Between the Sea and Sky
[October 25, 2011]
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.
What can I say about this book?
I guess I'll start with the world building. This story is, obviously, not set in the real world, but it still felt a lot like the real world. The way Jaclyn wrote, it came off like historical fiction with this magical touch woven in. I could picture the worlds of our mermaids and our "winged race" just as well. The only thing I really want to know more about was the history of these two different races and how they came to be, but it wasn't something that bothered me while I was reading. It was something I didn't realize I wanted until I sat down to write this review and remembered it wasn't there. But it definitely did not take away from the story.
The writing is absolutely gorgeous. It was so fluid and vivid and I wanted to hug it. Jackie has this magnificent talent with words that she told this whole story in less than 300 pages, but it didn't feel like a short read. And when I did finish, it didn't need more. But I wanted more. So I could make out with it, or something.
Esmerine and Alandare...oh these two. They bring the adorable and the romance. To me, Alan was very Mr. Darcy-esque, which always makes me happy. And Esmerine was this unique, strong person. She was dedicated, loyal, passionate. And a book-geek. We all know that this is a wonderful thing.
Each character was well crafted. Esmerine's younger sisters weren't really well defined, but they didn't play a major role in the story. But beside them, pretty much all the characters had their own distinct personality and had a role, big or small, in how the story moved.
What it boils down to is this: I want more books like this one. Fantastic world building, beautiful writing, an adorable romance with just a touch of the forbidden. And a lot of love. Family, friends, partners. All kinds of love and relationships and what people are willing to do for those relationships. All done WELL.
Please, please, please go get this book. It's gorgeous and wonderful and needs more love and attention than it's getting. Most definitely one of my favorites for the year.