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The Seafarer's Kiss

(The Seafarer's Kiss #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,432 ratings  ·  423 reviews
Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king. ...more
Paperback, 214 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Emma Giordano
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
3 stars! Overall, I enjoyed this read, but I have some issues. Ultimately, it had so much potential but so many aspects fell flat for me.
(I’ll be discussing this book with my book club “The Biblio Book Club” on 8/17 at 9:30 PM EST at, come join!)

I liked the beginning of the book the best. The first third of the book was fresh, exciting, new, and magical! I haven’t read a mermaid book since I was a kid and forgot how much fun they could be. The middle was
Trina (Between Chapters)
Video review (spoiler free) -

Trigger warnings for this book if you need them:
-Violence in the romantic relationship (goes unchallenged)
-Infertile women referred to as "broken" and "damaged" (this idea is challenged, but still giving you a heads up since it's a sensitive topic)

I was sent an early copy of this book by the author for review. All opinions are my own.

My real rating of this book is 3.5 stars. I loved a lot about it, but had to lower my rating because the
✨    jami   ✨
“A single twist of white-blonde hair blew across her face and stuck to her half-frozen lips. When she noticed me, the edges of her eyes crinkled as though she were smiling, as if she had been waiting.”

She was a bisexual mermaid, she was a lesbian ice-maiden, can I make it anymore obvious?

I'VE BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS BOOK FOR A LONG, LONG TIME It's a retelling of The Little Mermaid, and also an Ursula origin story, featuring an f/f romance at the core between a mermaid girl and a h
nemo the emo ☠️ (pagesandprozac)
"a retelling of the little mermaid"

oh for god's sake. i'm sick of the deluge of YA fairy tale retellings invading everywhe-

"featuring ursula outwitting loki to save the woman she loves"

destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
“But that was before I’d met a human: before I’d seen the depth, intelligence, even empathy, in Ragna’s eyes; before I knew that humans spoke the godstongue and smiled like starfish.”

First of all, we've got a chubby, bisexual cross between the little mermaid and Ursula, who falls in love with a badass lesbian viking, and has to face down the tricks and scheming of a gender-queer Loki (proper "they" pronouns and all). Julia Ember can just keep on keepin' on with this awesomeness, because I lived
Caz (littlebookowl)
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
It was definitely a quick and fun read, but I think I would have enjoyed this a lot more if this had been a longer book. There were some scenes and character development I would have liked to have been more fleshed out.

I would also like to direct you to Trina's review, with trigger warnings for violence in a relationship and harmful attitudes towards infertile women:
The Little Mermaid meets Norse mythology with a bisexual protagonist - The Seafarer's Kiss is every geek's dream. ...more
Bentley ★
See this review and others like it on!

I've had this strange desire all year long to read a story about mermaids, and this was the first I had the chance to crack into. I'd love to say that it met all of my expectations and blew me out of the water, but unfortunately I just wasn't entirely hooked. Something about it didn't quite reel me in. From subplots that just didn't float my boat, to aspects of the story that moved like they were caught in a riptide, this story
Heidi Heilig
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A viking F/F Little Mermaid retelling? Oh my.

Brutal and fierce, THE SEAFARER'S KISS transports you to a frozen northern sea where a shipwrecked shieldmaiden tempts one mermaid to the surface. Under the ice, her people fight to survive the dangerous waters, but a jealous best friend, a wicked king, and a trickster god are even more deadly than the shifting currents. This lush, original retelling will take your breath away.

Inclusivity: The love story is f/f, the MC is fat, Loki is genderqueer.
Laura Lam
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
F/F retelling of The Little Mermaid told from the point of view of Ursula (Ersel) with a Viking shield maiden and Loki causing trouble.

"The Seafarer's Kiss" is an immersive fantasy world steeped in Norse mythology and written from the perspective of Ersel, an independent, strong spirited nineteen-year-old mermaid.

The mer-people have come under the rule of a harsh and patriarchal king who only sees the mermaids' (vs mermen's) value in how many offspring she can produce for the clan. At Ersel's age she should be settling in to be selected by a mate and push out as many mer-babies as possible but instead she only dreams of being
laura (bookies & cookies)
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-read
I finished this book nearly 2 weeks ago and have struggled to write my review since. My review will never be perfect and there will be others who have already reviewed this better than I could, but here are my jumbled thoughts on this book.

The retelling aspect was great! An underwater mermaid world set against the Artic North with belugas hanging around! This book perfectly combines all the aspects of The Little Mermaid with a Norse influence in very clever ways!

The MC Ersel is bi and there is a
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders

*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review*

Thinking about The Seafarer’s Kiss makes my heart swell, swell, swell, that’s how much I loved it. IT IS SO AMAZING, GUYS. This book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017 and it didn’t disappoint, not at all. In fact, it was different in more ways than one and better than what I expected. I think it is scientifica
Olivia Chanel's Stories in Space
Thank you, Julia Ember, for my advanced reader copy of The Seafarer’s Kiss. I really appreciate the opportunity to read and review it.

The Seafarer’s Kiss is a breathtaking story about a mermaid and a human with Norse mythology and unforeseen plot twists woven into their story. This book will move readers that cannot get enough of magical, beautiful worlds and characters that are relatable in the way they are flawed and the way they grow. This is a book you need on your radar, as even though it h
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
A retelling of The Little Mermaid - but with a twist. Overall, it was a decent read, but, similarly to The Tiger's Watch, the lack of character and plot development left me wanting more.

- I liked the protagonist, Ersel. She's a bisexual mermaid, a little selfish, but her growth in the book was a pleasure to read. In the end, I was pleased to see that she tried her best to make things right.
- Honestly, the sweet and goodnatured beluga whales were the best part of the book. They were so precious.
CR Daylex
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read a few months ago as an ARC from the publisher and rated it when I read it, but have seen some controversy on twitter over the genderfluid character being a villain, so adding my quick note as a genderfluid reader. I liked Loki a lot. I loved how they were able to change forms and how clever they were. I thought their backstory was really sad and that they did get a kind of redemption in the end when they gave Ersel the information she needed to save her merclan. It's not a clear cut between ...more
Laura (bbliophile)
Review to come, but let's just say that I loved this one a lot ...more
Ugh, what a slog. The idea (a bisexual retelling of The Little Mermaid infused with Norse mythology set in the Arctic) has definite potential but the execution was terrible. Flat, undeveloped characters (god, the main character was somehow incredibly annoying and insipid at the same time); a plot fuelled by one-dimensional patriarchal villains; writing full of telling instead of showing. I hate to give an #ownvoices bi book a bad review, but...
It's so nice when a book sounds really creative and cool and ambitious and then, like, yup! it's actually what it advertises to be and people who are super excited for that premise are totally gonna love it. If you think this book sounds excellent then do yourself a favor and preorder it now. ...more
sil ♡ the book voyagers
The Seafarer's Kiss was an underwater adventure that filled my insides with so much joy. A retelling of The Little Mermaid with some Norse mythology in the mix, we have the story of a young mermaid trying to find freedom inside her frozen kingdom.

Full review soon.
Mel González
"Forgiveness wasn't necessary, we couldn't change what we'd done, but I hoped that today we'd create something new, something good."

I think bisexual fat mermaids are my new favourite thing to read about. This book was an absolutely gorgeous, fun and adventurous read that introduced a lot of morally grey characters who didn't always make the best choices but who always grew and learned and were willing to sacrifice themselves for the people they loved. The writing was so innovative an
Dakota★Magic in Every Book
May 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: wlw
This book is overwhelmingly mediocre. I had issues with how several things were handled. Infertility is often equated with being broken and this idea isn't really refuted, and at one point the main couple exchange punches and it brings them closer together that they hit each other in anger?? Which is weird and an unhealthy behavior to be supporting. You shouldn't have to hit your SO to solve a fight or issue.

A lot of people have also told me the non-binary representation isn't handled well. I be
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this book was so much fun to read. it wasn't particularly long either. the writing style is so easy to follow and fast paced. there were few moments when i was bored, but for the most part i couldn't put the book down!

i absolutely adored ragna. i found her so relatable (and cool?). ersel was (almost) as cool, even though she was the main character.

i found this a very interesting and unique take on the little mermaid. i love the incorporation of norse mythology and vikings. i've never thought of
Alex Harrow
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and not just because The Little Mermaid used to be my favorite Disney movie and I'm kind of obsessed with anything related to mer folk to this day. This book is The Little Mermaid but it's also Ursula's story with plenty of really cool Norse Mythology thrown in. Oh, and did I mention that the main character is a fat, bi Mermaid? Seriously, love. Pick this up now. You're welcome. ...more
Ashley Marie
A retelling of the Little Mermaid featuring a bisexual MC and a Norse mythology twist? Hell YES.
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to neverwhere by: laura lam
Faerie tale retellings have long been a favourite of mine, the more subversive the better, and Julia Ember’s masterful reimagining of The Little Mermaid is one of the most clever and unique interpretations I’ve ever read.

Inspired both by the original Hans Christian Anderson literary tale and Disney’s now famous animated version, The Seafarer’s Kiss is narrated by Ersel, our ‘Ursula’, a chubby, adventurous mermaid frustrated by the claustrophobic and oppressive misogynist regime that is her home.
Kelly Roberson
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it

I loved this book so much!! Such an amazing interesting twist on the classic Little Mermaid story. I loved that it took a switch and focused more on the Ursula side of things than the Ariel perspective as well! Ersel was such a great main character, because while she was independent and smart, she also made mistakes and saw that in herself. I loved that the love interested was totally unexpected from where you would expect it to go at the beginning of the story. The feminist vibes were fantastic
Charlotte Anne Hamilton
[[5 STARS]]

this was such a wild ride omg. full review will be up on my blog but i adored every second of this! such a unique retelling of the little mermaid!!

#diversitybingo2017 - mc with under-represented body
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
This just wasn't for me. ...more
Nineteen year old mermaid Ersel just wants to be free, she longs to escape from the merfolk fortress and explore the world. For years she made plans with her childhood friend Havamal but then he betrayed her by joining the king's guard and she's now more alone than ever before. When she finds Ragna, a human girl who was stranded on the glacier after her boat sunk, Ersel's dreams begin to change but if she doesn't make her escape soon she may never get the chance.

The Seafarer's Kiss is a bisexual
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Julia Ember’s books include The Seafarer’s Kiss duology, a Norse myth inspired retelling of The Little Mermaid, published by Interlude Press (Duet Books), and Ruinsong, a standalone high fantasy reimagining of The Phantom of the Opera, published by Macmillan Kids (FSG) in November 2020.

Ember’s work has been featured in USA Today, Bustle, Book Riot and Autostraddle, among many others. Julia has a

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“What we had might not be forever, but it was now, and it was everything I needed.” 7 likes
“But that was before I’d met a human: before I’d seen the depth, intelligence, even empathy, in Ragna’s eyes; before I knew that humans spoke
the godstongue and smiled like starfish.”
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