Review: THE MERMAID STAIR by Maggie Secara

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The Mermaid StairThis is a sequel, in fact the third book in the Harper Errant trilogy. I haven’t read the others yet but they arrived the other week and I will get to them at some point.

Let me start with the cover. I didn’t really like it to begin with. It’s not a bad cover but It didn’t hook me the way covers are supposed to.
Let me give you the official synopsis…

A scrap of parchment with a mysterious sigil… A message in a forgotten language… A mermaid paradise of waterfalls and dreams… And Ben Harper’s life is about to get complicated—again.

Scarred by fires inside and out, barred by his heritage from any kind of grace, half-fae Silence Carew longs for the comfort of a human soul. His life is one of unending anger and despair, until the day the voices in his head offer a monstrous solution. If he can find the nerve, and the Mermaid Stair, the reward he seeks can be bought with the blood of his mother’s people, the nymphs and mermaids of England.

When the ageless lord of the River Thames is jolted out of retirement by news of horrific death among his nymphs, he calls on the king of Faerie for aid. Already alerted by disturbing visions, Oberon’s principal gentlemen, Ben Harper and acerbic, shape-changing Raven, find themselves once again in service—this time on the trail of a monster. With only Ben’s gift of finding and faerie music as a guide, vague clues lead them on a terrible chase through London’s many-layered history to a mythic confrontation on the banks of a vanished river. Only the gods know what will come of it all!


So, it’s a detective story set half in the real world and half in the world of Faerie with time travel and a serial killer who is systematically killing nymphs thrown into the mix.

It started off slow and I tend to have a problem with that because I get bored easily. But I persevered and I’m glad that I did. The story is original and the characters are complex and likable (most of them). The descriptions of Faerie were solid gold and the pace picked up in the middle of the book onward.

As someone who has extensively travelled throughout the United Kingdom, I found the descriptions of England spot on.

Overall, it’s a solid novel with interesting characters and an original story. I am deducting a star for the cover and the slow start.

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