Sirenia – king Neptune’s youngest daughter of six – is a free spirit who yearns for nothing more than adventure and the liberty that comes with it.
Her whole life has been a build up to the moment where she comes of age and can therefore be allowed to explore the entire ocean and all its treasures. The most anticipated event of this occasion is when she’ll be able to break the surface of the water and indulge in her curiosity of all things human. Her day comes finally but unfortunately the sweetness is accompanied by a pungent bitterness as she finds and almost looses her first love. With the terrible happenings of her big day depressing the princess. It leaves the princess rather impressionable, and would you have it, with a jagged voiced amethyst-eyed witch ready to take full advantage of her.
Based on The Little Mermaid written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1836, Serenade is all about what happens when curiosity doesn’t kill the cat (or rather the mer in this case). What follows is a journey entwined in adventure, love, magic, power and sacrifices. Even though its derived from a very famous piece of work, Serenade has some of the aura of The Little Mermaid which oozes out in the beginning of the book but thankfully reclaims its originality towards the end. Granted it takes too long to build up to the most explosive bits where battles ensue and it’s a good vs. evil war, its only then that one might actually enjoy and start savoring the fiction. Don’t let the slow start deter you from continuing and actually finishing the book, because the climate is where a delightful twist (which incidentally has left its trail from the very first part of the book) is untwined and leads the way to more secrets being unraveled.
Mari Bianca is a first time book writer and a lover of all things fantasy particularly mermaids. Her descriptive style of writing with just the right amount of archaic terms, places you effectively in an era where superstition was always the leading theory of the day and women wore comically puffed sleeves that reached their elbows.
Despite its snail-like start and some parts of it being predictable (down to a formula), it makes up for it in its pinnacle where it ties all the elements together rather nicely. Hooks it’s audience at (almost) the last moment where it reels you in making you thank your lucky stars you didn’t put it down and away.
I recommend this book for young readers (who its intended for) who either enjoy or are thinking of dabbling in the realm of fairy-tale.
Visit www.fairy-tale.co.za for more information on Serenade.