Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (March 3, 2020)
Praise for MERMAID MOON
“Susann Cokal’s latest miracle, Mermaid Moon, springs from the tides where Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid once swam — and walked to land. But she delivers something even more rich and strange, and a mermaid heroine who will swim away with your heart.” —Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon
“Cokal’s moody and sea-drenched tale weaves touches of Hans Christian Andersen with a dash of Pied Piper, using language that gorgeously sets each scene, including the exceedingly creepy bone vault … Lyrical, complex, and occasionally dark.” —School Library Journal
“Cokal creates a well-developed matriarchal mermaid mythology in which women couple, bonded by love and respect, and men are largely unnecessary. Through several voices and richly detailed prose, these markedly different worlds overlap and diverge to impart a nuanced exploration of power, family, faith, and love.” —Publishers Weekly
“Mermaid Moon is an action-packed tale of parental abandonment, familial longing, treachery and dark magic with an appealingly determined heroine.” —BookPage
“A beautifully told, immersive story that layers fairy-tale elements with more modern themes, allowing for a different experience with every reread.” —Shelf Awareness
In the far northern reaches of civilization, a mermaid leaves the sea to look for her land-dwelling mother among people as desperate for magic and miracles as they are for life and love.
Blood calls to blood; charm calls to charm.
It is the way of the world.
Come close and tell us your dreams.
Sanna has been living as a mermaid — but she is only half seavish. The night of her birth, a sea-witch cast a spell that made Sanna’s people, including her landish mother, forget how and where she was born.
Now Sanna is sixteen and an outsider in the seavish flok where women rule and mothers mean everything. She is determined to go to land and learn who she is. So she apprentices herself to the ancient witch, Sjældent, to learn the magic of making and unmaking. With a new pair of legs and a mysterious quest to complete for her teacher, she follows a clue that leads her ashore on the Thirty-Seven Dark Islands.
Her fellow mermaids wait floating on the seaskin as Sanna stumbles into a wall of white roses thirsty for blood, a hardscrabble people hungry for miracles, and a baroness of fading beauty who will do anything to live forever, even at the expense of her own children.
From the author of the Michael L. Printz Honor Book The Kingdom of Little Wounds comes a gorgeously told tale of belonging, sacrifice, fear, hope, and mortality.
This is a dark version of the little mermaid. Sanna is desperate to know who her mother is and all those who know of her can remember is that she human. This is due to a forgetting spell that was cast on any who witness the birth of Sanna.
The author knows how to weave a very descriptive story that at times I felt almost felt like i was drowning. That being said you were very easily able to follow this hauntly dark tale. One of the most memorable characters is the Barnoess Thyrla who from the moment she meets the mermaid entraps here in layers of interwoven spells.
The author does a fantastic job of letting natural LGBT relationships weave into the narrative of this story. I rated this lower then I liked as I felt their was not enough actual story to warrant a 500 plus page novel. This could of easily been told in around 300 pages.
I did enjoy this unique take on mermaids and do recommend ya give it go if your wanting something on the darker side.
Susann Cokal is a moody historical novelist, a pop-culture essayist, book critic, magazine editor, and sometime professor of creative writing and modern literature. She lives in a creepy old farmhouse in Richmond, Virginia, with seven cats, a dog, a spouse, and some peacocks that supposedly belong to a neighbor. She is the author of two books for young adults and two for regular adults.
Susann’s previous book, The Kingdom of Little Wounds, received several national awards, including a silver medal from the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award series. It also got starred reviews in Kirkus, School Library Journal, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, and Publishers Weekly, and praise from Booklist, The New York Times Boook Review, and other venues. It was #3 on the Boston Globe list of best YAs of the 2013 and won an ALAN citation from the National Council of Teachers of English.