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Publisher's Summary

In a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic, a desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial lady find a connection on the high seas.

Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don't trust, don't stick out, and don't feel. But on this voyage, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is headed to an arranged marriage she dreads. Flora doesn't expect to be taken under Evelyn's wing, and Evelyn doesn't expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian. Neither expects to fall in love.

Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, double agents, and the all-encompassing Sea herself.

Deftly entwining swashbuckling action and quiet magic, Maggie Tokuda-Hall's inventive debut novel conjures a diverse cast of characters seeking mastery over their fates while searching for answers to big questions about identity, power, and love.

©2020 Maggie Tokuda-Hall, original book published by Walker Books US, a division of Candlewick Press. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Tokuda-Hall infuses this adventure with fantastical word play and [Kate] Rudd is the perfect match as the storyteller. The story is almost melodic in nature and that rings true with Rudd’s sing-song tone, varied character voicing, and matched pacing." Booklist

"Narrator Kate Rudd creates unique voices for mysterious mermaids, powerful witches, and evil pirates in this fantasy adventure.… Rudd imbues her narration with a creepy menace when voicing the villains and brings the courage--and doubts--of both heroines to life. Her lilting voice is rich with the magic of stories and the rhythm of the sea. This audiobook will please listeners looking for a queer love story that celebrates female power and the diversity of gender expression." AudioFile Magazine 

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What listeners say about The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

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Solid listening, wordy reading

As soon as I started this book I knew it wouldn’t be a book I would pick up and read. It’s descriptive with rather flowery vocabulary which sometimes makes you feel the author has picked up a thesaurus to find a ‘better word.’ That being said, it was a cracker of a book to listen to. It was interesting, with likeable characters and a solid plot. I enjoyed the world in which this book was set and the way the author approached gender in the story was exceptionally done, I thought. The ending left a bit to be desired but no real complaints.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-11-2020

Introduces lesbian relationship to your child...

If you think that's cool for your children then dive right in that ocean. Not cool...

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  • Karen Linnell
  • 08-10-2020

Beautifully written

This was such a wonderful story and a great escape from reality for me . Even though I listened on audible but I want to purchase the book as well.

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  • Christopher M. Hall
  • 29-07-2020

An enticing world

The queer characters and captivating cover are what originally pushed me into grabbing this book. Overall I quite enjoyed the story; it has a very unique look at some aspects of fantasy that I hadn't found before. Their portrayal of mermaids in particular I enjoyed. The voice actress does a really great job. I feel as though some of the dramatic moments aren't built up quite properly, and can often leave you feeling unsatisfied in how they are resolved. The character interactions are nice, and all-in-all I liked the story and would be interested in seeing more from Maggie.

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  • Kas
  • 22-07-2020

10 out of 10. Highly recommend

Diverse queer characters, pirates, witches, and mermaids!! And beautifully written!! I finished this story in a day and was left immediately in need of a sequel which takes place in this world.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.