Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Anna Banks, Of Poseidon, New York: Feiwel & Friends, 2012, 450 pp.
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Michael Stierstorfer, University of Regensburg, Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Markus Janka, University of Munich, email@example.com
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Banks (Author)
Anna Banks grew up in a small town named Niceville, Florida and lives with her husband and daughter in Crestview, Florida. Of Poseidon was her first novel, in her blog she called it: “A hybrid of mythology, fairytale, and hormones, Of Poseidon could be the modern, twice-removed cousin of The Little Mermaid.” The whole Syrena Trilogy (Of Poseidon, Of Triton, Of Neptune) is a New York Times bestseller. Banks works full time as a writer for Young Adults and complains that being a writer means not only writing but doing all sorts of other things, like promotion, meetings with readers etc. She writes also romantic novels under the pseudonym Anna Scarlett. She has a website and a blog and gives advice to beginning writers. What inspired her to become an author, was reading Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga.
Official website (accessed: September 9, 2019)
Blog (accessed: September 9, 2019)
Bio prepared by Michael Stierstorfer, University of Regensburg, Michael.email@example.com
German: Anna Banks, Blue Secrets. Der Kuss des Meeres, trans. Michaela Link. Munich: cbt, 2013.
Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs
Legacy Lost (The Syrena Legacy), a 48-page prequel to Of Poseidon was published also in 2012 by Thor Books in Kindle format.
Anna Banks: Of Triton, 2013.
Anna Banks: Of Neptune, 2014.
The 18-year-old girl Emma McIntosh lives with her mum in the coastal town of Jersey, Florida. Her father died of cancer some years earlier. At school she gets to know a mysterious boy, Galen, whose life she once saved without even knowing him. Galen tells Emma, that he is a Siren, a hybrid creature of man and fish, and belongs to the tribe of the Aquarius Triton. Furthermore he reveals to Emma, that she is also a mermaid-like Siren, who has lured sharks because of her ability to talk to fishes. Furthermore Galen points out that Emma is a member of the house of Poseidon and therefore she has to marry the first-born man of the house of Triton. For an ancient law prescribes that every third generation the first-born of the house of Triton has to unite with the first-born of the house of Poseidon, in order to hand on supernatural gifts to the next generation. So Emma has to marry Galen’s older brother Grom, who has lost his girlfriend Nalia after a terrible war. In the end Galen visits Grom to keep him from marrying a trickster named Paca, who just pretends to communicate with fish to become part of the royal house of Triton. Besides, Emma finds out, that her mum Nalia, who was the girlfriend of Grom in the past and was believed to be dead, is in fact alive. During the years she has changed her appearance. She finally returns to Grom. With Grom’s permission Emma and Galen are able to become officially a couple.
The girl Emma functions as an example of Messianic figure, who spreads hope all over the community by using the power over water like Poseidon. This female protagonist, who lives as a Siren since her eighteenth birthday, can also talk to all kinds of fish because of her ability to morph into a mythical sea beast. Apart from that she is able to stay under water for more than twenty minutes. In this novel the development of Emma becoming a young girl who falls in love with a boy, correlates with her transformation into a Siren. During her metamorphosis into a Siren, her legs become a big fish tail allowing her to swim as fast as a fish. Emma is informed by her future boyfriend Galen, whom she meets at school, that she is a descendant of the house of Poseidon. The two houses have fought against each other in the past. The underlying ideology of the text and its main message is the importance of remaining free. By the marriage of Emma and Galen a peaceful time can continue. The myth serves in this novel to demonstrate to the readers, how important peaceful times are for humanity, allowing people to lead a good life. The times of war are described as horrific and dangerous. Emma is the only girl in the world able to prevent an evil war and sparing humanity these bad times by marrying Galen. Once upon a time, Poseidon founded the kingdom of Atlantis. There he lived in peace with his brother Triton. To unite the house of Poseidon with the house of Triton and to prevent violence forever, the first-born children in every third generation have to unite in matrimony. As you can see in this novel, the myth of the Sirens from Homer’s Odyssey and the myth of Atlantis are combined. Because Emma is only half-blood, at first she is not allowed to stay with Galen. After she demonstrated her super power against their enemies, every inhabitant of Atlantis recognized her to be the new princess of this underwater world. Emma is a hybrid between a Siren, who is in this novel depicted as mermaid with a fish tail, and Poseidon. Emma descends from the line of Poseidon from whom she inherited her supernatural abilities, but her father was human. In Homer’s Odyssey, Sirens are hybrid creatures half bird, half woman, but they are not mermaids. Since the popular Disney film The Little Mermaid (Musker, Clements 1989) Sirens are often shown as Mermaids in fantasy literature and movies. Emma looks like a Siren, but she cannot sing like those mythical creatures. Her power to rule over the sea is part of the abilities of the Olympic god Poseidon. Here, the mythological story of the sunken city Atlantis, mentioned e.g., in Plato’s dialogues, Timaeus and Critias, is continued and combined with the Homeric myth of the Sirens. To sum up, it is a typical modern fantasy reception of myth, in which the problems of an adolescent girl are presented in a parallel mythological reality.
Markus Janka, Michael Stierstorfer (eds.). Verjüngte Antike. Griechisch-römische Mythologie und Historie in zeitgenössischen Kinder- und Jugendmedien. Heidelberg: Winter 2017, pp. 13-27.
Michael Stierstorfer, Antike Mythologie in der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur der Gegenwart. Unsterbliche Götter- und Heldengeschichten? [Ancient Mythology in Current Children’s Literature. Immortal Stories of Gods and Heroes?]. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2017, 110 pp.