“Between the Sea and Stars” By Chantal Gadoury
Salt Water Heals all Wounds
By Samantha Shrider / May 14th 2018
Title: Between the Sea and Stars
Author: Chantal Gadoury
Series(?): The Lena Series
Publisher: Parliament House Press
Publication Date: June 19th 2018
Source & Format: Chantal Gadoury, eARC
Page Count: 594
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
A Magical Shell
A Girl Who Dreamed Of Something More…
Lena, a Merrow girl, lives in the Skagerrak sea with her father, Carrick and her brother, Javelin who tells her of the legend of the Merrow Queen murdered by her human lover when greed takes over. But what’s worth spilling the queen’s blood? Gifted from Poseidon, himself, a magic shell gives any human the ability to control both land and sea.
When Javelin is called to join a clan of Merrow soldiers bent on protecting their waters from human invasion, Lena resists Merrow law and ventures to the shore with no choice but to swim to land.
With newfound legs, Lena is whisked away on a new adventure with new friends and new trouble. Everyone seems to want something from her as intrigue lurks around every corner.
Trying her best to hide who she is and remain safe from the dangers of the human world, will Lena finally find where she belongs, or will she be swept into a strong and stormy current by lust, greed, and jealousy?
Lena would sacrifice anything to see the human world, but after the Skagerrak Queen is betrayed by her human lover, merrow are forbidden to breach the water- all but the Fosse-Sǿfolk who lead sailors to a watery death. When tragedy forces Lena to the land as a human, she realizes that not all dreams are worth their sacrifice. The world of the merrow is well researched and blends the mermaid lore into a story that grips you and makes you wish you lived in under the sea in Sogen Hav where Lena, her brother Javelin and the merrow that would have her heart, Asger, live.
“We’re a sorrowful species, Lena,” Edwin sighed. “Worse still, when we let ourselves believe we are suffering alone.” He patted her arm. “Fortunately, he said, “We live beside the sea.”
Once on land Gadoury’s writing weaves into existence a village with such wonderfully descriptive prose that, similar to how I felt reading “The Night Circus,” I felt like I had been there before in another life. I could tell you how many of the cobblestones holding together The Lundby Wyatt Inn are covered in moss, and what the wood grove that leads to the beach smells like- and yet the world building didn’t overwhelm me or take me away from the story.
The characters in the story all have their own unique tone, and Lena’s character arc is well done and not too pushy. I would have loved additional female characters, as there are SO many male characters in the story but this book was about Lena and I feel like Gadoury has a lot of room to bring in other characters in the next book. In the end I love that Chantal writes female characters who are strong without being kick ass. It’s nice to have heroines who any of us could be- not assassins, or girl’s with superpowers, but just standing up for yourself and what you want in life.
“When a ship goes down, when you can feel the whole world sinking around you…all you can do is try to save yourself.”
From the cover to the last page “Between the Sea and Stars” offers both nostalgia and new adventure wrapped in whimsical story telling. It’s a story that brings to life the regret of getting what you want and realizing it’s not worth the sacrifice, bringing together the magic of our childhoods and the realization that growing up sometimes means accepting loss and becoming stronger for it. And sometimes- sometimes, there are people out there that will believe with you.
I highly recommend this story to those who love rich fairy tales and adventures like, Christo’s “To Kill a Kingdom,” Shannon Hales’ “Goose Girl,” or Disney’s “Treasure Planet.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Chantal Gadoury through Parliament House Press. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
About the Author
Chantal Gadoury is an Amazon Best Selling Author who is originally from the countryside of Muncy, PA. Chantal likes anything Disney, plays a mean game of Disney trivia, enjoys painting and has a interest in British History. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues that love of writing today. As a recent college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, writing novels is a dream come true.