The Mermaid's Madness
Jim C. Hines. Daw Books, $7.99 (339pp) ISBN 978-0-7564-0583-0
In this fast-paced second installment of the Princess Novels, author Hines tells the story of the Little Mermaid through the eyes of Danielle (the Cinderella character), Snow (Snow White), and Talia (Sleeping Beauty). In this version, the undine princess Lirea (the Little Mermaid), who takes on a new name-and personae, has gone on a rampage against undines and humans alike. Her insanity has led her to capturing the Queen of Lorindar's soul inside of a magic knife. The fairy tale framework provides a hook for the reader into this trio of engaging, effective adventurers taking to the high seas-without any dainty pretensions-to save their kingdom and the people they love. Although Hines attempts to incorporate the true stories about the princesses' early lives, these details fail to add much psychological depth to the characters and often come off as pasted-in distractions. Fortunately, the smooth flow of dialogue and action compensate, making this a nearly effortless read. This novel will appeal anyone who yearns for the heroines of their childhood-or just a witty, well-constructed adventure tale about powerful women stepping up with skill and cleverness.
Reviewed on: 10/05/2009
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