A few years ago my aunt sent me The Gryphon series by Stacey Rourke. She was in Boston at the time and knew I loved books. She had these signed for me and sent them to me. I really enjoyed this series and when the chance came along to be a part of the blog tour for Entombed in Glass, I needed to read Rise of the Sea Witch first. My review for Entombed in Glass is scheduled for Thursday, so it was time for the review of the first book now.
This is very interesting cover. The underwater vibe is pretty clear and I was wondering what the tentacles in the back were going to mean for the story. The tag line is definitely fitting for the book.
I love The Little Mermaid. This was my favorite Disney movie when I was younger and it still is. We all know the villain of this story Ursula and this book gives us her backstory. How did she turn evil? Was she ever nice before turning into the wicked one down under? This story is very exciting. It’s told through Vanessa’s POV. Vanessa is Poseidon’s daughter and is the princess of Atlantica. After the loss of her mother it hasn’t been an easy time for Vanessa. Her father pays more attention to her brother Triton and her dreams of ruling become less and less each day. The war with the humans causes some tension and things don’t go as planned. Vanessa is a sassy character and I loved reading from her POV. I felt bad in the beginning, because it’s clear that all she wants is some love from her father. No matter how hard she tries, she’s ignored. Triton is the dream son and Poseidon won’t stop until he’s ready to take his place. Even though she has her sassy side, underneath it all, there’s just a girl that wants to be loved. When tensions rise and certain events take place Vanessa’s world changes for good. After being a victim for so long, she becomes the villain we all know from the story. After reading this I can say I understand her a lot more. There are always things that make me wonder how mermaids live. They eat and drink and even sweat. How does drinking and sweating work under water? Even using a blanket is a mysterious idea to me. This story was filled with action and a lot of character development. It took me a bit to be completely into this story, but in the end I was loving it. All the politics of this underwater world were written well and very interesting. It didn’t seem forced, but fit this tale perfectly. I love how Vanessa takes a break telling her story at time to give us a few interesting history lessons, so we will understand Atlantica better. The hints of The Little Mermaid made this story complete. Even if it was rather cruel at times. Stacey Rourke built an amazing underwater world and made me want to know what happens to these characters.
Vanessa seems very feisty from the start, but the more we learn about her past, she’s more vunerable and hurt than anything. Losing her mother wasn’t easy (especially how she sees her rotting body at times) and her father hasn’t really looked at her since. She even acts out to get his attention. Vanessa tries everything in her power to get his attention and make him love her. Things don’t work as planned and when tragedy strikes, life becomes difficult. Figuring out who she can trust and what she can do is what unfolds in the story. Vanessa goes from a sweet, loving girl into a sassy young woman who is seeking revenge for what has been done to her. I really understand that Vanessa becomes the evil Ursula we know. You can only take so much of a beating before you snap.
Poseidon lost his wife and once that happened, old secrets came back to haunt him. That is what made it so hard for him to accept Vanessa. While this is understandable, she shouldn’t be blamed for what her mother did. While trying to rule a kingdom, raise a son and keep the humans far away a lot happens. Other than this we don’t learn much more about Poseidon.
Triton is Vanessa’s brother and very innocent and maybe even a bit naive. He doesn’t understand why he needs to be prepared to be King. It’s not something he wants. Triton much rather play around the ocean with the animals. He has to grow up fast and only looks to his sister for advice. Things don’t go as planned and there is definitely some betrayal. Even if he didn’t mean for it to happen.
Alastor is the son of the woman who tends to Vanessa. He’s very sweet and it’s clear that Vanessa and Alastor have been close for years. We don’t read a lot about him, but he only wants what is best for her. He may not always agree with Vanessa, but he loves her a lot.
After reading many retellings about the princesses, it was a nice change to have one about an evil character. This was an interesting take on The Little Mermaid and I can’t wait to read Entombed in Glass. Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for giving me the chance to read and review these books!