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  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

review | the mermaid's tale by l. e. richmond

Updated: Nov 2


I’ll be honest. That ending thoroughly ticked me off. I cannot believe I didn’t expect that cliffhanger!!! Now, I don’t have anything against cliffhangers, but oh my gosh. I was not ready for that one. 😭

You’ve been forewarned. The Mermaid’s Tale has a brutal cliffhanger, and Lord only knows how long we’re gonna have to wait for the next book in the duology. *shakes head* Now, about the rest of the story…

Currently, I’ve been having a hard time getting into books, and The Mermaid’s Tale was no exception. The first chapter or two didn’t quite draw me in, and it wasn’t until I forced myself to keep on plowing through and I reached the middle that I couldn’t put it down. I still never felt fully invested in the story, but I was definitely intrigued, and I had to find out what happened next!

Before cracking open The Mermaid’s Tale, I was ecstatic about reading a mermaid novel. It’s a rare occurrence when you find one that’s not a retelling of The Little Mermaid in some way, so this one seemed super interesting. Personally, I had several peeves—the plot was chaotic and hard for me to follow at times; there was a lot of back-and-forth miscommunication or lack of communication that to me felt unnecessary; and because this was only the first half of the story, there seemed to be something missing by way of character development.

As far as the characters go, our side characters (such as Ginevra and Conway) were unique and piqued my curiosity—I’m interested in seeing where their characters and stories go! Our main characters, however, were not my personal favorites as much as the secondary characters were. Locklyn had some great potential, but she felt cliché to me, and Darin…I don’t know about him. It was hard to get a read on him, though there’s still potential for him too. I feel like reading the next book (whenever I’ll be able to do that) will really help me get a better feel for these two and formulate fuller thoughts. Until then, I’m not a huge fan, but that may change.

The worldbuilding was fascinating, though. Richmond pulled out all the stops in creating a deep (no pun intended) and unique undersea world, which I appreciated. But at the same time, the execution had its flaws. There was a lot of info-dumping, which jerked me out of the story and got me off track a time or two. And I feel like there were elements that were missing or never fully explored. For example, the Wave Master, who’s name is only mentioned in prayers. I’m assuming the WM is an allegorical form of God, but the mer-people’s religion was never expounded upon. I was left with as many questions as I had answers, which could prove to be a good thing if my questions are answered in the next installment.

*sighs* Honestly, The Mermaid’s Tale wasn’t all I’d hoped it would be, but it did drag me under the sea with it, and once the ball got rolling (or swimming?), I couldn’t put it down! There were a lot of aspects that I’m unsure about, but I certainly want to read the next book to discover what happens next and see how my opinions change as the story is fleshed out!

If you’re looking for an undersea fantasy with classic romance tropes (friends-to-lovers, love triangle, miscommunication) and an interesting twist on the traditional tales (tails?) of mermaids, The Mermaid’s Tale is for you!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy from Celebrate Lit Publicity. All opinions expressed are my own.

~ the book ~

A Tail Could Tell a Tale

Locklyn Adair has never fit in. The legs she inherited as a result of her great-great-grandmother’s curse make it impossible for her to belong under the sea. When her niece is also born without a tail, Locklyn is determined to save her from similar rejection by sending her to the only place in the Undersea Realm where legs are acceptable – the Lost Island of Atlantis.

Darin Aalto would do anything to protect his family, even spearheading an impossible quest to find treasure that has been lost for over a hundred years. But when his best friend, Locklyn, joins his crew, his ability to keep her safe—and his shot at winning her heart—comes perilously close to being swept away.

A family curse, lost treasure, unrequited love, and a race against time intertwine as Locklyn and Darin seek to save their family, their kingdom, and eventually the entire Undersea Realm without losing each other.

~ the author ~

L.E. Richmond was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest by an American composition teacher and a German bookseller. Her childhood consisted in a large part of imagining stories for her Playmobil characters and checking out as many books from the library as her family could fit on six library cards. Now she spends her time chasing two blonde baby boys, reading aloud to the hazel-eyed young man who has her heart, and attempting to transfer the stories in her head into words for others. Her passion is for words and stories that thrill the soul and she is continually amazed by the One who crafted the most epic story of all time.

~ the tour ~

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, October 19

Madi’s Musings, October 19

By the Book, October 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 21

Denise L. Barela, October 21

Texas Book-aholic, October 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 25

Inklings and Notions, October 26

Life, Love, Writing, October 27

Blogging With Carol, October 27

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 28

Labor Not in Vain, October 29

Holly’s Book Corner, October 30

Simple Harvest Reads, October 31 (Guest Review from Mindy)

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 1 (Author Interview)

Of Blades and Thorns, November 1 (you're here!)


In honor of her tour for The Mermaid's Tale, L.E. is giving away the grand prize package of hardcover copy of The Mermaid’s Tale and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click the button below to enter, and make sure to comment on the blog stops for extra entries!


What are some of your favorite mermaid tales? Are you a fan of duologies? (I'm discovering I probably can't handle the inevitable cliffhangers. *glares at The Wonderland Trials and The Mermaid's Tale for both of their wretched cliffhangers*) And isn't that cover GORGEOUS?! 😍

#bookreview #review #newbook #blogtour #giveaway #fantasy #romance #debutnovel

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