By: Meredith Leigh Burton
Publication Date: February 14, 2023
Reviewed by: Tripti Kandari
Review Date: March 7, 2023
A story of vengeance versus faith in humanity, Meredith Leigh Burton's Song of the Sea depicts the potent dominion of strength and inner power over every sort of human affliction.
The Treaty of Separation between the two worlds of Merpeople and humanity ensures that the appallingly brutal acts of humans on the sea and its creatures do not repeat themselves; the link between these worlds is severed, with only a sliver remaining in the inquisitiveness of some young minds unaware of the brutal history between the two. Mermaid Aria is drawn to humans by her faith in humanity and her trust in love. Despite her marriage to a humanity-hater, Glissando, her instincts propel her to a fate that speaks to the overhauling of the separation treaty for the good of all. However, in her rush to locate a long-lost trust, Aria is unaware that the seeds of its own people pose a threat of deception.
On land, Prince Reginald's infirmity of a twisted spine undermines his father King Asa's faith in his only surviving successor. Yet, the prince's desire to demonstrate his strength burns brightly in his heart. Reginald is resolved to go to any length to rescue his father's deteriorating health, the solution for which can be found within the healing song of Merpeople. Intrigue, dark secrets, and the footsteps of deception trail Aria as her fate collides with that of Prince Reginald. Will the power of songs, courage, and grace heal the past wounds of these two worlds? Or will the burning flame of revenge for previous atrocities against Merpeople be given fuel to blaze fire on humanity...
The power of song is manifested in this fantasy fiction novel in a variety of ways: while it appears as a source of healing for some characters, it also appears as a tool of destruction, triggering murderous storms and other disasters. The two realms of water and land are personified via music that whispers songs of happiness and grief on several occasions.
At a brief and compact 110 pages, Song of the Sea knits realistic themes of fervent humanity against the backdrop of fantasy and magical realism. Both Reginald and Aria represent the strength of the inner self in the face of oppression, whether physical barriers in the case of Reginald or impediments against life ideals in the case of Aria. Though there is no buildup on the main themes and the dialogue surrounding them, their brevity captures their substance.
Quill says: Song of the Sea sets out to elucidate the victory of a conflict, not against life, but against everything that hinders one from trusting again - in others and oneself.