The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea – Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Fantasy, adventures, mermaids, witches, LGBTQ+, colonialism, young adult, fiction.
To survive Flora has to become a male under the persona, Florian, to aboard the ship called The Cove. Evelyn is being married off and sent across the sea and hates that she is being sent off. Florian and Evelyn cross paths on the ship that is supposedly a passenger ship but suddenly things take a darker turn when one of the ship crew caught a live mermaid. Both Florian and Evelyn ensure that the mermaid remains alive but the captain of the ship revealed his true intentions. Everyone on board that is a passenger is to become a slave to the Cove. Florian sees the injustice and decides to try to escape with Evelyn and return the mermaid to the ocean. With the help of one of the crew ship members, he offers them an escape and faces punishment. Florian is shot and Evelyn is left to try to row their boat to land. Evelyn finds a woman who claimed to be a witch on this island who promises to save Florian but sent Evelyn to her betrothed who doesn’t believe her story. Intentions are shown and Evelyn must get out. Not only that but Flora needs to rescue Evelyn and escape from the Emperor and the Pirate Supreme.
Wow. Just wow. I can’t even describe how much I loved this book. There was a sapphic romance, adventure, fantasy, and mythical creatures. This novel grabbed me and did not let go of me at all. I loved the way the writing kept its grip on me in such a way that I couldn’t stop reading. I devoured this book in less than a day. I loved how Flora disguised herself as a male pirate and how Evelyn just later accepts her true identity. That made my heart melt because I was rooting for these two characters to survive and love each other. The plot blew my mind and there were so many twists and turns that I hadn’t expected but they were good. This novel discusses the harsh truths of colonialism and the impacts it has on everyone. I recommend this book for only teenagers and older because topics and subjects a bit are challenging for younger audiences but overall an excellent novel.