By K.M. Shea
It is with great reluctance—and a lot of frustration—that Dylan, a selkie, saves the Ringsted Prince Callan when she finds him shipwrecked and drifting in the ocean. The experience is nothing but a bother, so she puts it from her mind and swims off on her merry way. Two years later, while chasing an evil sea witch onto land, Dylan’s pelt is stolen, leaving her unable to return to the ocean in her sea lion body. Rather than serve as the sea witch’s tool, Dylan asks a traveling enchantress to seal her voice. The enchantress complies, and Dylan is taken to the royal palace by one of the sea witch’s minions where she encounters, yet again, Prince Callan.
Between court games, a dangerous brush with a kelpie, and sniffing out the sea withch while looking for her pelt, Dylan’s days are a flavorful blend of treachery and boredom. But during her searches and investigations, Prince Callan befriends her, making her question her loyalties. Dylan always thought her heart was with the ocean, but can she defeat the sea witch and leave Callan forever?
K.M. Shea is my favorite go-to for a good fairy-tale retelling. I love how she’s able to keep true to the heart of a story but gives the reader enough little twists that it’s enjoyable to re-experience the classic fairy-tales. This is by far the best retelling I’ve read for The Little Mermaid. Hans Christian Anderson’s original is depressing to say the least, and Disney’s version is delightful. I really appreciated Shea’s decision to use a Selkie instead of a Mermaid, which to my mind made more sense anyway. This is the fifth book in her fairy-tale series, and I didn’t have high hopes for it, but I ended up loving this story. Mostly because of Dylan. Dylan is awesome. She is a girl who is bold and different. I love that Shea made her a bottomless pit when it came to eating. That was hilarious and endearing. She had so much personality, and a different personality! I had gotten used to the typical Princess who was either sick of being royalty and wanted to be normal, or was pushed around and had to find her own voice (with small variations). Dylan is loyal and knows who she is. She doesn’t care about things that don’t matter to her end goal. Falling in love wasn’t what she was waiting for, it happened and she dealt with it like a person. I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed the characters in this book. Also, Callan is a perfect match for Dylan! I don’t want to spoil too much, but he’s just as different as she is and it’s an amazing to see how they work off each other and support/respect one another. Great job Ms. Shea. Bravo!
I give it a 4.25 out of 5 –for awesome original characters!!!