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Rogue Wave, Book Two in the Waterfire Saga dives right back into the adventures of Serafina, Neela, Ling who, along with the other mermaid descendants of the ancient Circle of Six, continue their search for six talismans in hopes of saving all merpeople from destruction.

Author Jennifer Donnelly continues to demonstrate a keen understanding of the teenage girl’s mind as each mermaid struggles through various challenges during their quest in the midst of that challenging time when we are transitioning from child to adult. Particularly striking was her treatment of the young Neela who tries to warn her parents of the coming danger. They don’t believe her wild tales of sea witches, dreams that reveal true events, etc. They are concerned by her drastic change in appearance that she is no longer perfectly coifed. They don’t understand that the experiences she has had fighting for survival have quelled her cravings for the sugary sweets they watched her consume frequently. And she has realized that she cannot continue to live in blind dedication to tradition if her kingdom is to continue. So instead of embracing her tales and working on resolution they simply send her to rest. Neela, frustrated, finds herself through habit turning back to the sweets. The author’s description of Neela’s actions and emotional responses during this episode were so grounded.

Concurrently with Neela’s adventures we follow Serafina as she tries to figure out how protect her people without her mother who was assassinated at the beginning of the first tale, Deep Wave. Throughout that book and continuing through this book we watch Serafina mature. We watch as she struggles to stay a person she can look at in the mirror without regret, staying true to beliefs deep in her heart. Through the author’s insights we can feel her internal struggle when faced with leaving young ones behind for inevitable death because the risk to her own safety is terribly high and she is now too valuable to be sacrificed. We ache with her through the challenges of romance and betrayal.

Once again, as the book comes to a close, I found it more and more difficult to put it down and its final pages left me left eager for the next volume in Waterfire Saga.

If you missed Watefire Sage book 1 its currently available through many e-book retailers such as Amazon Kindle, Google Books for $.99