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The Mermaid Stair Paperback – May 10, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Let us not forget that this is the third tale of Ben and Raven that Maggie has woven for us! If you have not done so, check out her other offerings; The Dragon Ring and The King's Raven! Well done!
She did a fine slapstick comedy scene again, this time in a Romano-British kitchen (with the aid of pixies) that had me giggling. She never overdoes the comedy, the novel is quite serious, but the comic relief was an enjoyable interlude. Of course, being myself, I enjoy Roman times much more than steampunk, the comedy scene in her last one. Again, don't mistake this for "light" fantasy, from my saying that she does great comedy.
The focus this time is on mermaids (duh, considering the title), naiads, undines, the spiritual denizens of the waters, especially the rivers of London, but all the Earth's and Faerie's waters, the conflict a schizophrenic, child-abused half-breed fanatically determined to exterminate them all, with the aid of an ancient (pre-Roman) scroll of charms. It's a little unclear whether his "voices" are from within himself, or a real sort of demon-possession.
The only disappointment that I had was that I'd really like to see more of Sparrow, protagonist Ben Harper's delightful and talented son. He was only slightly present, and never in focus.
Maybe it's just me: she writes exactly the fantasy that I would write if I could (which means, among other things, no sexy vampires or werewolves).
"Cats are seldom impressed by enchantments."
A fine, fine book. I'll be rereading it soon, because I think I devoured it too rapidly to savor her way with language.
Mellis and Sparrow are much marginalized in this book, but I have high hopes to see them in another book.
And interestingly, Titania, who is very much present in the first two does not appear here. I understand she will be coming back in Ben's fourth adventure. And I am very much looking forward to that.
And I must remind myself to not make reviews on my kindle... a very annoying method and this allows the reviews to be both more complete and accurate... how did I manage to give it four not five stars?
This must have been a difficult tale to bring to completion. Without giving the plot line away, one of the characters is a deeply flawed and damaged individual; writing those scenes he is in must have been painful, but Maggie handles it sensitively and well.
Looking forward to more!