Undine's Blessing (A Lunis Aquaria Story), by Tessa Hastjarjanto

The Book

Undine's Blessing
Pages: 169
Age Group: Young Adult
Published on 1/27/2024
Publisher: Self-Published
Dark Fantasy
Available on:


A dutiful daughter, a mystical archipelago, and a hidden power waiting to command the tides...

Marella spends her days caring for her sick mother and selling her father's fish. Bound by duty and love, she dreams little of adventure. But when her mother must travel to the city for treatment, her father takes her out to sea, despite her fear of water.

A storm steers them to Emberrain, home to a tribe of magical nymphs and a place of secrets, where Marella discovers a startling her father is a frequent visitor to these mysterious islands. Soon she learns that Emberrain isn't the only secret he had kept from her.

Marella has the power to control water and communicate with aquatic animals.

Overwhelmed by the magical but dangerous islands, and the secrets of her father, Marella must learn to harness her powers to save herself and her new aquatic friend before they are separated from their parents forever.

Undine's Blessing is a journey of wonder, where fears are faced and mysteries unravel, and a young girl learns that true adventure begins when you dare to embrace who you truly are.  

My Review

When the brown spotted crab looked at Marella, it stopped and turned its head, as if he was looking at her, waiting. Marella dipped her finger in the water and the crab shuffled closer, constantly pushing and trying to adjust its brown-spotted shell. Marella lowered her hand with her palm up and the crab didn’t hesitate.
“We should find you a bigger home soon, friend,” Marella said, inspecting the crab. It didn’t look too small, yet, but the crab deserved to grow.
The crab tilted its head up and down.
Marella blinked. “Did you just nod?”

Undine's Blessing is a dark fairytale set in the Lunis Aquaria universe created by Tessa Hastjarjanto, a new story that explores more of the world while weaving an enchanting plot. A novella which is aimed at upper middle grade, but which can be enjoyed by a wider public, especially if you are looking for a magical tale.

Marella is a dutiful daughter who spends most of her days taking care of her mother suffering of a chronic illness, while her father passes most of the days at the sea fishing. A simple life, which is complemented by daydreaming of the distant places she can't visit due to her obligations. When her mother's condition worsens and is translated to a city, her father decided to take Marella with him on his next travel; revealing to Marella Emberrain, a place he has kept in secret from the rest of the family, a land filled with nymphs that can control the elements.
But that's not the only surprise in Marella's life, discovering that the same power is inside her, a power she will need to master and use it to save Emberrain; a power that might also help her mother.

She dipped her toes in the refreshing water. Then her knees, her waist, her shoulders, until only her head remained above water. The roar of the waterfall dwindled, and worries about her mother, about powers and elements and nymphs were drowned out with her every heartbeat. The water breathed around her, the waves of the water swaying her gently to and fro, comforting her like a mother rocking her baby to sleep.

A big plot which encloses many surprises, which are slowly revealed to the reader while more and more about the nymphs is told; Marella ends discovering that her father is not the only who is not telling the truth in Emberrain, especially after discovering new subaquatic friends. She will have to go outside of her comfort zone, and confront those that hold authority if she wants to restore Emberrain.

Hastjarjanto has packed a ton of worldbuilding into a story full of heart; a novel that also shows her growth as an author. The prose is descriptive, bordering the poetic at some points, perfect for this particular genre, creating beauty through words.

Undine's Blessing is a compelling novella, aimed for young readers, but which you will enjoy if your heart is still young; a new instalment that extends the Lunis Aquaria world, and that shows the talent Tessa has for writing. I can't wait to see her publishing more books!

The Author/s

Tessa Hastjarjanto

Tessa Hastjarjanto

Tessa Hastjarjanto is a Dutch/Indonesian writer from the Netherlands. She writes speculative fiction, and blogs at narratess.com about books, fountain pens, and writing.

From a young age, she imitated popular stories and games in creating her own worlds. This love eventually led to a master’s degree in media and game studies at the University of Utrecht. However a mundane desk job was enough to inspire her to follow her creative passion. The first fanfics were written in lunch breaks and soon original fiction followed.

With the support of her husband, she now focuses on her writing career while battling chronic pain. Swiss white shepherd, Shiro, acts as a therapy dog to keep her healthy and reduce stress through extensive cuddle sessions.