I’ve been looking forward to Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore for quite a while now. I love stories that mix fantasy with fairy tale vibes – and this story definitely delivers that! It is a pretty calm story overall, giving readers a chance to get to know the characters and embrace the legends and traditions they live under.
When the book opens, Esmerine is undergoing the ceremony that will make her a siren, setting her apart from the mermaid majority. She joins her older sister, who is also a siren, and looks forward to the time they’ll be able to spend together. Oops, too bad her older sister decides to cash in her siren magic to marry a human on land. Esmerine and her family are devastated, and Esmerine is determined to set out and make sure her sister is okay. She tracks down her childhood friend Alandare to help her even though she hasn’t seen him in several years. Their friendship is quite complicated, considering he is of a race that can fly.
So, basically Esmerine and Alandare are opposites. Alan also isn’t quite as sweet and accommodating as he was when they were kids, so things start out pretty awkward. It doesn’t take them too long to find a rhythm together though, and Alan devotes himself to helping Esmerine find her sister fairly willingly.
One thing I loved is that none of the characters are perfect. This is a fairly short book, and I love that Jaclyn took the time to explore the character’s faults (stubbornness, fear, impatience, anger…) – it definitely makes them seem more realistic and well-rounded. Definite kudos there. I also think the way Esmerine and Alandare went from “uhh…nice to see you again? maybe?” to “okay, we can do this whole friends thing” to “let’s get it onnnn” was very well done. Once again, for a short book – I was highly impressed by the fact that nothing seemed hurried.
Well, now that I say that…at first I felt like the ending might have been rushed. Then I beat my head against the desk when I realized I only felt that way because I’m so woefully out of practice of reading stand-alone books. I finally have an author that doesn’t needlessly drag her story into a series and it is a sad day when I fail to appreciate that.
So, if you’re in the mood for a nice, flowing story that focuses on the characters without a great deal of significant plot detail – this is definitely a book worth picking up! I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and the world in which they lived.