It has been two years since Rory drowned, and Lorali is in Hastings, living the quiet life of a normal teenage girl. But her safe life on land won’t last for long. Life in The Whirl has become a hotbed of underwater politics and as the council jostles to oust the king, one Mer in particular has her eye on Lorali as the key to her own rise to power.
Meanwhile, Aurabel, a lowly Mer from the wrong side of the trench, is attacked by sea beasts and left for dead – and without a tail. Raging with righteous anger, she rebuilds herself a mechanical tail and reinvents herself as a fearless steampunk Mer seeking revenge. But she never expected the most important job that was about to drop into her lap.
I first picked up Lorali at YALC 2015, and did so because I went to a session that looked at books as performance pieces and heard Laura Dockrill read from Lorali – it was revelatory and, so being back at YALC in 2017, I was thrilled to see Laura back too.
As a book, it’s hard to categorise; part fantasy, part steampunk, part teen romance, part Shakespearean epic it also has some beautifully poetic prose – not surprising as Laura Dockrill also writes poetry. It’s so easy to race through this book as the language has an immediacy to it, it will rattle along and your job as the reader is just to keep up!
Although Lorali was a finished novel, with very few loose ends that needed tying up this book takes those loose ends, adds new characters and some loveable old ones and weaves an entirely different spell over them – I read another review that said exactly what I thought: Lorali was not a book that needed a sequel, but since it has one, I couldn’t have hoped for a better one.
Since reading Lorali and Aurabel, I have been recommending them whenever I can – it’s safe to say I’ve become a Laura Dockrill fan and I’m hugely excited to see what she does next – although I think she’ll be a wee bit busy, as she’s just had a baby!!
Aurabel is published by Hotkey Books. To find out more about Laura Dockrill, you can visit her website (which is, so appropriately, wallpapered in leopard skin), or you can connect with her on Twitter.
Please note: I was given a copy of this book via Netgalley for review purposes (although I have also bought a copy myself…). All opinions are, as ever, my own.