Author(s): Jane Yolen and Shulamith Oppenheim
Mermen? Yes. Long before mermaids emerged to people our inner seas, long before they established their restless, inviting niche in human fantasy, there was the merman. Born of the human need to dominate the great fruitful oceans, to control the vast destructive seas, to regulate the healing rains, to understand the tides, the merman emerged.
The merman was water personified. The imposing water gods could be wheedled, cozened, implored, but-in the end-they were never fooled. How often were Poseidon or Neptune, Lir, Njord and the rest pictured riding the waves along inhospitable shores, shaking their magical tridents or spears or fists at the weak, imploring humans on land? The sea gods called up storms or quieted waves. They flooded the lands. They drowned the unwary.
On this blog, you will see that I have read one or two of Jane Yolen's books and was quite impressed with her originality and creativity. Although I found this book interesting in some respects, it seemed more like a glossary or an encyclopedia or mermen and ocean/water gods. Although it did include some stories, they were really cut down in detail. What I did like about this book was that it showed a wide variety of cultures from around the world. Overall, I give this book ***-**** between 3 and 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie