All Life began in the ocean.
The tides, the salt, the rolling waves are in our souls.
The sea will always have the power to call us home.
Seaborn is no regular fantasy about mermaids. It is an epic, created with a linguistâ€™s, a sociologistâ€™s, and a poetâ€™s touch.
Kassandra, granddaughter of the evil King of the Seaborn, has lived among surfacers all her life but unfortunately the time has come for her to leave her yuppie princess-in-hiding life. Her grandfather wants her dead after he killed her mother. (Okay, â€śkilledâ€ť may not be the right word because her mother still exists somewhat.) But nevertheless itâ€™s kill or be killed.
Then there is Corina, or perhaps I should say Corina and Aleximor the Bone-Gatherer? These are the other two main characters. Corina is fully human, except that Aleximor, an evil sorcerer of the Seaborn, has possessed her body.
In the beginning, the two forks of this novel are told in generally alternating chapters. While Kassandraâ€™s preparation to battle her father is important and quite interesting, I was totally enthralled by Corinaâ€™s part of the narrative. What romance reader doesnâ€™t understand the lure of powerful guys? Simultaneously repelled and entranced, weâ€™re always wondering how Corina will get out of this fix with her in-house admirer-abuser.
Although the battles and betrayals that occur in Kassandraâ€™s segments are interesting, the sleeker, more direct story of Corinaâ€™s involvement with Aleximor is more page-turning than Kassandra's sections. I suspect that is because Kassandra's segments carries the backstory, and what a backstory it is!
Like all great epics, there is intrigue upon intrigue and inter-family relationships to figure out. The Seaborn have a long history, and Chris Howard has created a rich complicated world. The invented world is so complex, the type of sorcery so unique to different groups, and the language and names so rich with Greek mythic references that Seaborn is not a book for those who want a quick read.
It is also a poetically dense book; in fact, I'll say it: it is literary. We are obviously in the hands of a great writer and Iâ€™ll admit that I often felt that the story was too great for me.