Jen at Reading Lark's Reviews > Florence

Florence by Ciye Cho
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's review
Jul 01, 2012

really liked it
Read from July 01 to 08, 2012

I really wasn't sure what I'd make of this book; I'd thought for a while it would be cool to read about mermaids, but it could all go so wrong and turn into a Disney's Little Mermaid rip off. Happily, that didn't happen with Florence, and I was sucked into an exciting new world.

Florence is an outsider at school, and in life generally. Her father died when she was young, leaving her a burden to those who would sooner she wasn't there. She has virtually no friends and all in all, it isn't too much of a shame to her when she is kidnapped from a field trip to the beach by a merman. He takes her to Niemala; an underwater kingdom where mermaids and mermen of all different colors commune with nature and live a peaceable life. Florence is to become a familiar for the crown prince Kiren, much to the initial disgust of his brother, Rolan.

From the start I felt that Rolan was the more interesting of the brothers. His disdain was more intriguing than Kiren's flirtatious overtures to Florence. Both are described as being superior in looks and physique. Florence is captivated by Kiren though, and for some time she fails to notice his ulterior motives. All the while, she finds out more of Rolan in tiny snippets which frustrate her. Why is he so against her? Why does he save her from danger? Why did he reject the succession rights to the crown? At the same time, she makes friends with the sister of both Kiren and Rolan, Yolee. She is a delightful character - very innocent and trusting - and she helps Florence settle into life in Niemala. Florence discovers more about herself and her abilities under the sea while she tries to find a place to belong, and I did really enjoy reading those developments, at the same time as trying to figure out Kiren and Rolan.

The underwater kingdom was described in loving detail, and I feel sure that the author must be a keen diver as the descriptions were really outstanding... I could vividly picture the places and creatures. However, I needed a little more focus and direction from the plot in the first half to keep me keen... but as Kiren's motivations became clearer, the pace picked up and I found myself turning the pages with increasing speed. I thought the last quarter of the book was really gripping. I think there is definitely room for a follow up to the story, and I would be pleased to read that in the future. This is a mermaid tale which has legs!!
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Michele (Reading Lark/CanadianTwiMom) Great review! I had to check it out after reading your 'teaser' on Reading Lark! ;) Adding it to my TBR!

Jen at Reading Lark Good! I didn't really mention that there is peril in this book, but there is and it does get really exciting towards the end. :)

Michele (Reading Lark/CanadianTwiMom) Looking forward to checking this one out - and it looks to be a stand alone book - I like those!

Jen at Reading Lark I think it would lend itself to a sequel though - be warned!! There are some unresolved 'oh no the world might end' type events at the end!

Michele (Reading Lark/CanadianTwiMom) Yeah...maybe if it gets some more attention, there might be another book. I see it's only available as an ebook...and surprised it was written by a guy!!

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