The Magic Three of SolatiaJane Yolen
fantasy, young adult
Three silver buttons... three magic wishes
Once there was Melinna, a mermaid who loved a prince. She shed her tail, walked painfully upon the land, and followed him up the hundred steps to his father's hall. There she gave him a coat with three silver buttons that had come from the depths of the sea. These three buttons had the power to grant wishes, but only if twisted in a special way, and always with consequences... The prince, too enamored of himself to return Melinna's love, took the coat, but did not listen to Melinna's words. And the secret of the Magic Three was lost.
Now Melinna is Dread Mary, the sea witch who sings sailors down to their deaths in the cold, sunless sea. Her only passion is for the buttons that shine on dead men's coats – until her icy heart is melted by the plight of Sianna, a poor button maker’s daughter. It is Sianna who discovers the power of the three wishes, Sianna who must choose whether to use them – and face the consequences...