I won this book in a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads. All opinions are my own.
The Mermaid’s Sister is a well written, young adult fantasy novel. I really enjoyed the writing style, the characters and the setting. Everything is described so well that I could picture it all in my mind. The main character, Clara, is very easy to relate to. She’s an ordinary young girl who will do whatever it takes to save her sister, Maren, who’s turning into a mermaid. She embarks on a voyage to take her to the sea via wagon with their childhood friend, O’Neill. Their pets Pilsner, a raven, and Osbert, a wyvern (dragon), tag along. In their world, magic, faeries, elves and other magical folk are common. It’s also 1870 and traveling shows are quite popular.
The author did a great job conveying the characters’ emotions. I could feel the despair that Clara felt when she thought they wouldn’t be able to save Maren, the confusion over her feelings for O’Neill and her feelings of being less important because she’s doesn’t have a special skill like the other two (O’Neill can talk to animals).
The beginning of the books was a little slow, but it picks up once the group leaves Llanfair Mountain. The dialogue between the three teens really sounds like three lifelong friends talking together would. They talk about everything and nothing. The last third of the book is great. It’s hard to decide which member of the troupe that kidnaps them is the worst. There are little things that are mentioned here and there that really connect everything together by the climax of the book. I like that almost everyone got a happy ending. I liked this book so much that I would read it again. I also really like the main quote “There is no cure for being who you truly are.”
I would recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy, historical fiction, magic and mermaids.