The Mermaid's Sister by Carrie Anne Noble
A half-fairy, a mermaid, a pet dragon and a magical journey on a life and death quest - oh, and a sweet romance too - what more could you ask for when looking for a good story to curl up with?
The Mermaid’s Sister is not a fairy tale retelling, but it draws on lots of traditional fairy tale tropes and motifs. Mermaid stories go way back in history - the first known recorded one being 3000 years old. That three-millennium old mermaid is from an Assyrian tale of a goddess who falls in love with a mortal shepherd, and then accidentally kills him. She punishes herself by leaping into a lake and taking the form of a fish. But her immortal beauty is so great that the transformation cannot be completed, and she retains the form of a beautiful human above the waist.
Many cultures have their own mermaid tales. Carrie-Anne Noble has her mermaid weeping tears of pearls, a tradition which originates in an old Chinese story. Also from Chinese literature comes the tradition of mermaids not having a voice, a motif used in Carrie Anne’s story. Other cultures have their mermaids singing beautiful songs to entrance their hearers, so not all of them are voiceless, it seems.
Mermaids, like fairies, can be cast as either benevolent creatures helping human-folk, as in leading sailors away from treacherous rocks, or as troublesome and dangerous beings - luring young men to a watery demise. But whether you like a benevolent or a bad mermaid, they retain their fascination as members of the Faerie world.