Title: The Seafarer’s Kiss
Author: Julia Ember
Genre: YA Fantasy, Retelling, LGBTQ+(Bi)
Publisher: Duet Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Finally!!! A mermaid book that’s definitely worth the read! After reading many amazing reviews, I had very high expectations and was not the least disappointed.
This book is only 212 pages, therefore this review will be short. The Seafarer’s Kiss was a wonderful read filled with action and self-acceptance. We meet Ersel right on the first page with her fondness of human goods that lay deep in the ocean. She collects these things in secret and holds them dear to her heart. I have read that this is The Little Mermaid retelling and although it holds true in some aspects, I loved The Seafarer’s Kiss for it’s own beauty of the characters and world. I also loved how Norse Gods (trickster Loki) and pirates were incorporated within this book and again, although short, the book was definitely to the point.
Ersel is trying to get away from a fertility grading that happens every year and when escaping, she meets Ragna the shield-maiden who so happens to be human. Ragna who was left to fend for herself now has Ersel’s help, to save not only herself but something else. However, when Ersel’s long time best friend sees Ragna and Ersel together, things start to unfold. When these things unfold, that’s where the trickster God, Loki, comes into play and you will be left on the edge of your seat for the rest of the book.
My only tad bit of a problem with this beautiful book was that I wish it was longer and extended some of the scenes more. I loved how each and every character played an important role in Ersel’s life. And not only was this an f/f retelling but it was also about personal growth. Julia Ember delivered an important message throughout the book and was inclusive with sexuality, gender, and body. Now, the reason why I am being so vague here is because I feel like the synopsis tells a lot of the story and the events.
I feel like this book can be a series for sure!
Credit for this aesthetic goes to author, click here.