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‘Love Struck’ an intriguing tale of selchie love and lore February 19, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Book picks.
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Who would have thought seal love would be magical? Leave it to Melissa Marr to turn this bit of folklore into a short story of romance with a bit of a feminist twist.

I didn’t know much about selchies — or selkies — until I read LOVE STRUCK. I only knew that they were mythological creatures who live as seals but can take human form. For some reason, I always thought they were evil. And that they were women.

But in Marr’s short story, teenager Alana knows about the selchie legends and how the seal creatures can shed their “pelts” on shore to walk as human. In most legends, the female selchies are often trapped by human males as wives. But here, Alana meets not just one, but two selchie males who want her for a bride. (What’s cool for me? Marr writes in her introduction to FAERY TALES & NIGHTMARES  that the Alana/selchie story was influenced by Solana Beach here in San Diego County!)

And of course, these selchie males — Vic and Murrin — are gorgeous. But there’s always a catch to paranormal love and it has to do with that blasted selchie pelt and the history behind Vic and Murrin. I won’t spoil the Vic and Murrin angle. But here’s what you need to know about the pelts: As a human, if you touch it, you’re pretty much infatuated with that selchie and he or she is attracted to you. And if you hide the pelt, the selchie won’t be able to return to the sea unless he or she finds it. In previous folklore, the selchies always stuck on shore were women because human fishermen would trap them by hiding their pelts. But in this story, Marr turns the tables and Alana has her choice between Vic and Murrin. And both have different reasons for wanting her as a bride and different tactics for getting her attention.

As short stories go, this was an interesting tale. Marr gives her female characters backbone. They don’t just fall for the good-looking guy. They are independent. They want to know he is the real deal. And even if it is true love — they want to be their own person and follow their own dreams.

You can find this short story in a couple of places. It’s at the beginning of a book titled LOVE STRUCK, which also contains chapter 1 of WICKED LOVELY and also the first chapter of INK EXCHANGE. (If you haven’t read the WICKED LOVELY series CLICK HERE to read my review on it.) LOVE STRUCK is also coming out this week (Feb. 21) in FAERY TALES & NIGHTMARES, a collection of short stories tales of favorite characters from Marr’s  WICKED LOVELY novels and some new characters we haven’t met yet. (I plan to review the collection.) And, you can find it in LOVE IS HELL, an anthology.

If you read this short story, let me know what you think. I have one of those logic questions about the pelts and the ending. So leave me a note and I’ll ask you my question! Or — maybe Marr ended the story this way because she plans to explore the world of the selchies later? Would be an intriguing world to visit.

More on Marr:
‘Graveminder’ opens up gritty, new world of the dead
Q&A: Graveminder’s Melissa Marr on zombies, love and minding the dead

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