Long ago Miren O’Malley’s family prospered due to a deal struck with the Mer: safety for their ships in return for a child of each generation. But for many years the family have been unable to keep their side of the bargain and have fallen into decline. Miren’s grandmother is determined to restore their glory, even at the price of Miren’s freedom.
A spellbinding tale of dark family secrets, magic and witches, and creatures of myth and the sea; of strong women and the men who seek to control them.
I was somewhat hesitant to request this book from Netgalley. I am not sure why. I guess I was scared it would be too tropy, and romance heavy. But then I saw some early reviews and figured I needed to snatch this up. And I am so glad I did because I absolutely adored it.
Because this book is what every book about mer (and fae) should be like… gothic, slightly unnerving and filled with lore and stories. Miren is the last of the O’Malleys, and old family that has powerful blood due to a deal struck with the mer. Blood and a womb for which she is being forced into a marriage with her cousin. Luckily Miren is a strong lady and doesn’t just do what she is told… This leads her to go look for her mother and the family secrets she holds.
Along her way she comes across automatons, selkies, wolf-boys and of course mer. These creatures aren’t necessarily nice. Nor are they evil though. They are different and exactly as they should be. Magical. And they really help to create the wonderful and dark atmosphere of this book. A book that is very much character driven, and full of layers. A book that highlights that maybe man and its greed is the biggest evil.
And that is all I really want to say on this book. This book is different from what you might expect from the blurb, and for me that turned into a pleasant surprise. One side note… my late request meant that it is already out, and I could listen to the audiobook along the side. And Aoife McMahon does an Amazing job with the narration. So if you can, please pick up the audiobook.