Deep Blue: 12/04/15
Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly is the first book in the Waterfire series. Serefina is the daughter of Queen Miromara and she's nearly of age. That means her life is full of lessons on deportment, leadership, song spells, and history. She also has the Dokimi ceremony, one that will show is she's worthy to inherit her mother's throne.
At first glance, Deep Blue is a straight up YA romance except that it's set under the sea in a vaguely Italian queendom. Serafina is a mermaid. Though she lives in the Mediterranean, and clearly in an area influenced by Italian language and culture, the merfolk culture extends around the globe through all the major oceans. Best yet, the different regions have their own cultures and languages.
If this had been just a court romance it would have been fine. It has a rich (albeit somewhat punrific) world with multiple cultures and a fully realized history. Right when Deep Blue should be settling into a love triangle involving Serafina, her betrothed and his moody best friend, it takes a sharp left turn.
Instead of Serafina being a pampered princess having her choice of romantic affairs, she's forced to flee for her life. She meets up with other mermaids also drawn into their own personal quests. Not everyone is fleeing from a palace coup, of course, but each one has her own compelling reason.
There's a lot of ground (water, really) covered once Serafina heeds the call. She meets up with a diverse group of women, including one who is blind and has traveled on her quest with a seeing eye fish. Isn't that marvelous?
There are four books so far in the series: Rogue Wave, Dark Tide, and a yet to be titled one. I have the second one on hand and am planning to read it soon.
Comment #1: Sunday, January 03, 2016 at 15:33:55
Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed DEEP BLUE!
Comment #2: Sunday, January 03, 2016 at 12:47:53
You're very welcome! I'm looking forward to diving into the rest of the series.