Review: Iloray: A Mermaid Story

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the author.

The sea keeps secrets. Gryshen’s never belonged. She’s always been . . . odd. And she’s never wanted her role as chieftain’s daughter. There are too many expectations. She’s expected to lead a pod of iloray who don’t seem to trust her. To be the responsible sibling, while her charming kid brother jokes, hunts, and woos. To marry her father’s unbearably dependable aide, Bravis. Life in the water has always moved too fast. And now it’s speeding up. Gryshen’s beloved father is dying, leaving her to take the throne and guard her pod’s sacred pearl, a magical gem that gives life to all iloray. When she meets the remarkable Coss, son of the most ruthless chieftain in Oceas, she finally finds a way out.

But her dreams come undone as her father’s health collapses, the sacred pearl goes missing, and an ancient test reveals just how much of a stranger she is. Now, Gryshen—who’s never led anything—must lead warriors from pods around the sea in a battle to save their kind. Will she discover what she is along the way? The sea is full of secrets, and it’s time for them to surface.


My rating: 3.5 stars

This story was hard to get into at first because Gryshen was a bit off and had no confidence at all. It was frustrating how she was but I think she did grow a lot by the end of the story. She came into her own and realized her place among her pod. I liked the romance and the progress of the story. I saw a lot of what happened coming but it was nice to meet Gryshen's father before he passed and that made me feel the loss more. The other losses were sad and I felt for Gryshen and all that she had to endure and learn about herself. In the end, she really came into her own and realized that she did not have to be perfect to be the leader of her pod. She just needed to be herself. This was a fast and entertaining read.

I liked Gryshen and Bravis a lot. It was clear right away that Gryshen liked him but thought that any interest he could have in her was strictly duty. I understood why she ended up falling for Coss and the things he was promising. That whole sequence with her and Coss--they knew each other for such a short time and decided they loved each other and were going to get married--reminded me of Anna from Frozen. It was funny but sad because I didn't want to see her get hurt. I loved Hena; she was the opposite of Gryshen in that she was fierce, confident, and knew what it was she wanted from life and wasn't afraid to go after it. I loved Jode--Gryshen's younger brother. He was lovable and easy to relate to. I liked his easy confidence and good nature. I did like Bravis's and how calm he was and how he supported Gryshen and Jode through it all.

I love a good mermaid book and I enjoyed this story. It was an interesting take on mermaids and the love story was sweet and cute. Gryshen grew so much throughout the book and figured out how to stand on her own and speak up for herself. Give it a try! You can find it on Amazon.

#reviewcopy #magic #books #fiction #reading #yafantasy #fantasy #romance #youngadult #reviews

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