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18 July 2012

Sacred Breath - Blog Tour and Review

I'm delighted to feature Nadia Scrieva on my blog today, and to have had the privilege of reading and reviewing 'Drowning Mermaids' the first of her 'Sacred Breath' series. 

Deep under Arctic waters lies an ice kingdom carved into a glacier. Those who dwell within it possess magnificent biological secrets. Due to the dangers of impending war, the Princess of Adlivun is forced to flee her undersea utopia and regroup with her sisters in Alaska.

Captain Trevain Murphy is a successful king crab fisherman who has spent his life building his empire above the sea, and knows nothing of the empire beneath it. When he meets a mysterious dancer whose father has recently died, he extends kindness towards her, unaware of her unique genetics and royal lineage. 

Trevain's attraction to the enigmatic Aazuria Vellamo will involve him in dangerous designs that will forever change his life, and his perspective on himself and his world. He embarks on perilous journeys in which he will need to release all of his insecurities and inhibitions in order to survive.

My Review

Put aside any preconceived idea of mermaids with scaly  tails sitting on rocks and combing their hair with a sea urchin. This book portrays mermaids in a completely different light, combining a wealth of imaginative fantasy with a sprinkling of scientific rationale for their extended life and ability to live beneath the water.

I was immediately drawn  to Trevain. He comes across as gentle and courteous, and not as rough and coarse as one might expect a seaman to be, although as Captain of the Magician he exerts a calm authority and his concern for his men is one of the qualities that endeared him to me.  I even forgave him for his roughness toward Aazuria toward the end, since I felt this was because he was so worried for her and frustrated by her insistence on placing herself in danger.

Aazuria herself is a young woman who is easy to identify with (although she is actually a lot older than the 18 years her outward appearance suggests.) She is by turns vulnerable, strong, witty and sensitive, and well able to handle herself. I liked the way she cared about her sisters and interacted with them. There are moments of humour to balance the sense of tension and mounting danger as the story progresses. My one criticism is that at times there seemed to be a lot of 'telling' rather than 'showing' and sometimes the POV switched between characters a little abruptly, so I had to check back to see who was actually talking.  This did not detract too much from my enjoyment of the book however, and I grew more and more absorbed in the story, and involved with the characters.

There are many elements to this story which give it an appeal to a wide range of readers, Science Fiction, fantasy, mystery and adventure. I was gripped by the story line and totally absorbed by it. I want to find out more about Aazuria's underwater kingdom and its inhabitants and I'm now looking forward to reading the next in the series, Fathoms of Forgiveness. 

All reviews on this blog, of books by other authors, are my own, personal opinion. I received a free copy of 'Drowning Mermaids',  but not in an effort to control the outcome of said review. No compensation has been paid or accepted for any reviews on this site, favorable or otherwise 

Here's an excerpt to whet your appetite - and don't forget to check out the fabulous trailer that follows it!


“Go at once, Naclana,” Aazuria ordered, in a tone of voice which could not be disobeyed.

Naclana bowed deeply, recognizing her for the first time in weeks. In the torch-lit volcanic caves of Adlivun. Aazuria’s silvery-white hair glistened as it hung down her back, woven with dozens of strands of pearls. Her stern eyes bored right through him, their color having returned to their natural, undersea azure; her namesake.

She was nothing like the fretful, lackluster girl he had seen when she came to answer Trevain’s door. His faith in her was restored. She was the same knowledgeable, refined woman as before; and she was more than capable of leading their nation. Here at home, Aazuria was fierce, judicious, and capable of anything. The difference was palpable even to Corallyn and the twins, who felt great comfort and security in seeing Aazuria’s coloring return to the pale, albino-like tones that they had known her to have for hundreds of years. With it, her fortitude seemed to return.

On land, they were all a little awkward and uncertain. Even the regal, confident Aazuria seemed overly-cautious and agitated above the surface.

“I will leave immediately, Princess Aazuria,” said Naclana, saluting across his chest with sincerity.

“I wish you a safe journey,” Aazuria said, inclining her head slightly in gratitude. Above the surface, her cousin was able to give her orders, but in their true niche, he was a messenger bound to serve her. 


Fathoms of Forgiveness
by Nadia Scrieva


There is no divorce in the undersea kingdom of Adlivun. Marriage is a bond that lasts until death—even if death comes in several centuries, and in that time your spouse happens to become your sworn enemy. This is the conflict that General Visola Ramaris faces when she learns that the mighty Vachlan is behind the attacks on her kingdom. She has sworn to protect Adlivun with her life, but long ago, she also swore to love and honor her husband...

Visola must choose whether she will destroy Vachlan once and for all, or attempt the hardest thing conceivable: communication. After two hundred years of desertion, she has no faith in their feeble bond and knows she can never forgive him. When he threatens the person dearest to her, she must take action. Confronting Vachlan on enemy territory would be nothing short of suicide. She knows that if she falls into his custody, the deranged man would relish breaking her down and making her lose her sanity.

Princess Aazuria forbids Visola from taking matters into her own hands; she will do anything it takes to protect her friend from the man who wants to crush her. Alas, Visola is a crazy, uncontrollable warrior woman with the blood of Vikings in her veins. Why would she ever consider doing the safe and predictable thing?


Meeting the scrutiny of his steel-grey eyes made her feel sweltering hot and bitterly cold at the same time. It was a thousandfold more difficult to tolerate the intensity of his gaze when it was penetrating her skull from the front instead of the rear. She felt like her eyes did not offer as much protection as the dense bones of her skull had. He was already piercing beyond her eyeballs to knead her memories with his knuckles, and to dissect her thoughts with his fingernails. She tried to get past the pain in her skull to objectively observe her enemy. His jet-black hair was pulled back into its classic ponytail at the nape of his neck. Had he not changed his hairstyle in all this time? Had he not grown hideous with all the horrible deeds he had done?

It did not seem possible, but he looked exactly the same. Except for his eyes; those vicious grey-blue eyes would have terrified any lesser woman to tears. Visola could not help seeing the blatant resemblance to her daughter in his face. Although Alcyone’s coloring was closer to Visola’s own, there was still so much of Vachlan in her. Seeing this; seeing the glimpses of Alcyone in this man who was little more than a stranger, drew her spirit to him involuntarily. Visola realized that she had to face the terrible truth.

She was not strong enough to face the father of her child.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Nadia Scrieva was born in 1988 in Toronto, Canada. She studied English and Anthropology, graduating with an Honors B.A. from the University of Toronto in 2011. She likes knives. Writing has been the most meaningful part of her life since she was a child. Nadia loves receiving feedback from readers, so do not hesitate to contact her with any of your comments, questions, ideas, or just to say hello. 
Website: www.NadiaScrieva.com  
Blog: http://nadiascrieva.blogspot.ca/

Nadia will giving away an eBook copy of Drowning Mermaids to one randomly drawn commenter at every stop. Follow her on her tour at the link below: