*This is book 3 in the Elisabeth and Edvard’s World, but it can be read as a stand-alone.*
A Naiad makes an impossible wish, sending a ripple of effect through the land and binding to her magic the people from the nearby mill, and the village beyond. Unexpected twists of fate tie Naiya to Hilda, the miller’s unhappy wife and, Amina, the baker’s youngest daughter.
Amina is flung into a daring adventure when Naiya’s wish ensnares the love of Amina’s life. Can she find a way to save Phillip from the watery depths? And what will she have to sacrifice to do so?
Embark on a magical adventure of daring, determination, and heartbreak. Be enchanted by this retelling of the Grimm Brothers’ lesser-known tale, The Nixie of the Mill-pond.
*Trigger warnings? I don’t think so. But there is infant death, and tons of self-destructive thoughts. The romance is clean.*
Naiya is a Naiad that makes a deal with a miller, causing a wave of repercussions that basically ruin everyone’s life, including hers.
Humans are fickle, young one. They are not easy beings to make a bargain with because they rarely uphold their end of the deal.
She was obsessed with the idea of having a son, an impossible task for a being like her. So when she saw how the miller and his wife couldn’t take care of their children, she decided to save that poor creature. But she didn’t count with the resistance of his mother.
But all magic deals must come with an exchange, and as Naiya fulfilled her part, things started to spiralize out of control.
This book is a retelling. I don’t know the original story, but it did give me huge Grimm fairytale vibes.
It was hard for me to get into the story at the beginning. I didn’t connect with Naiya, so even as I was curious for her story, I couldn’t comprehend her. But later we follow the story from two more POVs and things got more interesting to me.
First we meet Hilda, the miller’s wife. She takes full responsibility for saving her son and protecting him. And blames everything on her husband. Hilda poisons herself with hate, instead of trying to understand and forgive the miller.
Hate has a strange way of growing in the back of your mind even when you’re not thinking about the object of your resentment. It is a cloud of poisoned mist lurking in the depths. Before you know it, it consumes you, tainting every thought and action with the desire to cause harm—or at least to withhold kindness.
And then we meet Amina, the baker’s youngest daughter. It was her who completely caught me in the story.
I felt like a cake collapsing into a crater when it hasn’t baked for long enough.
She begins as a girl, immature and full of doubts. She has so little level of self-confidence that she is constantly attacking herself. Blaming for being different, being wrong.
It was what was expected, how things were, so why did I feel a million ants crawling over my skin at the thought of this future for myself? Why did it horrify me so much that I was on my way to becoming just like everyone else? Wasn’t this what I’d always wanted?
I was shocked on how much I connected with Amina. She falls constantly in her deep thoughts, but instead of being annoying, it was awfully sad, because she honestly believed she had no worth.
It’s strange how, in the blink of an eye, we can plummet from a pinnacle of calm into an abyss of self-inflicted hatred.
This is a story of Love. To your family, to your partner and to yourself. But more than anything it’s a story about finding who you really are and your place in the world, getting over the adversities. We accompany Amina in her quest to save her husband, but in the way we get to see her inner growth and how she finds the strength she always had.
“Although following your passion will not spare you from hardship, listening to the glowing light within your heart will help you weather the storms.”
I did feel it was too long for me, and Amina’s self-attack started to bother me after a while. Still, you don’t grow from one day to another, so it made sense she kept falling on doubts.
Where was the hard shell I needed to protect my heart? I longed for some semblance of safety from the ache settling in my chest. The treacherous organ kept on beating steadily instead of sputtering and dying out like the rest of me. I couldn’t fathom any of it.
Another point that had high importance in the book was the religion. They venerate the Great Dragon, and are pretty fanatic. But there are some other religions too, I found myself curious about whether Astrid is or not religious, because Amina was, and she searches strength in the Great Dragon in the Sky same with the religion, but at the same time, every moment in the book has a reason for the character’s growth.
Hardships are part of life, so we can overcome them. The pain has to be experienced so the beautiful moments can be cherished. Joy and pain; peace and discord; adoration and loss; life and death; all were part of our human experience for a reason. It is in the balance that I’ll find happiness.
A recommendable read, for everyone that loves fairytales, but especially if you need motivation to keep moving forward.
You are not what the world hands you. You are what you make of what you’ve been given.
Bye bye 💕
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