What: Between The Sea and Sky
When: October 25th, 2011
Why: Premise Interest
How: From Author
For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.
Gah, what a sweet book! It's this blend of the magic in middle grade and the romance and writing style of YA combined to make a luscious, light high fantasy that everyone can enjoy!
The book definitely doesn't read like a High Fantasy, which makes it very accessible for people who don't really like High Fantasy in the first place. While you're reading it, even though they're are people with sings and mermaids, it never feels like you're in a completely different world. Jacklyn's writing is so subtle when she slips me details that half-way through the novel was when I realized, this isn't in an alternate Earth, but a whole new land!
Esmerine was such a sweet (sweet is going to be a common word in this review, because that is just the overall feel of the novel!) and determined girl, and you really see her grow up and come into her own throughout the novel. She's conflicted the whole time about her duty to her community and her duty to herself, which is a problem most people face, and she was, at times, was so level-headed about it that I just loved her from the start. Alandare is awkward and doesn't really know how to talk to people and it's adorable and I just wanted to give him a big hug (which would probably confuse him, but what do I care?)
I loved reading about the concept of the mermaids and how Sirens were these esteemed kind of guardians for the mermaid world underwater. The society functions very much like a dystopian government in the sense that you only know what they tell you, and no one ever talks about the bad things. I also loved how the entire plot of the novel revolves around Esmerine trying to find her sister, right? But it's not to force Dosinia to come back to her or make her feel awful, but just to see if she was alright and if she was happy! Because in family, that's the important thing!
Alandare and Esmerine's relationship was so lovely to read. You get to hear about their past when they were children and then when there are reunited as late teenagers and how difficult it is for them to be two completely different people with an almost impossible romance but still love and care for one another. I adored the ending and the way that Jacklyn solves everything is neat and makes sense, which is always a plus.
Overall, I definitely recommend!