This is an enchanting story, full of adventure, danger and hidden secrets, waiting to be discovered. But it is also a story of heritage, self-discovery and acceptance.
Minnow lives aboard The Seafarer (a stunning pirate boat with a mermaid figurehead) with her mother, Mercy, and faithful husky, Miyuki. She is naturally drawn towards the water, and feels out of place and awkward on land.
The story opens with the kidnapping of her mother by three men who believe that Mercy is the key to help them capture a mermaid. Isn’t the existence of mermaids just part of old myths and folklore, so why are they adamant that her Mum can help them capture one? What secrets has she been withholding from her daughter?
Left with strict instructions to go to her Grandmother in Iceland, Minnow travels there aboard The Seafarer where she meets Raife, who shares her love of the sea. Minnow has no intention of staying safe at her Grandmother’s, but has every intention of rescuing her mother before it is too late. Once at her Grandmother’s, Minnow makes a startling discovery. Because of who she really is, she has the power to open the Gateway to the secret Wild Deep and venture across it in a desperate and urgent mission to free her mother.
The world of the Wild Deep is exquisitely revealed, and creates a real sense of wonder and beauty, not only at the landscape but also at the dazzling seafolk of lore which Minnow and Raife find there. They are both beautiful and dangerous, with some prepared to help and others to hinder. They emit a real sense of threat and menace which creates plenty of action and tension as the children try to outwit and escape from them as they struggle to cross this new world. Will the Deep release Minnow to allow her to attempt to rescue her mother? Will there be a price to pay? Will Minnow be imprisoned there, unable to leave, or will she be free to travel in both worlds?
Minnow is a strong, courageous, quick-witted girl who is willing to face her fears, fight for survival in dangerous situations and make difficult decisions to protect her friends. She builds a close bond with Raife as they come to trust, rely on and protect each other. She is a girl of two worlds who is resolved to fit into both, with all the determination, strength and courage that this demands.
A fascinating read for children of 8+.