Authors: Gillian Shields
For Sarahâmy best friend and
queen of the eco-warriors
In memory of my irreplaceable friend
Jeanette, who had such a sense of fun,
style, and laughter. I was lucky to
have known her.
Meet Misty, Ellie, Sophie, Holly, Lucy, and Scarlett. They are Mermaid Sisters of the Sea, who live in the magical underwater world of Coral Kingdom. The Merfolk and their wise ruler, Queen Neptuna, look after the sea and all its creatures.
Coral Kingdom is protected by six powerful magic crystals, which give life and strength to the Merfolk.
Without the crystals, Coral Kingdom would not survive.
Every year, the old crystals fade and have to be replaced. Queen Neptuna sends Misty and her friendsâsix special mermaids who are pure of heartâto collect the new ones from the secret Crystal Cave. But as they are bringing the crystals home, a storm blows the mermaids completely off course.
This is no ordinary storm! It is created by Mantora, Queen Neptuna's jealous sister. Mantora
wanted to rule Coral Kingdom, and now she is bitter and full of hatred. She is determined to stop the mermaids from returning home, so that she can overthrow Queen Neptuna and set up her evil Storm Kingdom instead.
Luckily, the young mermaids have courage and friendship on their side. But that's not all; their S.O.S. Kits will help them as they race to get the crystals back safely. And they never forget their Mermaid Pledge:
We promise that we'll take good care
Â Â Â Â Of all sea creatures everywhere.
We'll never hurt and never break,
Â Â We'll always give and never take.
And as we fight Mantora's threat,
Â Â This saying we must not forget:
“I'll help you and you'll help me,
Â Â For we are Sisters of the Sea!”
Lucy and her friends are eager to prove that Queen Neptuna was right to trust them with the precious crystals. They are going to do everything it takes to get them home and safeguard Coral Kingdom for another year.
Will Mantora win? Or can the mermaids get the new crystals back in time to stop the light fading forever from Coral Kingdom?
Lucy was working hard to keep up with the other mermaidsâMisty, Ellie, Sophie, Holly, and Scarlettâas they swam past Sandy Bay Island in the dawn's early light. They darted through the waves like bright sea nymphs, eagerly swishing their sparkling tails in a desperate race against time. Coral Kingdom lay hidden under the waves in the West, and the young friends
had to get the magic crystals home before sunset, or the power of the Merfolk would fade forever.
The shy young mermaid with the pearly green tail was feeling anxious. What if she couldn't swim as fast as the others? Lucy worried. If only she were strong and swift, like Sophie and Scarlett! Lucy tried to push herself harder, as the mermaids headed out to sea. They wanted to be far from the shore before any early morning fishing boats set off from the island.
“I must get home in time,” she thought. “I can't let everyone down.” Lucy felt the precious crystal, which she was carrying in her green pouch, bump against her waist. She hoped that its magic would give her strength and courage. Trying to imagine
the crystal's glittering radiance, Lucy surged after her friends.
But just at that moment, a large black bird with a gray bill and yellow chin wheeled above them. It was a splendid cormorant.
“Stop, Sisters of the Sea,” he cried.
Lucy looked up worriedly. “You're friends with the seabirds,” she whispered to Ellie, who was near her. “Explain to him that we can't stop, not for anything.”
“We cannot stay, my friend,” Ellie called up to him. “Queen Neptuna is waiting for us.”
“And Mantora is waiting for you!” he replied.
The mermaids stopped swimming and looked at each other in horror. Then the cormorant settled on the waves in front of them, as they bobbed up and down.
“What do you mean? Have you seen Mantora?” they all asked him at once.
“I have indeed,” said the bird with a sigh. “My name is Chad. Late last night, I was flying home over the sea between here and Coral Kingdom. I spotted a strange, dark shape, lurking in the water. It was Mantora, but she wasn't alone.”
“Who was with her?” faltered Lucy.
The cormorant lowered his voice. “She has summoned her sea serpents from the depths of the ocean. They are like dragon-headed snakes, with cold green eyes and gaping mouths. Troops of stinging jellyfish are at her side. And in the air, her dark Storm Gulls are gathering. Mantora is waiting for youâwith an army!”
“What can we do?” shuddered Misty. “How will we get past them?”
“You won't be able to,” replied Chad. “There are too many of them.”
“But â¦ but, we can't just give up,” said Lucy shyly. “Not after all we've been through to get this far.”
The bird turned his head to look at her with his kind, clear eyes. “Mantora may be too strong for six young mermaids,” he said, “but you have many friends. The Lord Albatross has sent swift messengers to every corner of the wide sea, telling all the creatures of your great deeds. Now you must raise an army of your own, to defend the crystals.”
The mermaids looked shocked. “An army! But how â¦ where â¦ who will we ask?”
“My brothers are at your service, for a start.” Chad smiled. He lifted himself from the water and flapped his great wings. A host of cormorants came streaming down on the morning breeze, like black arrows. They landed on the sea in a shower of silver droplets.
“We will match Mantora's Storm Gulls, beak for beak and wing for wing,” they declared.
“Thank you so much,” said the mermaids. This seemed like a good beginning.
“But how will we fight her jellyfish?” wondered Ellie.
“I've got an idea about that,” said Holly quickly. “Jellyfish are poisonous. So we need to find some of the friendly fish who use stings to protect themselves, and ask if they will join us.”