Summer Book Review: The Singing Serpent

Mermaids. Monsters. Mystery.

Princess Eliana, the twelve-year-old daughter of the merking of Thessalonike, has one goal: become the youngest mermaid to ever win the duels tournament. She’s sure that if she can win the Great Pearl, her classmates and parents will finally start taking her seriously.

But just days before the tournament, strange tidings begin to bubble up. A monster no one has ever heard of is spotted on the reef. A mysterious song fills the currents. An enchantment floats over the city, threatening all the mer within.

Now it’s up to Eliana and her brother Nathanael to solve the mystery of the monster before it’s too late. In a quest more dangerous than duels–with stakes far more valuable than any pearl–Eliana finds a new goal: to protect the people she loves.

About the Book:

Nothing says summer to me like a good ocean-themed read. As such, I was excited to finally dig into my copy of Catherine Jones Payne’s The Singing Serpent. This enchanting middle-grade fantasy tells the story of a mermaid princess and her brother as they’re thrust into a quest to save their city. Even with the mystery and hints of danger, the world Catherine Payne creates is never dark. The color and music of Thessalonike feels like candy for the imagination–sweet and exciting. Coral gardens sprout in front of pink and teal homes. Dolphins and fish swim by the mer as they travel the bustling canals. From the rocky reef to the polished palace, this underwater kingdom welcomes the reader to explore every crevice.

Even more delightful than the setting, however, are the wonderful relationships that fill this book. Throughout the story, Eliana and Nathanael find the courage to push through their fears because of their love for each other, their family, and their kingdom. As the two siblings work together, they learn to rely on each other’s strengths, and in doing so, they find creative solutions to the problems that face them.

This book is perfect for kids who love light, heartwarming fantasies, books about mermaids, or adventures featuring siblings. It’s the perfect summertime read.

What’s your favorite book you’ve found this summer?


Karley Conklin

Karley Conklin is a librarian by day, a writer by night, and a bookworm 24/7. On her blog http://litwyrm.com/, she discusses literature of all sorts, from poetry to picture books. Her goal is to use the power of stories to remind others of hope and joy in a world that all too often forgets both.


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