First things first: I LOVE retellings! Especially fairy tale/mythology retellings. This particular book is a retelling of The Little Mermaid and is sort of an origin story/retelling for Ursula.
Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.
Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.
A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.
But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.
I listened to this on audio, and I normally listen to books at either 1.8x or 2x speed and this one was a little difficult to do that with because of the narrators accent. After I got used to her accent I was able to bump the speed back up, but it was rough at first! It was also difficult to know the spelling of some of the names and after a thorough Google search I discovered that the love interests name is spelled Iver, just in case you were wondering. (I was confused about it because the narrator pronounced it Ee-kah.)
That aside, I loved the atmosphere that this book had! In some ways it reminded me of The Wicked Deep with the atmosphere being kinda dreary and dark, so if you liked that aspect of The Wicked Deep you may like this book. I also really liked the backstory for our characters, but I wish that I could’ve learned more about Evie and her family history of magic.
The reason that Annamette befriends Evie and Nik ends up being so wild and the build up to that moment and the final moments of the book were all worth it in my opinion. It took this book a little bit to get going, but it just kept picking up speed as the book went on. Towards the end I started really second guessing myself on what I thought would happen, and not gonna lie there was a moment where I wasn’t actually sure who the origin story was for!
I really liked the different relationships between the characters, especially Evie and Nik. They are always there for each other and stand up for each other even though they really shouldn’t have been friends, Nik being a prince and Evie being a fisherman’s daughter. I also really liked Evie and her Tante Hansa, their interactions always had me smirking while I was listening, but I do wish we had seen more of Tante Hansa!
I especially loved the epilogue, it was such a fantastic way to end the book and show what happens after the events of the book end. I do think that maybe it could’ve been a little shorter since there were some parts where there wasn’t a lot happening plot-wise, but the characters interactions with each other made it easy to get through.
Full of friendships and love, plot twists, magic and revenge, this book was just a lot of fun from beginning to end!