“Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever. The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of siren kind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?” (Goodreads blurb)
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel! As always, my unbiased review.
Year Of Publication: 6 March 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
My rating: 5 stars
Oh my days, I totally loved this book! I just finished reading it today and what a journey this novel has been! Perfect blend of characters, plot and good writing. It is one of the best retellings I’ve read lately!
“I’ve made a mistake. It started with a prince, as most stories do. Once I felt the thrum of his heart beneath my fingers, I couldn’t forget it.”
Lira and Elian, the main characters of this story, both have a clear understanding of duty and what their roles within their respective kingdoms should look like, each chasing a goal regardless of how difficult it may be. I really loved them as individual characters and thought that their journey of discovery was really well fleshed out. I really enjoyed their banter and sparring, the tension between them felt natural, authentic. But is it all as black and white as they believe? How does truth really look like and what would that mean for them?
The most notorious members of the Saab were a very fun and interesting bunch to hang out with. We get to know them well enough to like them and root for them, but not too much to overshadow the main characters or take away from the plot, so I really liked the balance in that. I thought that these characters were individualised enough to merit being mentioned with the main characters and all had strengths and weaknesses that added to the plot and to the main characters development! If there was something that I wanted explored more, was perhaps the Queen herself, however it is explained that once a siren becomes a Queen, things change, so I wasn’t very bothered about that, really (don’t wanna say to much and spoil things).
The story at it’s core is a retelling of Little mermaid, but a lot darker and sinister. To be honest I do not remember much of the Little mermaid, just the fierceness of her hair and just an overall idea of the plot line, but absolutely loved the direction in which this story went and kept me guessing every step of the way. I had a general idea what would happen in the end, but I was totally in loved with the story and was at the edge of my seat.
What I liked as well is that we get some political intrigue, as well as travelling to other kingdoms and meet other races and explore part of those worlds which I really found fascinating. The pacing as well was really well done, not too slow, not to fast… although the ending was sweet torture! I don’t know how I managed to pace myself and read properly, and not rush to the end!
The writing was really good, especially the dialogue between the characters. There was a lot of banter and messing around which went well in hand with the pirate mood (if there is such a thing!) of the story. I thought the descriptions of the other kingdoms were very creative and interesting, painting a lush enough atmosphere without slowing down the plot. I would love more stories set out in these worlds actually! I also really liked that the sirens although they were beautiful, they were also terrifying and powerful creatures not only by virtue of their song, but also their strength. The mermaids and meremen were an interesting addition to the story and I found fascinating their differences as I would normally don’t see any difference between the sirens and mermaids.
This is about the writing, there are little gems scattered throughout the story that elevate it to another level and show different layers of the characters and plot.
I really loved this story! Totally enjoyed it and I would recommend it! This book will go high up on my list of favourite ones!
What I enjoyed the most, was how this story made me feel! I wanted to be there, on a ship navigating the seas, wanting to throw myself into the sea and feel the coolness of the weaves on my skin. The seas did feel alive when reading this!