The Mermaid Queen: Witches of Orkney by Alane Adams, illustrated by Jonathan Stroh. SparkPress, 2021. 9781684631131
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? Abigail is back, and in trouble again, in the fourth installment of the Witches of Orkney series. Still in her second year at the Tarkana Witch Academy, she is tricked by the queen of the mermaids, Capricorn, to release Jormungand, a giant serpent who has the power to destroy the world. Far behind in her classwork, she still has to deal with Endera, who is set on getting her kicked out of school. In this volume, Abigail, Calla, and Hugo have to find a way to trick the serpent back into its prison in order to save their land and the world. Can they survive a trip to Asgard to meet with Odin? Fans of the first three books will not be disappointed with the page-turning sequel. Abigail, along with her friends old and new, will enchant readers with her adventures and the possible sequels to come. Black and white illustrations help to bring the story to life. A map of Orkney in the front of the novel is helpful to readers.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The story can be dark and characters do die, which may be hard for some readers. Reference to Norse gods might be challenging for readers who do not have this background knowledge.
To whom would you recommend this book? Readers, in grades 5 to 8, who enjoyed Harry Potter or Charlie Bone stories about overcoming adversity may enjoy this series.
Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for middle schools or public libraries that cannot get enough fantasy series with magic and strong female prograsonists.
Where would you shelve it ? Fantasy
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? I feel that this title would reside near the top of the “to read” pile.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts
Date of review: October 27, 2021