The fourth book in the WITCHES OF ORKNEY SERIES has its debut this week. It’s an exciting adventure full of witches, mermaids, and a nasty serpent who can destroy entire worlds. The question you might first ask is “Can I read The Mermaid Queen if I’ve not read the others in the series?”

Yes! The story line before Book 4 begins won’t confuse readers as this has a different focus with young witch Abigail trying to stop the evil before it is unleashed. It will entice you to go back and read the others, along with Book 5, THE DARK WITCH, due out next year.

Here’s the back cover blurb for THE MERMAID QUEEN:

Abigail and Hugo have just helped restore the balance of power in Orkney by defeating the powerful alchemist Vertulious when Abigail discovers that Capricorn, the mermaid queen she trusted to help them, has unleashed the powerful Midgard Serpent named Jormungand―who, years ago, encircled the world of mankind and held it captive until Odin banished it to an underwater prison. Capricorn is determined to force Odin to make her goddess of the seas over Aegir, and she’s ready to use the massive serpent to bend him to her will―threatening all of Orkney. Abigail and Hugo must embark on an adventure across the seas to Odin’s island sanctuary to find a way to stop Capricorn and return Jormungand to his watery cell. But when Abigail finds that her powers are not enough, she has to tap into her dark magic again and again. As she is drawn further down this path, a dark presence makes itself known to her―one that may alter her path forever.


The third person narration takes you through a prologue, then 31 chapters followed by the setup for Book 5 in an epilogue. It’s a manageable 232 pages that won’t scare away reluctant readers. A small selection of illustrations also help the story move along at a nice pace.

Our heroine witch Abigail, along with Hugo and another witch, Calla, provide a well rounded set of characters. Readers might be putting themselves into each of their shoes wondering if they would make the same decisions under the fantasy laden settings. They are brave and you’ll be rooting for them along with hoping Abigail doesn’t disappear to the dark side of magic. Her inner turmoil and temptations are real and the basis for the main story.

Schooling at The Witch Academy takes a back seat in book 4 to the more important adventure. You won’t be sorry for taking an enjoyable escape to the Orkney world.


  1. The ending serves its purpose. It’s a cliffhanger and an interesting turn of events for the next story.
  2. Rough seas, strange islands, and new characters bring many surprises along the way. A page turning and often tense set of scenes.
  3. Loyalty and friendship are put to the test. You’ll love how Hugo meets the challenge as both traits are threatened to end.
  4. The magic book of dark spells and balls of witch fire will have readers thankful they live in the present. Scary stuff but too scary.
  5. To create a world such as Orkney requires world building. A map in the front pages gets you started. The locales visited bring the world to life.


Alane Adams is the author of award-winning titles that include the Legends of Orkney™ Norse mythology series for middle grade readers, the Witches of Orkney prequel series, and a series of historical picture books set in the 1920s including The Coal Thief. Alane Adams and her books have been featured on BBC, Fox, the CW, Parade, Bustle, Today, People, and many more! When Alane is not writing or sharing how Reading Is A Superpower with young students through her Between the Pages program, she’s out hiking somewhere in the world or hanging out with her three boys in Southern California. For more information, visit or follow Alane on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @AlaneAdamsBooks.


I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest critique. Be sure to comment below and then visit the other Marvelous Middle Grade Monday bloggers posting today. Happy MMGM!

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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7 Responses to THE MERMAID QUEEN

  1. Good to know we don’t have to read the first three books to enjoy this one. It sounds like it has the kind of magic I’d enjoy.

  2. Thanks for the reverse-caveat that you don’t need to read the first books. 🙂 I think my girls are going to have to try this series–it’s right up their alley!

  3. This series does sound very interesting — the characters, the high-stakes plot and the wonderful world building. Perfectly timed review for this magical read. Glad to know this book can be read alone.

  4. This is not my cup of tea, but I bet it will be a big hit with the MG set. It sounds well-written and exciting. Good to know about it. Thanks for your review.

  5. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    This sounds like such an intriguing series with a whole lot of wonderful fantasy elements! And the covers are wonderful too. It’s also nice to know you don’t have to read the whole series first! Thanks so much for the great review and the MMGM round-up!

  6. Pingback: This week’s round-up of middle grade fantasy and science fiction from around the blogs (10/17/21) – Therapy Box

  7. I hadn’t heard of these books, but those covers are just gorgeous! And I love that you can read the fourth book without reading the first three. It’s always nice to have a series you can jump into.

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