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The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  67 reviews
A desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial daughter find a connection on the high seas in a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic.

Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival:
...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by Candlewick Press
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  • The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
    The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea
    by
    Release date: May 05, 2020
    In a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic, a desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial lady find a connection on the ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 50 copies available, 1420 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Apr 04 - May 03, 2020

    Countries available: U.S. and Canada

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    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 4.05  · 
    Rating details
     ·  84 ratings  ·  67 reviews


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    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
    Oct 03, 2019 marked it as tbr-unreleased
    There may come a day when "it's about pirates and it's also queer" doesn't immediately make me click want to read, but it is not this day
    Tara ☽
    Jul 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
    *sniffs the air* Do I smell a sapphic pirate romance?
    Charlie Anders
    Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea will take you on the journey of a lifetime. Maggie Tokuda-Hall has created characters that I've never seen before, and then put them into an adventure that feels more real than real life, and twice as unpredictable. I wanted to live in the world of this book forever, and I can't stop obsessing about the rich tapestry of pirates, mermaids, witches and conniving nobles who inhabit it. The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea might just remind you why you fell in love ...more
    Ash
    Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: young adult romance fans
    Thank you to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    DNF ~30%.

    For a long time Ive assumed the reason I dislike most fictional romances is that Im a bitter lesbian sick of having heterosexuality shoved in my face everywhere I turn. That may still be the case, however, The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea proves that I can dislike fictional lesbian romance just as much as I dislike fictional straight romance.

    Because that was my number one problem
    ...more
    Dahlia
    My official blurb for this book is An utterly romantic and breathless adventure that wouldnt let me sleep until Id devoured every last word. Its a journey of love, magic, and self-discovery unlike any Ive ever read.

    My unofficial blurb is that no word of my official blurb is remotely an exaggeration - it's one of the most compelling books I've read in ages, and I absolutely could not put it down. I did not expect such an incredible gender self-examination in such a wild adventure, or for the
    ...more
    Lea (drumsofautumn)
    [update feb 14th i also just found out this is a f/nb romance ]

    magic and mayhem set aboard a pirate ship yall know this was written for me, don't even pretend otherwise
    ...more
    ;3
    Mar 18, 2020 marked it as to-read
    i got an arc :DDD
    Taylor Knight
    Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This book is SO GOOD. I wasn't expecting it to be amazing as it is and I'm blown away.
    The diversity, the representation, the plot, the characters, everything about this book is 10/10.
    I did assume from the cover that this was middle grade, which it is definitely not. This book isn't slow at all and the action starts right away, which I loved. It's fast paced without being rushed and the plot is so engaging, I would being reading for hours and never get bored.
    I loved the characters so much. I
    ...more
    anna (½ of readsrainbow)
    adventures, pirates and a poc f/genderfluid couple...................... i literally could not ask for more
    ♠ TABI ♠
    Jul 25, 2019 marked it as to-read
    well of course magic and mayhem is what I expect of life aboard a pirate ship okay

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    I really liked that this was a darker story than I usually find with pirates and mermaids.

    Florian was born Flora. Flora and her older brother, Alfie, were orphans that were desperate for a place to go. They found a ship, The Dove, and had to prove themselves worthy to be a part of it. Flora had to be Florian and hide that she was born a girl. Flora did feel like Florian a lot, too. The captain of the ship was a horrible man. So was a man named Fawkes. Alfie was still traumatized by what Fawkes
    ...more
    Luupi "The Reading Queen"
    I saw that gorgeous cover...
    I read it's about a queer romance in a pirate adventure...
    now my life revolves around this book
    Vee_Bookish
    Mar 12, 2020 marked it as to-read
    Look at that cover

    LOOK AT IT.
    Shealea
    I brought The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea for my beach trip with Kate, and this definitely made for a perfect beach read!

    Full review to follow, but here are my initial thoughts:

    🌊 Genderfluid Black pirate and queer Japanese noblewoman fall in love aND IT IS GLORIOUS!
    🌊 Extremely fascinating mermaid lore!
    🌊 Witches and ~*magic*~ in storytelling
    🌊 Thoughtful critique about imperialism and colonialism
    🌊 Nuanced exploration of class differences
    🌊 Themes of self-discovery, sacrifice, ambition, and
    ...more
    Cindy ✩☽♔
    Feb 04, 2018 marked it as to-read
    ...a story of magic and mayhem set aboard a pirate ship...
    More pirates to add to my TBR!!!
    Shauni
    Mar 12, 2020 rated it liked it
    I received an arc of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    This book was such a unique spin on pirates, mermaids and magic. I enjoyed the dynamics of the characters and their relationships, but I felt it was a little rushed in some of the scenes. There were a few characters that I kept wanting more information about. More backstory and more internal reflection/emotions would have been nice. But overall, I enjoyed it.
    Meghan
    Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: library
    This book was received as an ARC from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

    I was not expecting to read a book like this. I was expecting a retelling of the little mermaid but I got something completely different. However, I did find the story very compelling and eye-catching so I did continue to read on. Florian's background as a pirate and orphan really captivated me and the rules he had to follow in order to
    ...more
    Lacey D-Bell
    Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
    This is an ARC review.

    Pirates, mermaids, the sea... these are all buzz words for me. I was looking forward to this book but was ultimately disappointed.

    What I thought this book did well was the story itself and the LGBTQ+ rep. (If youre curious, there is a sapphic relationship, a gender-fluid character, and a non-binary character.)

    What I thought this book needed some work on was the writing and editing, the character development, the context of story, and the world development.

    This book
    ...more
    Sacha
    Feb 26, 2020 added it
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I'll post the review upon publication.
    Julia ✨
    Mar 29, 2020 marked it as anticipated-may2020
    f/non binary romance, pirates, mermaids, asian (japanese-coded) genderfluid mc.

    Do you ever just WEEP because this is everything we needed growing up and now it's finally happening?
    Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤


    Death, Violence, Alluded Sexual Assault



    Japanese-Coded, Queer, Androgynous, POC-Coded



    Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley and Candlewick Press for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.

    Im really glad that I had the opportunity to read this book early, and I feel like I had a lot of ups and downs with this book. I dont
    ...more
    Chelsea
    Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is currently set to be published in May 2020.

    The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea is a sapphic pirate romance novel fraught with tales of magic and mermaids. Need I say more? The story mainly focuses on two individuals, Flora/ian and Evelyn, who come together by chance (or fate) onboard a pirateship destined for...well, I won't spoil it for you. This book is full of
    ...more
    Aria
    Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Review can also be found at Snow White Hates Apples.

    Thank you so much Candlewick Press for sending me a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review! The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall will be available at all good bookstores.

    Okay, I have to admit that I was a little reluctant to read this book because pirates are not my thing, but after thinking what the heck? and going for it anyway, I am so so happy I did. The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
    ...more
    Aly
    Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
    4.25/5 stars

    I'm gonna be honest and say that I wasn't expecting to like this. Pirates and mermaids have always been a sore spot for me, and I have trouble getting into books that have anything like that. This book did a fantastic job of getting me to care for the characters and the overall story! I'll say that this book focuses more on the romance and not enough in the actual adventure. Because of that I dropped my rating a bit, bit I still enjoyed it!
    Margarita (margaritathedrink)
    Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Queer, pirates and mermaids do I need to say more?

    I want to thank Netgalley and the publisher for letting me get this e-arc early.

    This story has quiet a few stories from the imperial girl Evelyn who doesn't fit in, unloved by her family. Flora/florian an orphan who got a job on sea with her brother. Who hides her identity to stay safe only to come out a strong person. Rake, a red headed spy working for the supreme trying to help him and the sea take vengeance on those who drank mermaid blood.

    ...more
    Colby
    Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: arc
    RTC.

    Thank you to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
    michelle (magical reads)
    Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
    stunning prose, quiet magic, and the soft sounds of the sea

    rtc
    Jacqueline (Jbooklover)
    Mar 29, 2020 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: pirate-books
    *Was sent an eARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
    Steph
    Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
    The Mermaid the Witch and the Sea was an excellent read. However, I was hoping for more adventure vibes and pirate feels. It definitely focused more on the romance and less on adventure. There was a mermaid and floating islands and a ship called the Dove. There was pirate moments and a witch and a stone. I can't say I loved the characters either which made it a bit difficult to love the story. The interludes were my favorite parts about this book, they were so magical and lyrical! I really did ...more
    Kat
    Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: quality-lgbt
    I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of this book for a review.

    What a book! Second-world fantasy at it's finest! The world building was intricate and immersive, but blended seamlessly with the plot, so none of the details ever bogged down the story. The characters are immediately engaging, and there's so much tension! I also really enjoyed how the book takes the "girl dressed as a boy to blend in" trope and turns it on its head, giving us instead a moving story of Flora exploring her
    ...more
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