by Ari Berk
Professor Ari Berk also wrote a Secret History of Giants
The Liber Aquaticum, or Secret History of Mermaids and Creatures of the Deep, is a history of oceanic folk compiled from the collection of the Order of the Golden Quills. This ancient fraternity has worked with the denizens of the deep to assemble an unparalleled collection of research articles for young scholars. From the origins of the mermaid to their language and communication to the interactions between sea- and land-dwelling folk, no shell is left unturned in this beautiful and comprehensive volume.
This is a wonderful book. The cover has ornate silver foil along the edges and inset aquamarine stones, with a decorative tassel dangling from the spine. Although smaller in size than the wonderful picture books in the Ologies series, the book follows a similar format. Many of the pages have fold-out sections that expand on the given topic, or have flaps or mini-booklets that contain special magical incantations, extra “primary source” documentation, and other fun surprises that help expand the mythical world of the Golden Quills.
The art for the book was carefully curated from fantasy's top artists, including Wayne Anderson, Gary Chalk, Matt Dangler, and Virginia Lee. The creativity they showcase is simply stunning. There's a section about mermaid anatomy and appearance, and there are a couple of images of deep sea merfolk that strongly resemble the real-life fish that thrive in the darkest waters of the ocean. There are also pictures of undersea towns where the mermaids and mermen live, made all the more haunting because some of the towns were once on land before sinking beneath the sea.
I can't recommend this book enough. It's so lovely, just like its predecessor The Secret History of Giants. This is a must-have for mermaid fans young and old.
5 out of 5 stars
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Peeking into the archives...today in:
2013: Above All Things by Tanis Rideout
2012: Fashionista Piranha on hiatus until May 24…
2011: In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant
2010: Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach
2009: News: Book-Related Statistics