The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea by Kerrelyn Sparks

The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea by Kerrelyn Sparks
Publisher: Kensington Books
Genre: Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Four sisters have become queens, rulers of all that Aerthlan’s two moons embrace. The last sister will forge her own path . . .

Signs and Seals

Raised on the magic-seeped Isle of Moon, Maeve is used to unusual powers—and the way they fuel the politics of her world. But when she discovers an ability to shape-shift at will, she knows who she wants to share it with first. Brody, the enigmatic, infuriating shifter-spy has always made time for Maeve. But it’s been almost two months since she’s seen him. And though no one else believes Brody is in danger, Maeve is more than ready to rescue him herself.

The rumors Brody’s investigating are terrifying: a secret army of magic-users, in the service of the cruel Circle of Five. But when he uncovers the identity of one of the Five, the mission becomes personal. Cursed as a boy by the Sea Witch, Brody can spend only two hours a day in his human form, a restriction that limits his future and muzzles his heart. Plus Maeve teases him for being such a pretty doggy instead of appreciating his manly charms. To win his freedom, he must take on a terrible disguise. And when Maeve finds out, she’ll unleash a tempest like no other . . .

The novel I’ve been waiting for – Maeve’s story! So many questions are finally answered. Will Brody ever stop being a dog? Will Maeve find her one true love? And, who IS the Chameleon?

Step by step, sister by sister, the kingdoms of Aerthlan have been rescued from bad royal mismanagement and are now led by noble, strong, kind-hearted and loving kings and queens, and all their peoples benefit. Thing is, there are no more kingdoms to rule so what does that leave the final sister, Maeve, with? Surprises, surprises are in store.
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Throughout the series, readers have watched Maeve grow up. She was a young child when the series opened and she’s seen a lot of changes, most of which her sisters have had a hand in bringing about. The only magical thing the heroine seems to be able to do is turn into a seal. That’s not much but it’s all she has for abilities. One other thing she has is Brody’s friendship. It’s the one thing that keeps her upbeat and hopeful. She has a friend with whom she could share her seal-time with. But, now he’s gone too. Maeve is at a crossroads in her life and only she can make the choice that is best for her. Although her sisters love her very much, which is clear throughout the series, the heroine is feeling stifled under their tender overwhelming attention and ploys to marry her off to a nice young nobleman. It’s a bit much, even a reader can agree. So, with Brody missing, what can a young woman do without prospects? Seek her own. What she finds is extraordinary.

There are a couple of new secondary characters that play vital roles in the novel. Elinor is important in a couple of ways, but my favorite is her connection to Nevis. Okay, what she can do with printed drawings is pretty spectacular and provides moments of comedy – one at Nevis’s expense. I thought it hilarious.

Lobby and Tommy, though minor characters, contributed mightily and I liked meeting Lobby. He wasn’t quite like Popeye, but he reminded me of the character; gruff, salty and kind with a touch of heroism when it counted, although no spinach. I liked meeting the kids too.

I was sad at one of the fatalities in the story. Like most, I thought he could be redeemed, until he made that one final jump of logic. I accepted the author’s choice at that moment.

There is a lot of adventure, daring-do and close-calls sprinkled throughout the story. There are rescue plans that go awry, revelations that astound and realizations that love has been blooming all along and they only need to grab it. A few things need to happen first, like getting rid of the Sea Witch. She turns out to be real and surprisingly powerful. She also is a planner, a schemer and a bit off her rocker. Like all good villains, she gets her comeuppance but how it happened and by whom is a huge surprise. I think so at any rate.

I also enjoyed the funny moments when Brody dons his other human persona and he meets other people for the first time. Some were suspenseful but there were quite a few that garnered grins.

The romance and happy ever after were all wrapped up in a bow for fans. I’m very satisfied with how Ms. Sparks tied all the series’ threads of the many lives affected during The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea. From adults to children, human to animal and friends to lovers, all romantic elements came to fruition to deliver a happy ever after ending worthy of the story arc stemming from the mystery of the Circle of Five. Aerthlan is in good hands.

I would recommend readers not read The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea as a standalone since it’s a novel that completes a story arc and solves all the riddles and clues that have plagued Maeve and her sisters since the beginning. A new reader just wouldn’t understand why Maeve’s gift to Leofric of Eberon was so special, satisfying and full of emotional import. Why it would bring a watery sniffle to a reader’s sappily smiling face. Okay, my sappily smiling face. I was so happy for him! Seriously, I recommend reading them in any order if a reader wishes, but save The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea by Kerrelyn Sparks for last. It’s the perfect icing on top of this multi-tiered cake called the Embraced series.

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