Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Book Review: Princess of Undersea (Leslie Conzatti)


Ylaine is a mermaid with a gorgeous singing voice, who, instead of helping her father manipulate the merfolk in a mess of politics, wants nothing more than to see the land people, maybe even walk among them. This dream is fueled more after she rescues a human boy from drowning. And, with a potion from her guardian, she’s given the chance to find him.

Guys, this was a kind of adorable story. I loved the charm and fairytale quality to it, and the twists Leslie put into it to make it a retelling. The worldbuilding and history behind the story is part of what guides the fathers of Ylaine and Nathan. Ylaine’s father wants war against the humans, and the fairies, who were once friends to the merfolk, were banished by Nathan’s father. So it’s kind of a complicated mess of stuff between them, whether or not both sides really know all of the details.

The plot was charming. It followed the general Little Mermaid tail (haha, you see what I did there? I made a pun), and it kept moving steadily, giving me things to root for (Ylaine’s only got a few days to find the boy she rescued) and throwing plot twists at me that I then need to reorient myself around (in a good way ;) ).

I did not expect the villain to be who she was. Honestly that was one of my favorite parts. XD The villainess was clever and sly, and surprisingly vicious in contrast to the motherly facade we see. She showed a sudden display of violence and it startled me, guys. That is how unexpected that was for me. XD But I liked that, and I liked her scheming and manipulation. She made for a good antagonist.

I was a little disappointed by the ending, in that I felt it had a few loose ends to tie up still, and I really wanted to see that closure. It sounds like Leslie will reveal that closure I wanted after a certain number of reviews. So if nothing else, read the book and write a review so I know what happens! XD

Our “main” main character, Ylaine, is a sweetheart. She loves her father, but his restrictions frustrate her, and it causes tension between them. In a way, her desire to walk among the land people comes also from wanting to help her father: if she can prove they’re friendly, they don’t have to go to war.

Our other character, Nathan, is a young man who is struggling between clinging to his boyhood years of fun and play and the stage of his life where he must begin taking responsibility and prepare to take the throne after his father. His mentor is a source of wisdom, and with the help of Ylaine, is able to get Nathan started in the right direction.

At least until the villainess’ own plans come into play. That’s when things get complicated, and Ylaine only has so much time to do something.

*****

Violence/gore: Nothing extremely violent or described in detail, I don’t think. When Ylaine’s potion begins to wear off, her human skin peels away/flakes off, which may be unsettling to some.

Profanity: None.

Sexual content: Nothing really. There may be a vague reference to a woman’s breasts (though I could be wrong) when Ylaine is looking at a human’s depiction of a mermaid.

Other: Nothing major I can think of. The villainess dabbles in magic, with potions and such.