving aspect and both are valid. So I would be very cautious about recommending this one to non-cis readers who I think should be made aware of this fact prior to reading.
I think this will be it for this review. Oh, nope, one last thing, IT HAS THE CUTEST BELUGAS EEEEEVER. So if all of this doesn’t make you want to pick The Seafarer’s Kiss as soon as it is out, I don’t know what will. Seriously though, preorder it NOW, you don’t want to miss out.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read The Seafarer’s Kiss? If so, what did you think?
Who was you favorite character? Because I can’t decide.
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.