Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

As summer slides away, those of us in cooler climates will have to forgo the beaches till next year. But if you love swimming, like me, you might not want to leave the ocean behind entirely, so in the meantime here’s some of my thoughts about books with mermaids and/or sirens.

  1. The Waterfire Saga by Jennifer Donnelly- (5/5 stars) Not every single book was five stars, but overall the series absolutely was! This has some of the best worldbuilding I’ve ever seen in fantasy, let alone mermaid books. It’s geared for a slightly younger audience, but has some great representation and really exciting plotlines involving court politics, coming-of-age, and climate change. Highly recommend.

  2. The Language of Thorns (Grishaverse) by Leigh Bardugo- (5/5 stars) Technically, this collection of stories only has one about mermaids, but it’s one of my favorites. This is actually a companion book to Leigh Bardugo’s trilogy and duology set in the Grishaverse, but you don’t need to have read her other stuff to enjoy it. If you enjoy folktales and fairytales, this lyrical collection will definitely appeal to you. I actually think I like it more than any of her other stuff.

  3. The Emily Windsnap Series by Liz Kessler- (3/5 stars) So I haven’t read this entire series, which is 7 books, but I’ve read at least the first 4 and I did really enjoy them. Another series that’s definitely written for a younger audience, and I read them a while ago, so my memories are a bit fuzzy. But this is all about a young girl discovering that she’s a mermaid with a whole underwater culture she’s never even realized was out there. From what I remember, fun, but juvenile.

  4. The Daughter of the Pirate King Duology by Tricia Levenseller- (2.5/5 stars) This one is more sirens than mermaids, but the two are connected. I liked the second one more than the first, and there are a lot of elements to like. A swashbuckling female pirate crew, led by a fearless captain and lots of daring action. I’m honestly not 100% sure why I didn’t like this duology more. I think I was not a huge fan of the romance? And I believe it got a bit angsty at times. But if you like romance and pirates, give this one a try.

  5. Everblue (Mer Tales #1) by Brenda Pandos- (2/5 stars) To be totally honest, the reason I read this one was because it was a free iBooks download for my iPad while I was abroad. Some of the worldbuilding concepts were unique and interesting, but I’ve never liked the in-love-with-a-friend’s-sibling trope which occurs here. There was some forced marriage action going on that I didn’t like very much, and the plot pacing was rough for me. Overall, I don’t particularly recommend.

Bonus: TBR

  1. Ice Massacre (Mermaids of Eriana Kwai #1) by Tiana Warner- This one looks so intense and interesting and I would love to find it at the library. Forbidden love trope between a mermaid and her hunter--who is also a girl--who are both fighting for the survival of their people. I want it!

What are some of your favorite and least favorite reads about mermaids and sirens?

Mallory Fitzpatrick is a senior at John Carroll University, who loves reading, writing, and travel. 
Similar Reads👯‍♀️