Florence by Ciye Cho

Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand--and find out where she belongs--Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart... and her very soul

Florence is into photography and observing others. On a school trip to Mermaids Reach off of Hamilton Island she becomes distracted while snorkeling with unusual creatures and formations beneath the water. When one of these creatures shoots her and pulls her beneath the water, nothing could have surprised us more. She is taken deep into the underwater Kingdom were merpeople live. She is kept alive by her captor to be presented to the King.

The merpeople all have different opinions about what will come of her. She should have never been exposed to their secret that they exist in the first place. And now not only is Florence the center of attention, she is the center of all conversation.

I have read a handful of mermaid stories over the last year and every time I pick one up I am always surprised at the way each author approaches them. There also seems to be a touch on the subject of who rules over the groups and the political/inter-relationships between the merpeople. This is the first book that I have seen in which it's laid out into a Kingdom with rulers and royalty. A large focus of the book is in fact the ruling status of the Kingdom as well as the introduction of the first human into the underwater world.

It was a good read, very imaginative. I was happy with the love interest as he was very well I want to say "down to earth" but that won't work here. He was very...smart about the decisions that he made and cautious about pros and cons of what a romance between a merman and a human would become. Which was a very nice change in my reading lately.

I am enjoying mermaid stories very much and would highly encourage you to give one of them a try as well. This one made me think and I loved the descriptions of the underwater world.

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