Sea Spell, Book Four of the Waterfire Saga

Publisher: Disney Publishing Worldwide

Year: 2017

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Orfeo has waited thousands of years for his time to come. Soon his descendant, Astrid, a mermaid fierce and true, will join him at Shadow Manse, his stronghold. Will she succeed in taking his powerful talisman, a black pearl? Or will he succeed in persuading her to accept her birthright, and turn against her friends?

The fate of the underwater world is at stake in this breathtaking finale of the WaterFire Saga!

The Story

Ava is tracking another talisman in the swamps of the Mississippi. To get it she will have to face down the murderous Okwa Naholo spirits. For once, her unseeing eyes might be an advantage, because no mer who looks upon the creatures lives to tell the tale.

Serafina, Becca, Ling, and Neela are in the Kargjord with the rest of the Black Fin resistance and goblin troops, preparing for war on two fronts. Will Sera ever see her beloved home – and her beloved Mahdi – again, or will the Volneros take over the mer realms while Orfeo takes on the gods themselves?

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The Inspiration

One of the biggest inspirations for SEA SPELL, and all the Waterfire books, was the sea itself, and its gorgeous and amazing creatures.

A fictional world is created through imagination, of course. What makes books like Hunger Games or Harry Potter great? The fact that you can totally step into the world the author created. It takes a lot of imagination to do that. And one way to feed your imagination is to do research.

For the Waterfire Saga, I read lots of books on marine creatures and environments, including one incredible book called THE DEEP by Claire Nouvian. It features photography of deep sea creatures. It was so inspiring to me that I have to share a few shots from it with you because I love the creatures in it so much.

This guy lives 1400 meters below the surface of the sea. He’s a bioluminescent – which means his body contains photocytes – cells that emit a bluish glow. He was a big inspiration for Neela.

This awesome fangtooth, who’s found at 5,000 meters below the surface, can’t see, but he can feel what’s around him using the sensory canals on his skin. He helped me create Ava. She’s blind, but she has this incredible ability to feel things, to sense what’s coming.

Scientists say not much is known about this little guy, but come on….I know all I have to know just by looking at him. He’s a total joker. One of these octos appears as Opie in SEA SPELL.

I read a lot for my research, but I also go to the world I’m trying to write about – be it a pond, lake, river, or beach—and get nose to nose with what I’m writing about. This is me at a friend’s pond. That day, I found the biggest clutch of frog’s eggs I’ve ever seen, watched fish swim, and dragonflies fly. I listened to bullfrogs call, and breathed in that wonderful, muddy pond smell.

What usually happens to me, is that I’ll see all these wonderful things – and then stow them away in my brain.

Like this:

I saw suits of armor for people in several museums I visited. And I stowed the images away. Especially this samurai’s helmet. I really held onto that. And it really came in handy. Because later, when I was walking along the beach at Cumberland Island, near Florida, I came across the carapace of a horseshoe crab…

….and boom, I knew what my mer soldiers would be wearing on their heads.

I’m just like a magpie, constantly taking bright, shiny things and hoarding them until I find a way to use them. I hope you enjoy all the bright, shiny things – and the dark, scary ones, too – that you find in SEA SPELL!

Click to read an excerpt from SEA SPELL.




    Hola buena noches eh leído los tres primeros libros pero me a costado muchísimo encontrar el cuartos libro en español eso me pone muy triste porque los tres anteriores me han encantado espero poder saber dónde conseguirlo porque no puedo con la angustia de saber que pasa después.
    Agradezco tu atención querida Jennifer y espero que sigas teniendo tanto éxito como hasta ahora mucha suerte y bendiciones en todo lo que desees.
    Atentamente Brenda Gómez de la cuidad de México

    • Jennifer Donnelly says:

      ¡Hola, Brenda! Gracias por sus amables palabras. ? Me temo que no sé cuándo / si SEA SPELL se publicará en español. Desafortunadamente, no formo parte de ese proceso. Es posible que desee ponerse en contacto con el editor de los otros libros y pedirles que lo publiquen!

  2. Carrissa says:

    Omgoodness!! I literally just finished Book 4 about 10 minutes ago. I happened upon Deep Blue at a yard sale last weekend. I have always loved mermaids and the magic that the sea brings about. I am an older reader compared to most who have commented. I will be 33 this year, but have always been a very avid reader and really enjoy anything and everything related to the fantasy world. I wasn’t sure about this book when I picked it up. I read a few pages standing there at the yard sale and immediately knew I HAD to read it. I finished Book 1 that same night. I just couldn’t put it down. My husband and I have 14 children, so it takes me a little bit longer than it used to to get through a series. I finished all 4 books in 8 days and am so incredibly inspired and in love with it! I hope with all hope that there is time for a Book 5. Lucia has disappeared and, according to the Iele, plotting a monster plus revenge! I would love to see this series on film and learn what happens next with Lucia. Mahdi and Sera are amazing characters with so much love. All of the merls have gone through so much and are incredible characters. I have to admit, Astrid had me fooled there at the end, too. I was heartbroken for Sera and the other merls. But again, another fabulous twist. I’m not sure I can live on in peace not knowing what happens next. Sara and Mahdi. Astrid and Des. Becca and Marco. I’m pretty sure the theories I have about everything still lingering are messing with my brain. Lol. I apologize for the long post. I am just ridiculously obsessed with this Saga. You are an insanely good author and I will definitely be looking into your other books. Thank you so much for this adventure. I am (not so) patiently waiting for the adventure to continue. ?

    • Jennifer Donnelly says:

      Oh, thank you for this lovely note, Carrissa! I’m so glad you enjoyed the Waterfire Saga — I miss those merls so much and it’s so nice to hear they’re still out telling their story to readers like you! (As for a fifth book, no immediate plans, but I never say never!)

  3. courtney telles says:

    I am on the last book of water fire saga sea spell that originally started with deep blue, and I am wondering if the books will become a four movie collection. I would really like to see that happen. To see the story, the adventure put into action.

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