7 Stunning Fantasy Books With Mermaids and Sirens

Fantasy books with mermaids and sirens dazzle us with underwater worlds, intriguingly unique societies and ethereal fantasy creatures.

For the most part, novels portray mermaids as gentle and playful while sirens, their ominous counterparts, are often shown as vicious but alluring.

Are you interested in finding one of these stories? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are 7 stunning fantasy books about mermaids and sirens to read:

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings, and summaries of positive and negative comments below for each one of these fantasy novels. Here’s a comparison chart for a quick summary.

And for more fantastic stories, here are all the posts I’ve written about fantasy books with fantasy creatures to see.

Breakwater by Catherine Jones Payne


Mermaids. Murder. Mayhem.

A red tide is rising.

As the daughter of one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors, seventeen-year-old Jade has great responsibilities. When her fiancé murders a naiad, plunging the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar, tensions surge between the mer and the naiads.

Jade learns too late that the choices she makes ripple further than she’d ever imagined. And as she fights against the tide of anger in a city that lives for scandal, she discovers danger lurking in every canal, imperiling her family and shattering the ocean’s fragile peace.

Can the city’s divisions be mended before the upwelling of hate rips apart everything Jade loves?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.08

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books with mermaids and sirens is Breakwater. This novel grabbed readers with its fast-paced plot, political intrigue and likable main character, Jade.

A story about mermaids but also about power, prejudice and politics, Breakwater captivated fans with this unique combination. At the same time, readers said that Breakwater moved at a lightning-fast pace, each chapter ending at just the right place to keep them turning the pages for more.

Moreover, several mentioned that Jade and her inner struggle struck them as sympathetic, complex and authentic. As she grew more aware of the realities outside of her high social circle, Jade questioned her world and her role in it. Fans found her growth fascinating to watch, and admired her care and loyalty toward her loved ones. 

Negative Comments

What did critics say about Breakwater? In general, these readers said that Jade came across as either flat or naïve, which they didn’t enjoy.

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly


Serafina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation – and burden – that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk.

On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother’s hopes.

The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin’s arrow wounds Isabella.

The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina’s darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the mer nations.

Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.83

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Second on our list of fantasy books with mermaids and sirens is Deep Blue. Fans praised this novel for several reasons: its imaginative world, compelling characters and positive message for girls in particular.

In terms of the world-building, readers enthused that Deep Blue is full of breathtaking underwater settings. Refreshing and immersive, the descriptions and sights of the undersea world completely transported fans into Deep Blue’s pages.

In addition, they described the book as having a great cast of likable characters. Each one had their own special strengths and role to play, and readers said that the friendships between them were highlights of the story.

Related to that, others said that seeing the mermaids set out to save their loved ones rather than waiting to be rescued was a great message.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about Deep Blue? In general, these readers cited two reasons for not enjoying the book.

The first was that they thought the characters came across as either flat or that their personalities were mostly indistinguishable from one another.

The second was that aspects of the novel made it seem immature. Some said this mostly came through from the verbiage. For example, the mermaids spoke like stereotypical valley-girls. On the other hand, others pointed to the plot, saying it seemed cheesy and simplistic.  

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs


On land…

Tempest Maguire loves her California coastline home. Surfing the killer waves. Taking care of her brothers and dad. Loving her longtime boyfriend, Mark. But the weight of her secret is pulling her under, toward the ocean’s ever-growing call.

Among the waves…

Tempest’s secret? She is half mermaid, a legacy left by her absent mother, who returned to the ocean many years ago. And now Tempest has her own choice to make. Complicating matters is Kona, an enigmatic newcomer whose otherworldly abilities hint at a shared passion and common secrets.

Beyond the sea…

But there is more at stake besides Tempest’s heart and her identity – her life may be in danger too. Because the waters hide a mysterious and dark secret world of their own, one full of sweeping romance and thrilling adventure – but one where nobody, least of all Tempest, is safe. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.89

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Third on our list of fantasy books with mermaids and sirens is Tempest Rising. This novel delighted fans with its relatable and sympathetic main character, Tempest, as well as its fascinating world of mermaids, selkies and more.

Tempest won readers’ hearts, coming across to them as a great mixture of strengths and vulnerabilities. Her inner struggle to decide who and what she wanted to be, especially given her past, was meaningful and human to them.

Because she was so relatable, fans empathized with and rooted for her throughout the story.

Negative Comments

What did critics say? Almost unanimously, if readers didn’t like Tempest Rising, it was because they thought Tempest was cheating on her boyfriend.

For context, the book sets up a love triangle with Tempest, her on-and-off-again boyfriend (Mark), and a newcomer (Kona). Fans seemed to interpret Tempest and Mark as too inconsistent to consider her interest in Kona as cheating.

Critics, on the other hand, thought she was doing exactly that. As a result, they found her unlikable and couldn’t respect her.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own.

To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most — a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby — it’s his calling.

When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good — but can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy? 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.93

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments 

Next on our list of fantasy books with mermaids and sirens is To Kill a Kingdom. A dark retelling of The Little Mermaid, this fantasy novel enthralled readers with its anti-hero main characters and incredible ability to immerse them in its world.

Neither Lira nor Elian are heroes. In fact, readers often describe them as ruthless and twisted. However, this was exactly what they found refreshing and intriguing about them.

The two of them struck fans as tragic, burdened souls who learned how to be compassionate and to trust from one another. Their relationship is filled with deception, but the bittersweet nature of it was what made To Kill a Kingdom powerful for these readers.

In addition, readers often mentioned the story’s exquisite prose. They said that its lush images and sensory details completely transported them into the story.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about To Kill a Kingdom?

Generally, these readers focus on the characters and their romance. The two are related to one another: critics tended to say that they expected the romance to be darker than it was and were disappointed when it wasn’t.

On the other hand, some readers thought that the romance didn’t seem to grow organically out of Lira and Elian’s characters. Critics suggested that though Lira and Elian were set up as ruthless and driven individuals, they seemed to lose these traits due to the speed with which they fell in love.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller


There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map — the key to a legendary treasure trove — seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.98

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books with mermaids and sirens is Daughter of the Pirate King. Fans described this as an exciting novel full of mischief, pirates and sirens. They praised it as having a lightning-fast pace, plenty of action and an entertaining protagonist, Alosa.

Full of twists and turns, Daughter of the Pirate King struck readers as a fun adventure that was perfect for pirate-lovers. Moreover, they described Alosa as a female Captain Jack Sparrow who delighted them with her wit, cunning and fighting skills. Her fierce personality and sarcastic humor made them grin throughout the book.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, including Daughter of the Pirate King. What did these readers say?

For the most part, these readers tended to focus on Alosa or the romance. To them, she came across as a braggart who talked too frequently about her skills and accomplishments. Because they found her unlikable, critics found it difficult to enjoy the book.

As for the romance, these readers generally described it as happening too suddenly.

Part of Your World by Liz Braswell


What if Ariel had never defeated Ursula?

It’s been five years since the infamous sea witch defeated the little mermaid…and took King Triton’s life in the process.

Ariel is now the voiceless queen of Atlantica, while Ursula runs Prince Eric’s kingdom on land. But when Ariel discovers that her father might still be alive, she finds herself returning to a world – and a prince – she never imagined she would see again.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.80

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with mermaids and sirens is Part of Your World, an alternate ending to Disney’s The Little Mermaid movie. This novel intrigued fans with its ‘What if?’ concept, but also its characters and ‘comeback’ story.

These readers described the book as one where Ariel, having lost everything, climbs back onto her feet and takes back what’s hers. Several said that this made Part of Your World inspiring and even powerful.

Others praised Ariel and Eric’s portrayal overall, saying that both characters were more mature and fleshed out than their film counterparts. Seeing their determination, how they learned from their mistakes and their satisfying romance was a treat. 

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Part of Your World, what did they say?

Typically, critics cited two reasons. One group said that they thought the plot moved slowly for most of the book.

Others said that they didn’t like the characters. For some, this was because the characters struck them as immature or petty.

The Siren by Kiera Cass


A sweeping stand-alone fantasy romance from Kiera Cass, author of the Selection series.

Kahlen is a Siren, bound to serve the Ocean by luring humans to watery graves with her voice, which is deadly to any human who hears it. Akinli is human — a kind, handsome boy who’s everything Kahlen ever dreamed of.

Falling in love puts them both in danger . . . but Kahlen can’t bear to stay away. Will she risk everything to follow her heart?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.76

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Last on our list of fantasy books with mermaids and sirens is The Siren. This novel dazzled readers with its vividly portrayed sirens and its heartfelt story about love, in its many different forms.

Fans said this was an uplifting tale, showing them love between friends, parents and children, romantic love, love for one’s self and more. These readers were often deeply moved by The Siren, saying that experiencing the relationships between the characters was at times beautiful and at times heartbreaking.

Overall, fans agreed that while this is an intriguing story about sirens, it’s also a refreshing, deeper story about love, sacrifice and hope.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about The Siren? Overall, these readers focused on the romance, saying that it came across as two characters falling instantly in love rather than developing organically throughout the story.

7 Stunning Fantasy Books With Mermaids and Sirens

How Do These Novels Compare?

7 Stunning Fantasy Books With Mermaids and Sirens

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