Merminia, by Emm Cole

I read this book back in the spring, but for some reason(s)—being relatively new to blogging, busy time at work, astronomical confluence, who knows why—my review made it to Goodreads and Amazon, but not here. So here it finally is!

I love mermaids, and after writing and publishing my own mermaid novel for my daughters, I decided to explore what other mermaid tales were out there, so I dove into the world of Merminia.

The book is categorized as a Teen/YA book, so I went in expecting there to be either teen mermaids or interactions with human teens, as so often is the case. There weren’t any humans at all in the book, and the mermaids have long life spans so I’m not sure if they can technically be considered teens. However, teens who enjoy fantasy books with rival clans going to battle will definitely enjoy this book.

The world-building is top notch. Author Emm Cole spent much time creating a believable undersea world and populated it with different factions filled with deep characters. There are stakes involved as the two primary factions in the book—the Merminians and the Litiants—prepare to face off. Strategical moves are made, and the Litiants capture Selinne, the daughter of the deceased Merminian leader.

As a heroine, Selinne is a wonderful creation. She’s an active character and has strong, purposeful interactions with every other character in the story, and she develops some surprising and refreshing relationships. It was a delight watching her grow as a character, and when the book was focused on her, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

The only thing keeping me from giving this book five stars is the war itself. I had some difficulty keeping track of some of the major players on both sides. The requisite big battle scene is well-written—vividly described and gripping—and there are interesting and surprising developments afterwards to lead into the sequel, but the battle occurred earlier than I expected for what felt like the climactic moments in the book.

Whether you’re a fan of mermaids or not, if you’re a fan of the Game of Thrones style machinations between warring factions, this is a book for you. I guess I’m not as much of a fan of those, but I am a fan of mermaids, and Selinne the mermaid may very well have to be added high on my list of favorite mermaid characters of all time. The sequel is on my to-read list for the fall (and it’s already on my Kindle) so I can find out what happens to her next.


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Merminia is available at Amazon.

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