Waterfire saga: Deep blue by Jennifer Donnelly

cover image

Hodder Children's Books, 2014. ISBN 9781444921182.
(Age: 11+) Recommended. Deep Blue is the first thrilling instalment in the Waterfire saga which follows the perilous adventure of six teenage mermaids are they endeavour to save their ocean home from an unknown terragogg enemy. The story starts by following princess Seraphina as she prepares her songspell for her dokimi, a coronation and betrothal ceremony. The ceremony is interrupted however and her homeland of Miromara is laid waste by enemy mermen from Ondalina. With the sea-people preparing for war Seraphina's life and that of her betrothed's cousin, Neela, are in danger. The girls must do all that is in their power to get away, even if that means stepping into the mirror realm and facing down dangerous terragoggs. Drawn together by dreams of river witches and a terrifying monster the girls must choose to embrace their talents and either fight or take flight from their enemy, for they are the descendants of the six greatest mages who ever lived.
A full blown fantasy with rich details and a portrayal of everyday environmental concerns for marine life and pollution, this novel is the perfect fantasy for the modern girl. I would highly recommend for girls ages eleven and up who love fantasy. The novel is filled with strong female characters, in a matriarchal setting, who are both beautiful and smart. The reader is thrown into an enjoyably foreign new world with a multitude of historical and mythological references. The novel deals both directly and indirectly with issues of teenage rebellion, body image, trust, the importance of obedience and of facing one's problems.
Kayla Gaskell (Student)