A red tide is rising.
As the daughter of one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors, seventeen-year-old Jade has great responsibilities. When her fiancé murders a naiad, plunging the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar, tensions surge between the mer and the naiads. Jade learns too late that the choices she makes ripple further than she’d ever imagined. And as she fights against the tide of anger in a city that lives for scandal, she discovers danger lurking in every canal, imperiling her family and shattering the ocean’s fragile peace.
Can the city’s divisions be mended before the upwelling of hate rips apart everything Jade loves?
Book 1 of the Broken Tides series.
In Breakwater, Catherine Jones Payne tells a watery tale of merfolk, naiads, and intrigue in the ocean city of Thessalonike. Jade, a young aristocrat, catches her fiancé in the murder of a lowly refugee girl. Her decision to expose him unleashes pent-up rivalries between the rulers and subjects of Thessalonike. But despite allusions to mythology and classical Greece, Breakwater is never epic. Jade, a teenage mermaid who variously giggles and sobs, anchors this tale to contemporary ambiance. Undercurrents of racial conflict, immigration, and political instability strike a counterpoint but don’t displace the dominant tone. A clear sense of morality, unsupported by religion, suffuses the story. Readers looking for a quick, pleasant read rather than alien worlds will find that this book swims well.
Best for: Younger teens and those who enjoy contemporary fiction and sweet romance as well as fantasy.
Discern: Non-graphic violence, one questionable word, and repeated defiance of parental authority in serious matters.