Prince Ernest Ire will do anything to please his controlling father. Even if that means using his god-given magic to sway the minds of everyone he has ever met. Wealth, royalty, and control over the land and everything on it, but still, it is not enough. With the power to achieve anything, all he wants is to give it up. But everything changes when he is infected with the deadly poison of a Mer bite, and his magic is stolen.
Killian Metropoli made a deal with the god of the ocean, Karakos, on the fateful night when his mother took a blade to his throat and killed him. Gifted with immortality and the power over sea and storm, Killian was offered a second chance at life, for the sole purpose of ridding the oceans of the evil soulless creatures – the Mer, terrifying monsters made from a union between two warring gods.
Killian is faced with duty or escape; he must choose to go against a powerful god for a bad-mouthed prince, who could give him the one thing he desires most…freedom. Time is of the essence, otherwise, Killian will be forced against his will to kill Ernest if he becomes the very monster his life is dedicated to destroying.
Fate is fickle, the threads knotted, and time is running out. Ernest must save his people before he becomes the very monster he has always feared. Killian will do anything to rid himself of his shackles. But an evil darkness is rising, and they must become allies to stop it before the world they know becomes a battlefield for benevolent gods.
My second book by the author, the fourth in this series.
To be completely honest, I did not read the synopsis before requesting this book. I did nonetheless get quite an idea of ist content from the author’s amazing Instagram appearance. There, he teased this Little Mermaid retelling to be spicy, magical, and queer. Then, he released the cover and I was sold. Moreover, I made amazing experiences with my first book of his, the start of his Court of Broken Bonds series. Ever since reading that, I am waiting for the audio book of the second book to be released.
I loved Ben Alderson’s writing style, his characters and their relationship’s development, as much as his magical settings. So I didn’t want to miss out on this new release. So it is convenient for me that one can start this series with every single one of the books. Which doesn’t mean I won’t go back to read his vampire, fae, and werewolf stories. This fourth book intriuged me well enough to continue reading all of his other books.
The Prince does not fall for the mermaid…
I had barely any idea what to expect from this book in terms of its plot. I was eager to have the protagonists meet but their individual roles only slowly developed. We early on get a glimpse on both their powers, nonetheless, I missed a bit of transition. Especially Killian’s nature was barely exposed, to the point that I lacked some transitions in his shapeshifting. Some gaps surely were intentional but nevertheless appeared abrupt.
Overall, this lack of information was concentrated on the beginning of the book. Although I also realised some thrown-in information at the end of the book to have the characters seem even closer. I would have eventually wished for a bit more exposition on the Gods that initiated the whole story in a way, too. As the story mostly focused on the characters’ encounter and survival—embedded in a humanity’s savior trope—there was overall enough worldbuilding to easily follow. Some readers might be more surprised by the twists the story offers than others.
He falls for the sea witch.
As this book was directly advertised as a Little Mermaid retelling, I was surprised—but did not mind—not to find too many parallels. I realized some references to the known tale, but overall the story was an independent tale. A lost voice, mer-people, underwater fights, a love lost, even a red-haired mermaid—Ben Alderson nonetheless got inspired by the Little Mermaid.
Ben Alderson nonetheless created his very own tale. It drew me through the chapters, which were alternatingly told from Killian’s and Ernest’s perspective. The story focused on them and also on their (too) quickly developing (for my taste) relation. From their first encounter to their spicy sex scenes, it took a few days and a few hundred pages in which increasingly fond thoughts on both sides illustrated their growing feelings. Nonetheless, I missed a bit of transition and found the second sex scene not fully necessary for the plot development. Given that this book is advertised as erotica, I won’t evaluate that negatively. In the end, the amount of sex didn’t take from the overall (fantasy) story of the book.
I was absolutely hyped for this book and continued to be while I was reading it. As a mermaid fan, I enjoyed this gay romance inspired by the Little Mermaid but also fully standing its own ground. The story was adventurous and magical, the relationship between our protagonists intruiging and increasingly spicy. Ben Alderson definitely served what he promised in his teasers.
Ben Alderson is a #1 Amazon bestselling author. His stories are set in fantasy worlds filled with magic, adventure and MM romance. Ben lives in Oxfordshire and, when not writing, can be found reading, taking Winston – his Labrador – out for long walks, or obsessing over Marvel’s The Scarlet Witch. Source