by Robert W. Cabell [xyz_lbx_custom_shortcode id=2]

Earlier this year, Robert W. Cabell charmed mermaid lovers everywhere with his epic story of the true Little Mermaid. While readers may have been sorry to see that  story end, [intlink id=”5328″ type=”page”]All The Mermaids In The Sea[/intlink] will serve as the launch-pad for more than one series of mermaid-themed novels aimed at various age-groups and reading levels.

Mr. Cabell will be writing for the children four to 8 years old when he releases The Aquatic Adventures of Alex and Alexandria in July of 2013. A series aimed at Young Adult readers – Perl, a Modern Day Mermaid – will be launched in the Spring of 2013 with Attack Of The Atomic Vampire Lamprey Eels. Other books planned include titles such as The Mermaid King of Krakatau in the Autumn of 2013 and The Pearls Of Wisdom – Spirit of the Waves due in the Summer of 2014. Obviously, Robert Cabell is quite the prolific writer.

It is the debut of his series for nine to fifteen year old readers – The Magical Adventures of Princess Miranda – that is the focus of this review of a book released just in time for the holidays: A Mermaid Christmas. Volume One is an extension of characters and events found in All The Mermaids . . . Meranda, the Princess of the seas, is portrayed at the tender age of 100. Also returning is her mother, Helmi, the ninth Daughter of Poseidon and her husband, King Valdemar of Denmark,  as well as non-divine characters such as Shifter, a Nassau Grouper. Poseidon even has a cameo role near the end of the story.

What do mermaids and the fall of Atlantis have to do with Santa and his magical flying reindeer? Everything!

As the story opens, the last war between human-kind is over and the surviving populations of elves and dwarves have removed to the more remote bits of Iceland. While it has always been a tradition of elves to make toys and sweets to be given to their children during the festival of the Winter Solstice, things are different now. Many of the youngest elves were orphaned by the war and will go without toys this year unless someone intervenes. That someone is Lord Klaus, a senior elf, who enlists the help of King Alberich of the dwarves to ensure that no young elf goes without a toy at the Winter Solstice. Their efforts are a rousing success and the two leaders enjoy themselves so much that they plan to do this every year.

It was an annual tradition of Lord Klaus and King Alberich to pay a visit to Queen Helmi and her husband at the close of to the Winter Solstice Festival and this year was no exception. It was their custom also to bring a gift to the young – by mermaid standards – Miranda and on this occasion, they brought the greatest gift of all.

. . . in honour of your first century, you shall be offered, not given  – for it is not something you can hold or possess – the rarest gift of all. . . It is the gift of friendship.

This was no mere toy or trinket; This was an Aquahorn. Imagine, if you will, a rather large, transparent sea-horse with a narwhal’s horn and a mane made of gold tendrils. It is the first of its kind to be born in ten thousand years and on the same day that Queen Helmi was delivered of Miranda. Her name was Ametrine.

It goes without saying that Miranda and Ametrine become very fast friends and the remainder of the story deals with that friendship and their adventures together. The greatest adventure of them all is their excursion through time and space to the lost city of Atlantis in the hour of its ruin. Their quest is to retrieve some orichalcum – the gold of the gods – which had magical properties including giving creatures and things the ability to fly.

It is the policy of this reviewer to not include spoilers or give away the ending of a story in his reviews. If you want to know the details of A Mermaid Christmas, you’ll just have to read the book for yourself.

Robert Cabell has demonstrated through this story that he is more than capable of crafting tales for readers both young and old. A Mermaid Christmas is quite a cute story and a welcome addition to the lore that has grown up around the holiday. Perhaps one of the nicest things about this story – as well as All The Mermaids . . . is his interweaving of Greek mythology with more recent ideas about religion. In our effort to make sure that no child is left behind, the classical stories of Greece, Rome and the Norse gods have been given short shrift. It may well be that A Mermaid Christmas along with All The Mermaids . . . is the first real exposure to those tales aside from what is to be found in comic books, etc. If that is the case, then these books are a young person’s invitation to learn.

As mentioned earlier in this review, A Mermaid Christmas is written for readers in the nine to fifteen year-old range. While young people at the upper end may find that the story is better suited for readers younger than they, it is nonetheless a nice “farewell” book to read as childhood recedes in the rear-view mirror. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the story – and Mr Cabell’s style of writing – is quite read-able and of suitable content. Indeed, parents of seven and eight year-olds may wish to read this book – in installments, of course – as a bed-time story.

This reviewer highly recommends A Mermaid Christmas as a holiday treat for youngsters as well as their parents. Mr. Cabell writes with an engaging simplicity that is not insulting to age-conscious readers who count each quarter and half year on their way to the ripe old age of fourteen or fifteen. Enjoy the holidays by enjoying A Mermaid Christmas.

In the interest of full disclosure, the author was provided with a review copy of A Mermaid Christmas by the publisher, Gazebo Books. No mermaids were harmed during the review process.

My Rating:

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Paperback Kindle

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Read a sample of A Mermaid Christmas

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