Promise Bound

Promise Bound

4.0 4
by Anne Greenwood Brown

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Calder and Lily never imagined falling in love would mean breaking apart. But ever since Lily started wearing a glass pendant that once belonged to Nadia, Calder's adoptive mother, she's been having vivid dreams of what life was like for the mermaid matriarch. In fact, she's been dreaming as if she were Nadia! And Nadia, it seems, made a promise before her


Calder and Lily never imagined falling in love would mean breaking apart. But ever since Lily started wearing a glass pendant that once belonged to Nadia, Calder's adoptive mother, she's been having vivid dreams of what life was like for the mermaid matriarch. In fact, she's been dreaming as if she were Nadia! And Nadia, it seems, made a promise before her death. A promise to reunite Calder's biological mother with her son. Lily knows merfolk are bound to keep their promises. Calder's not buying into it, though. He chalks up the dreams to stress. He wants Lily to focus on the future—their future, not the past. Which forces Lily to send Calder away. Calder goes, feeling rejected and more than a little tempted to revert to his hunting ways.  
What both of them overlook is the present: Calder's sisters, Maris and Pavati, are fighting for control of the mermaid clan, and now that Lily and her dad have transformed into mer-creatures, both mermaids vie for daughter and father as allies. Which of the two mermaids can be trusted? Will Lily make costly mistakes, forcing her to descend to the depths of Lake Superior? And if Calder returns, will he be the same merman Lily grew to love? The stakes are high, with many lives at risk, but Calder and Lily must confront the past as well as their darkest impulses if they want a chance at being together.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The last installment of the trilogy brings this paranormal romance to a satisfying close. A clan of mermaids have been wreaking havoc on the shores of Lake Michigan, and two young lovers-mermaid Lily and mostly-human Calder-are trying to stop them while also coming to terms with their own identities and destinies. While the romance between the teens remains the focus, their family histories and backstories are fleshed out. The narrative revolves around details of mermaid mythology that will be confusing for anyone not familiar with the first two titles. For fans, a twist at the end makes for a strong finale, and most plotlines are neatly tied up. Recommended only where the first two books and other mermaid fantasies are popular.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
From the Publisher
Booklist, December 1, 2013:
"Essential for series fans."

Kirkus Reviews
, December 15, 2013:
"Good entertainment for fans of the genre."
Kirkus Reviews
This conclusion to Brown's mermaid trilogy follows efforts to reunite families and to gain power among the mermaids of Lake Superior. Lily, at age 18, is a bit of a reluctant mermaid. She has a human mother who's afflicted with multiple sclerosis and a father who, as a merbaby raised on land, was not returned to the mermaids as required by an unbreakable mermaid promise. Lily's heartthrob, Calder, is actually around 50, but as merpeople age far more slowly than humans, he looks like an adolescent. Learning he was kidnapped as a toddler and transformed into a merman, Calder heads north to try to find his biological human parents. Meanwhile, Lily tries to convince one of the mermaid sisters--both locked in an internal power struggle--to transform her mother in order to save her life. All the while, Lily seems to be in contact with the spirit of Nadia, who wants somehow to keep her broken promise to Calder's birth mother to return her son. Brown writes with more sophistication than usual in mermaid fiction, lifting this book a bit above the norm for the genre, and she displays a good touch for characterization, thanks in part to an alternating first-person narration; even the more villainous mermaid sister feels well-rounded and believable. Good entertainment for fans of the genre. (Paranormal suspense. 12 & up)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

ANNE GREENWOOD BROWN grew up sailing the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior, leaning over the rail and wondering in a lake so big, that ancient, what amazing thing might flash by. Now she knows. Promise Bound is the companion to Lies Beneath and Deep Betrayal.

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Promise Bound 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
UrbanGirlReview More than 1 year ago
Should the plot have been tighter? Yes, the novel was scattered, moving from one plot line to another without a clear direction. Overall, Promise Bound was completely forgettable with one scene blending into another scene with no real distinction.  Also, the ending action scene was overly complicated with the perspective switching from various  characters, producing a scene that overlapped and replayed itself numerous times causing confusion.   At the beginning of the book, Lily's friend Gabby wanted to find her bother Jack.  But suddenly, she dropped out of the novel with no apparent reason and the story moved onto a different plot line without ever finishing her tale.  This happened countless times throughout the entire novel, almost like the author couldn't focus on what she wanted to accomplish in this book.   The first book Lies Beneath had a deep intensive edge to it, but Promise Bound completely lost the intensity that was seen in the first novel.  Nothing replaced the edge in Promise Bound, making it somewhat flat.   Was the family bond my favorite part? Yes, I'm crazy for novels that show a strong family relationship.  In Promise Bound the Hancocks shared their troubles and trials, ultimately pulling through together.  Also, how the Hancocks  welcome Calder into the family was very sweet and enduring.  Even how the author ended the tension between Calder and his sisters was thoughtfully done. There were other things that I did not like about the book, but the main issue was the scatteredness of Promise Bound.  In spite of these problems, I still enjoyed the entire series.
VeraciousRose More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for a series that has it all, this is it. These aren't your Disney mermaids ... these are mermen and women who live in the cold depths of Lake Superior, surfacing to feed off human emotions. Anne Greenwood Brown brings the reader down into the icy waters and onto the rocky shores of Lake Superior, weaving legend and lore into a contemporary story full of murder, mystery, a family curse and promises made. Told in the distinctly different alternating first person voices of Calder and Lily, we get both sides of the story to wrap up this fantastic trilogy. LIES BENEATH, DEEP BETRAYAL and PROMISE BOUND combine into a perfect series for both boys and girls, ages 12 to adult, reluctant readers and advanced. I only wish Barnes & Noble had more stars to give!
RandomAsADD More than 1 year ago
I was a little disappointed in how series ended. It had great potential but ended with a lot of unanswered questions. It seemed to be really rushed at the end and had a feeling that the author was just trying to "wrap it up" when there was great potential for it to be an amazing ending! I'm a little disappointed for sure - but I'd still recommend the series if only because of the first 2 books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago