Peace and tranquility on the island of Aster, home to both humans and 'merfolk', has long been broken by a devastating phenomenon, recurring every five years. A storm including gusting winds and huge waves mysteriously appeared and eradicated much of the population. The misunderstandings, suspicion and hate born of this disaster have torn the two races apart, and the peace loving merfolk are now in a never-ending struggle to prove their innocence and restore peace to the island.
On the human side, things are even worse; under the tyranny of cruel king Orestis, the people suffer and all their king cares for is vengeance against the “fish”, as he spitefully calls them, executing merfolk after merfolk for just being near his lands.
Secrets, intense emotions and strange phenomena will upset their lives forever.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.
Author: Marilena Mexi
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: March 22, 2011
Source: Received from author courtesy of the Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to Marilena Mexi and Teen Book Scene for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
Look for it: Amazon
My rating: 3/5
The land of Aster has been divided into two parts, one ruled by merfolk, and the other by humans. The people and merfolk of Aster were united peacefully at one time, but due to some devastating storms that return every five years, both have parted ways. The people of Aster blame the merfolk for these storms as they feel they have been brought upon them by the merfolk. Now, under the tyrannical rule of King Orestis, Aster has become a deadly place for the merfolk as they are tried and executed if captured. Asteria, Queen of the merfolk, is trying to bring about peace to both merfolk and human alike, but will have to walk a dangerous path to bring about the peace she craves. Will she be able to unite both races once again?
Antara is probably one of the first books that I have read that has been translated from Greek to English. It does have some grammatical errors and some phrases that have been translated strangely, but overall it is an interesting and cute read.
The world-building is intricate, and I enjoyed the history of both people and merfolk as it was related to the reader. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous and they really give us a glimpse of the world of Aster.
Asteria is the spokesperson and Queen of her people, and she as such had a hard role to play in Antara. I didn't always agree with what she did, and had a hard time connecting with her, but she wanted what was best for the merfolk, and she was striving to bring both races together again; that I can understand. Her relationship with Orestis didn't ring completely true for me either. I thought things moved too fast between them, especially considering the secrets being kept from each other. With that said, the storyline is still a unique one, and the world is fantastical. The artistry brings an added dimension to the world of Aster, as it brings characters to life in portrait. The scenes were also beautifully rendered, and they captured the essence of Antara.
All in all, this is still a unique reading experience, and I think tweens and younger teens will enjoy reading Antara. It has some interesting twists that will keep the reader guessing. The title is befitting of the novel as well. Asteria and Orestis' story isn't finished, and it will be interesting to find out if the merfolk and people of Aster can be united again.