The Maid of Trelanton by Simon Peel

The Maid of Trelanton by Simon Peel
Publisher: Silver Stream Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (51 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Successful scientist Jonathan Moore thought he knew how the world worked – until the day he discovered a mermaid on a Cornish beach. As his outlook on life is changed forever by the beautiful maid, Jonathan is torn between his family and the lure of freedom beneath the sea – for which there is a terrible price to pay…

Did you know that scientists know more about the topography of Mars than the floors of our deepest oceans here on Earth? Imagine what secrets might await us in those dark, unexplored places.

Jonathan and Anne have finally had their greatest wish come true, but the stress of caring for a fussy newborn while Jonathan is on the cusp of making an extraordinary breakthrough at work is exposing the frayed edges of their marriage. As sad as it was to see them struggling so much, I was mesmerized by the detailed pictures Mr. Peel painted in my mind about their personalities. It felt as if Anne and Jonathan were old, dear friends instead of characters in a story, and my impression of them is so strong I feel like I’d instantly recognize them if we magically met in person.

I couldn’t understand why Jonathan stopped communicating with Anne when she first pushed him away. Every marriage has its rough patches, but both spouses in this story respond to the overwhelming changes in their lives by doing everything other than asking for what they really need. Had Mr. Peel included at least one conversation between Anne and Jonathan in which they were honest about what they wanted I would have given this book a higher rating. Not everyone is emotionally healthy enough to listen to their spouse in this sort of situation, of course, but I never understood why neither person in this marriage was willing to take that first step and at least attempt to fix the situation for the sake of their son.

Kerra’s hauntingly beautiful descriptions of life as a mermaid made me wish her scenes would never end. I would be quite interested in reading a sequel from her point of view if it explored the deepest mystery in mermaid civilization.

The Maid of Trelanton is the sort of tale I’d recommend without hesitation to a friend who is completely unfamiliar with the fantasy genre. It is a solid introduction to magical realism that should not be missed, and I hope to hear more from these characters soon.

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