THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE QUEEN
Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father’s betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa’s upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age.
Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa’s mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?
Excuse me while I freak out about MERMAAAAAAAIDS!!!
A Day in the Life of an Aquarathi Living in Waterfell
Written by Amalie Howard
Photos taken from Amalie’s Waterfell Pinterest board.
Like the home of many deep-sea creatures, the Aquarathi world is simply not accessible to us, and while the Aquarathi can transform into human form, this isn’t their natural state. Like humans, they are a very intelligent species, and exhibit complex relationships and well-developed language, as well as sophisticated social and behavioral characteristics. In their natural undersea habitat, however, they have very little in common with people. In Waterfell, much like other ocean species, their daily lives consists of parenting, hunting, interacting, and resting.
On average, an Aquarathi weighs about a thousand pounds, and has a lifespan of about a hundred years. Underwater, Aquarathi speech includes sharp pulses, clicks and whistles, and is used to communicate orders, commands and needs. Body language also plays a large part in Aquarathi communication. As much as baring a neck is a sign of deference, flicking a tail is one of aggression. The combination of sounds and appearance is as complicated and elaborate as any oral human language.
An Aquarathi will choose a mate, once it comes of age—a process called Dvija—and will bond once for the duration of its life. Female Aquarathi usually only have a child every ten to fifteen years due to a long two-year gestation period, and coupled with a relatively small childbearing window, this keeps the Aquarathi population small.
The Aquarathi political structure is divided into four courts (Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire and Gold) with a designated High Court. The Courts convene on a regular basis to provide updates to the High Court and to air any grievances or share news. Each Court has its own groups of caregivers, warriors and hunters, and for the most part, operates independently of the High Court but within the laws of the High Court. The High King or Queen has the final say in all matters. The caregivers, as their name implies, take care of the injured, the young and the sick. The warriors defend the lower Court royals as well as their Court boundaries, and the hunters are tasked with finding and distributing food.
The Aquarathi are excellent and efficient hunters, feeding on other ocean species like sharks, whales, squid, stingrays, and other large fish. They typically work in small groups, and are careful and stealthy in stalking their prey, often for extended periods before moving in for the kill. With millions of olfactory receptors, the Aquarathi can smell blood in the water from thousands of miles away, and also will use their bioluminescence to lure in prey. They are incredibly fast swimmers, averaging seventy-five to a hundred miles per hour. The Aquarathi hunters share their catch with other members of their respective Courts.
A large part of Aquarathi daily life involves parenting and guiding younger Aquarathi. Knowledge and experience is passed down through the ranks, including teaching about life and survival skills, community care, hunting, feeding, navigation, interaction with humans, Court laws, and Aquarathi history. All members of each Court help to parent and teach younger Aquarathi, passing on valuable information from past generations.
About Amalie Howard
Amalie Howard grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, marketing representative, teen speaker and global sales executive. In between writing novels and indulging her love of reading, Amalie is also a books review editor for TheLoopNY, and blogs at amaliehoward.com.
Thanks to Kismet Blog Touring, I have TWO giveaways for you guys! The first is for a chance to win a copy of Waterfell. But also, everyone who enters that giveaway will be also entered to win the grand prize!
This giveaway is for US/Canada residents only—sorry international readers! 🙁 You can view the full content rules on Kismet Book Touring’s website.a Rafflecopter giveaway