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.



  1. Bayleigh says:

    I’m a little late to the train, but oh my gods! This books series is just absolutely incredible and I’m sad to have finished it. I suppose I’ll just have to read it again though. (;

    Do you plan on making anymore books that take place within the Waterfire world? Or perhaps more adventures for Sera and her friends? Or even their children they might have later on? I don’t think I can live without reading Sera and Mahdi’s wedding or their first child’s birth and all the other little things.

    You are truly a talented writer and I can’t wait to check out your other books and patiently wait in hopes of more in the Waterfire series, and in hopes for movies or a tv show!

    • Ariyannah says:

      PLEASE…. I need book 5…. I am 13, and I absolutly love these books… you had a cliff hanger after every book making me wait on the edge of my seat untill I could get the next one, and now you leave the whole collection with one… I really wish you would write one where their children go on an adventure and have to go against Lucia. I love your books and please,please write more. I need book 5!!!

  2. Jordan Zondag says:

    So I first found this series by recommendation, which led me to find my favorite singer; Bea miller. Have you thought about doing a movie and getting Bea involved, or possibly doing something else with Bea? Also I must say I love the ending or the series:it leaves it open for you to write more, or it lets the fan fiction writers go crazy, or it lets us decide what happens. Thank you

    • Jennifer Donnelly says:

      I’d love to see a movie or series based on the Waterfire Saga, but it’s not up to me — it’s up to Disney! Bea and I got to spend some time together promoting Deep Blue, and I agree she’s awesome!

  3. aya says:

    I have read the waterfire saga so many times. It just hit different. As a 15 year old, I don’t spend a lot of time reading but this books series is just so much different. I love all the twists and turns and love triangles and just every book in this series is wonderful. I hope you find time to write book 5. You inspired me to keep reading so I hope I can inspire you to write the next book. I literally just texted my friends that if anyone of them becomes a movie director they HAVE to make this book series into a movie. I love this series so much to the point where i’ve read fanfictions of it. I really hope you do continue this series.

    • Jennifer Donnelly says:

      I hope one of your friends does become a director who makes the Waterfire Saga into films — I think the books would be AMAZING as movies or a TV series. Disney owns the film rights, so I’m hopeful that one day they produce a screen version!

      • bliss says:

        but please, book 5. the chant at the end of sea spell begs another installment about lucia. we’re begging you.

  4. Muhammad says:

    Hi Jennifer Donnelly,

    I have recently became one of your biggest fans on Waterfire Saga. Ever since I was little, I have always been fascinated with the oceans and the life that thrived in them, and your books were really committed on bringing the beauty of sea life to fantasy literature, unlike many young-adult mermaid stories. Lately, I have been writing down ideas of an alternate universe/elsewhere fan-story of Waterfire Saga, incorporating new characters, storylines with some worldbuilding based off of real life mythologies, cultures and sea life. However, out of my respect and love for your series, I am committed to being faithful to your ideas in terms of characters, storylines and worldbuilding. I do not know on whether I will be finished with it sooner or later, or if I expect you to read it or not, but I felt like I wanted to tell you just how much I have fallen in love with Serafina and the merls, even if I’m several years past the final book’s published date. I feel like your series helps give readers a newfound and strong appreciation towards our planet’s oceans.

    PS. I wish you good luck on your next books, including your possible book 5 😉

    • Jennifer Donnelly says:

      Thank you, Muhammad! I’m so glad you picked up on the conservation theme — that’s one of the main themes I hoped to convey with the series!

  5. Payton S. says:

    Hi Jennifer!

    I had been wanting to read Rogue Wave for a few years now and found it on sale at my local book store! After realizing that it was the second book in a series, I decided to go all out and buy the whole series without knowing if I would even like book #1. It was a gamble, but the WaterFire Saga has quickly become my favorite series! I read all 4 books in 4 days! I agree with everyone, you cannot leave us hanging with that Cliffhanger at the end of Sea Spell! We NEED a 5th book (or more!). You are a spectacular author and the detail you put in to these books is so appreciated! Thank you for reigniting my passion for reading. You have one more loyal fan now!

  6. Jennifer Donnelly says:

    Wow, I just went through a bunch of Waterfire Saga comments that had been accumulating on my site, and there were SO MANY asking for a book 5!! I can’t respond to all of them, but I want to say THANK YOU so much — your passion for this story means the world to me. One day I’d love to get back to continue the merls’ tale — and I really hope that it will get adapted to film or TV one day — but I’m afraid I don’t know when that will be. In the meantime, be strong, be brave, and protect the precious underwater creatures who share our planet!
    xo, Jennifer

  7. Grace says:

    Sooooo many people want a 5th one and I can’t help but agree. I read all of the books in the Waterfire Saga series at least 3 times and reading them all again. I absolutely LOVE them! Please please PLEASE make a 5th one! It’s been torturing me ever since I read the epilogue of ‘Sea Spell’. I’m begging you to make a 5th one, with all my heart.

  8. Madison says:

    Hello Mrs. Donnelly! I am a huge fan of the WaterFire saga. It was so beautifully written and so intriging! I have to say the last one was my favorite. You are so amazing! This is now one of my favorite series I’ve read over and over again. And this is random but so many people do not read anymore; it is so appalling! But I also believe, along with many others, that there should be another one in the series! This would totally satisfy everyone! Have a merry Christmas! Thank you for you time,
    Madison (9th grade student)

    • Jennifer Donnelly says:

      Maybe one day, Madison! I agree there’s still evil lurking beneath the waves! Hope you had a lovely holiday, and sorry for the slow response!

  9. Tiana says:

    I’m only on book 3 but I’m mesmerized by the stories, and I like to put myself in the books while I’m reading them, And I really feel like this book series should be turned into a movie, you work for the biggest production company aka Disney and I’m sure they can work some magic. I also agree with everyone else that there should be another book.

  10. Erika says:

    I have read many books after reading the waterfire saga. Some have been good but I have missed reading this series. I know you have moved on to other books but I can’t help wondering what happens next. I would love to see Serfina get married to Mady and the two go on and adventure with their friends ?

  11. Maria says:

    HI! OMG, i’ve read and re-read this series so many times, i’ve lost count! this series is so good! We NEED a 5th book or at least a prequel of how everything came to be! I love this series so much! i have a literal whooooooole section in my library for just mermaid related books LOL and yours is on my top, top placement! <3 I hope that we get to see a 5th addition to this series, i still have so many questions and there were so many cliffhangers, i get frustrated every time i finish the books. I LOVE YOU AND THESE BOOKS, PLEASE GIVE US A 5TH BOOK! <3 <3 <3 <3

  12. Ashley Grube says:

    I know you are very busy with other works, but we are dying for another book in this world. I love this series. I have taken to listening to them on audiobook, and Ithink I am up to 15 times reading them! They are so vivid I can imagine the scenes! We hope to hear about book 5 soon!

  13. Emily Wisa says:

    We’re all waiting for a 5th book. It was truly the best book I’ve ever read no doubt. Please make a 5th book!
    I can’t wait to see what Lucias brewing.

  14. Emily Wisa says:

    We’re all waiting for a 5th book. It was truly the best book I’ve ever read no doubt. Please make a 5th book!

  15. Micaela says:

    I Read these saga for the second time and i love it even more than i used to. YOU HAVE TO WRITE THE 5TH BOOKK BECAUSE I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE H*** HAPPENED WITH LUCIA ?

  16. Ele says:

    I have been inspired by Waterfire Saga for sooooooo long! It’s what started to get me drawing. Every time I run out of inspiration, I grab one of your books and start reading. I (and a lot of other people) hope you make a 5th book (or are currently making one)!

  17. Hi Jennifer. My name is Casper 🙂

    I can not tell you how happy I am to read your Waterfire saga.
    As a diver and author in my spare time, your story of the 6 mermaid’s individual journey was truly unique and beautiful.
    The Waterfire Saga hit something in my heart and expressed my own love for the ocean and imagination as only very few book series have ever done.
    Bravo 🙂 And thanks.

    I’ve probably never hated villains and supported the heroes as much as in your story. And it was a pleasure to read their travels.
    Your writing style is very interesting because you can switch between sweet moments, to real evil and tough consequences that reflect real life.

    I’m even doing my own series about mermaids and sirens, and your story gave me the belief that it might be successful one day 🙂
    Thank you jennifer
    I’m looking forward to reading many of your other historical books and The Stepsister sounds intriguing. Hope it comes as an audiobook 🙂

    Your ending of the Waterfire Saga 4 was beautiful because you showed that even though the match was won, evil always lives on like goodness.

    I can easily wait several years 🙂 But I would really love to read a continuation of The Waterfire Saga 🙂
    Expecially about Becca and Marco’s relationship and what consequences it could have for the sea and both of them.
    And of course on Lucia’s evil revenge.
    It could also be a great opportunity to explore who the goddess Morsa really is and her relationship with her new ‘student’

    “A soulless mermaid prowls the seas
    Who once Miromara’s throne did seize.
    In a cave of darkness, deep and black,
    She plots and plans her next attack.
    Sheltered by Kharis, with Morsa’s favour,
    She waits till revenge is hers to savor.”
    ?Epilogue, Sea Spell.

    Hope so you will continue the story one day.
    Thank you for everything you have done and your ability to create an outstanding beautiful adventure. 🙂
    Thank you jennifer
    Regards Casper from Denmark.

    • Jennifer Donnelly says:

      You’re welcome, Casper, and thank you for this lovely note! I don’t have any firm plans to continue the series, but I miss those merls and I’d love to catch up with them — so maybe one day!!

  18. Ann says:

    Omg I just finished book three! I know I have anouther book for the water fire saga but I’m already sad that there is only one more book! I I would really love to see a book five all my friends have read these and I know they are just waiting for book five as soon as I see something exciting in these books I immediately text my friends! I hope we can all see a book five soon!

  19. El says:

    I love your books so much and I can’t help but read them over and over again. Like almost everybody else, if a fifth book came out, I would probably just read it in one day. I love how you combine romance and adventure perfectly together, and I hope you continue it. 🙂

  20. deserie says:

    I need a book 5. My heart is broken not knowing what Lucia is cooking. And I want to know more of becca and Marcos romance.

    • Jennifer Donnelly says:

      No immediate plans, but I miss Serafina and the rest of the merls, and I’d love to see what they’re up to … so maybe one day!!

  21. Nora Rowe says:

    I just finished Sea Spell, the 4th WaterFire Saga book. You have to write a 5th book!!!!!!!!!! After that epilogue, you just HAVE to. If the book ended without an epilogue, it would be fine, but you end with such a good cliffhanger about Lucia! You need to wrap it up! The WaterFire Saga is such an amazing series. If you don’t write a 5th book, I will.

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