The Seafarer's Kiss

224p. Interlude/Duet. May 2017. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9781945053207.
Gr 8 Up—A flawed but unique mermaid romance for young adults. Ersel, a teenage Nordic mermaid, strives to escape the patriarchal system that values her only as a breeder. She is enamored with all things human and falls in love with a shipwrecked human girl. Ersel makes a deal with Loki, the trickster god, to collect a mermaid voice for him in exchange for legs. She obtains the voice, and Loki grants her wish. However, instead of giving Ersel two legs, he transforms her fins into eight tentacles. Ersel must outsmart the god to achieve her dreams. Readers will likely compare this tale to Disney's The Little Mermaid and will be pleased with the parallels. The unique elements—the steamy same-sex romance and the interweaving of Norse mythology—give this story a lift. Unfortunately the writing is clumsy at times.
VERDICT A good addition to YA retelling shelves.

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