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Jessica S. Taylor
The Syren's Mutiny

Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

“It’s frightful bad luck to have a woman aboard.” ​

Brigid knew the superstition, but when her father tried to marry her off, she had no choice but to stowaway on a ship bound for Bhodheas. When she’s discovered and discarded, her fate seems sealed…until she’s saved by the ocean and its queen. ​

Transformed into a syren and given new life, Brigid now has the power to seek revenge on those who wronged her. ​

Caelum has spent his entire life trying to help those who couldn’t help themselves. After years suffering the cruelty of his pirate father, saving others from a similar fate was ingrained in him. But when he’s unable to save a young girl from being thrown overboard for hiding away, he’s devastated. ​

Until one day, when he’s thrown into the water by unforeseen forces, he comes face to face with the past, and maybe, with his future. ​

But there’s a darkness lurking on the seas they both call home. And Caelum and Brigid have no idea just how intertwined their stories really are.

In her polished debut, Taylor spins a well-imagined and compelling new adult fantasy about a sea siren with powers who falls for an honorable—and human—man. After syren Brigid defies an ultimatum from her queen, Cliodhna, that all seafaring men must die (because she deems all men dishonorable), Brigid rebels by saving dashing sea captain Caelum, who tried to save her a decade earlier from his sadistic father, Kellan. As a result, she is banished from the deep-sea compound she’s called home for many years and separated from the friends who have supported her. Desolate at losing her family but not regretting repaying her favor to Caelum, Brigid bands together with Caelum and other shipwreck survivors to save the children that Kellan is planning to sell.

Taylor’s stellar and imaginative yarn pulls readers in from the very first page, with feisty siren Brigid and valiant Caelum capturing readers’ interest and affections, and Caelum’s tenderness with Brigid as she explores her new life will capture readers’ hearts. Outstanding supporting characters bolster the snappy narrative, with Caelum’s surviving crew members—Cameron, Duncan, and Maddock—positively swoon-worthy, and new siren Sorcha plays an unexpected role, proving definitively which camp has earned her loyalty.

Readers will root for Taylor’s deeply honorable heroes, especially against the backdrop of Caelum’s heartless father (who has inflicted many scars, both physical and emotional, on his sensitive son) and Brigid’s unexpectedly ruthless queen, who delivers a whopper of a secret near the end of the story. The author’s plotting is pitch-perfect, her world-building top-notch, and her prose engaging—and an author-selected playlist adds an aural note to the story. Though ending on a cliffhanger will elicit a cry of dismay from readers who want to know the outcome immediately, fantasy-loving romance fans will eagerly devour Taylor’s irresistible tale and wait for the next installment.

Takeaway: Taylor’s deftly told fantasy romance will draw readers in from the first page to the last.

Great for fans of: Rivers Solomon’s The Deep, Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Crown of Gilded Bones.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A