(I received a digital copy of this book for free as part of the ‘Syrenka’ Blog Tour!)
This is book 1 in the ‘Syrenka’ series.
17-year-old Eviana is a mermaid. Not only is she a mermaid, but she is her clan leaders eldest child, which means that she will be the next clan leader. Mermaids are a dying species, which means that they must marry and breed appropriately. Eviana’s parents have arranged a marriage for her, to Kain – the heir of the Matthew’s clan, who as mermen go, is quite a catch.
Eviana and Kain have known about this arrangement since they were very young, but while Kain obviously has feelings for Eviana, Eviana has a boyfriend, a selkie (seal) called Brandon who her parents don’t approve of (as mermaids and selki’s can’t breed together).
With Eviana’s 18th birthday only a few weeks away, her marriage is fast approaching, and she knows that as much as she likes Kain, she belongs with Brandon, and they begin to make plans to run away together.
With tensions running high between Eviana and her parents, a Syrenka Cotillion to attend, and her wedding day looming, Eviana throws her entire life away to run away with Brandon, even when she knows that Kain would be a great husband and that they would be good together.
But when disaster strikes, and Brandon’s life is on the line, Eviana finds that having no family and friends to turn to could mean that she loses the only thing that she ever truly wanted, and she must swallow her embarrassment and ask the people that she left behind for help.
I really enjoyed this book, from the very first page I was swept into Eviana’s world, with both its magical beings, and teenage normalcy. I loved how Eviana’s problems were so similar to those of a normal teen – parents wanting her to do what she doesn’t want to do, parents not approving of her boyfriend, and also very different – being forced into an arranged marriage, and having to content with being the next leader of her clan.
I totally understood Eviana’s desire to run off with her boyfriend, and her wish to not have to marry at 18, but at the same time, I never for a moment thought that she would go through with it. I thought she would have a change of heart or change of circumstance and that she would stay and do her duty.
I personally was secretly hoping that she would stay and marry Kain who was a total sweetheart. He was more than happy to do his duty, especially when faced with his father’s impending death, and even offered to let Eviana continue to see Brandon in secret once they were married, which was obviously something that he knew would mean a lot to her.
Eviana was a strong female lead, she did what she wanted, but only after considering the consequences of her actions. She must have been so in love with Brandon to risk everything to be with him. Not only was she leaving her family, but her friends, clan, and way of life too. I don’t think I could ever do something like that, and I both applaud and frown upon her decision to run away. Whilst I understand that she loved Brendon and wanted to be with him, I also felt for Kain who was being jilted at the alter.
Eviana was always determined to get what she wanted, and this came across even more strongly when she was fighting for those that she loved and cared for.
If I had one complaint about the book it was when Eviana and Brendon slept together for the first time, and we were teased a bit and then told that they had ‘a wonderful night together’, I would have loved a little bit more here, nothing sordid or ‘fifty shades’, but just a little more than what we got!
Overall I liked this book though, and am looking forward to reading the second book in the series – Betrayal.
8 out of 10.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)