Originally called “A seahorse tale”.

This is a fantasy story for middle grade and Young Adult readers. The Seahorse relates his interactions with a Mermaid and she regales him with stories about a few famous, and not so famous, women. There’s some historical fiction and Australiana included as well as pirates, elves and leprechauns.

Come on an adventure into the life of a seahorse and a mermaid and learn how the Mermaid teaches the Seahorse as well as transporting him to a place like the Bermudas. There is also the Rainbow Serpent who is creating Australia and how the people there lead different lives from the Europeans. What will the Seahorse reincarnate as and will he ever meet the Mermaid again?



Anthony Avina:

Delightfully original, this story is a detailed fantasy one, told only as an Australian can, from the conjectural angle of Dreamtime (or the concept of Dreaming, which the Aboriginal people believe to be a crucial source of knowledge on earth.

The storyteller is Nat (short for Nathan) and he’s not your run-of-the-mill pal. …He tells us about the Rainbow Serpent, a kind of mother nature, who entrusts him with her Dreamtime, thereby opening up a sea of awareness to him.

Nat also tells us about his adventures with a beautiful and flirtatious mermaid who often shies away from the human touch but relishes the attention of sailors who ogle her as their vessels approach (her) rock.

Same sex relationships and cross-dressing (are explored, as well as) charges of sedition against the Church.

…Author Mardel, with effortless narrative grace, spins a yarn that outdoes any I had heard on the evolution of life, mother nature, existentialism and beyond, from a YA viewpoint that’s quite intriguing to adults as well.

Review by Michael Volpion

This is a nice blend of fantasy with various beliefs (i.e. Christianity). It makes me think of parallel universes where such a world can exist, where a seahorse narrates the story. Also, there’s no proof that mermaids “don’t” exist with so much of the ocean yet to explore! 

As the author is Australian, you will certainly see a lot of the culture from that country…It is a very original unique book that you don’t see very often and I like these types of books which make me think of parallel scenarios …and blends a lot of history, culture, and fantasy into one. Nice job!

Review by MA:

Living in Australia for almost 3 decades has taught me many things. One of them is the concept of Dreaming  or Dreamtime. It originated amongst the Aboriginal people, who consider Dreaming to be an essential source of all knowledge on earth…how the universe came about, the indelible history of the land…death and the cyclical process.

Michael Mardel’s book…is an intriguing book mediated through Dreamtime. It is a book of revelation, the narration of which flows like a lucid waterfall of music and poetry…The Seahorse, being the creation (of the Rainbow Serpent), there is love, affliction, childbirth, all encompassed within the jurisdiction of Dreaming.

This book is highly spiritual, …not fantasy or a sci-fi but the most profound magical realism. A book which must be revered by readers in an attempt to understand the community and their culture.