The Mermaid’s Madness:
by Jim C. Hines
Jakob’s Goodreads Rating: (4) of 5 Stars – “Really liked it”
Recommended for: Fantasy and Fairytale Readers
In this sequel to the The Stepsister Scheme we rejoin the princesses Danielle, Talia, and Snow (A.K.A Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White) on another adventure.
If you are unfamiliar with Jim’s Princess Series, what he has done here is take the classic fairy tales and added his own twists to the tales. The stories and backgrounds he comes up for the characters are far different (and darker) than you might remember from watching Disney movies. This is part of what I find fun about the world Jim has created here. The characters are aware of this “fluffy version” of the stories about them in a vague sense but Jim gives us the “real” story through bits of dialog and world building.
The Mermaid’s Madness is an excellent follow on to the first. In this book we add an additional princess into the mix and as you can guess from the title “The Little Mermaid” makes her appearance in this book. After the first few pages though you get over your preconceived notions of what you think you know about the little mermaid and go along for the ride. The second half of the novel really got going and I kept reading till I finished. Things start twisting around so your not sure where the story is going, who is actually good or bad, and which of the mermaids you are actually supposed to like.
When it was all said and done, the most compelling character in this novel surprised me. Talia became the most fascinating character for me. Her character is the most “off” from what you think of as the Sleeping Beauty story, which really drives the reader to keep trying to figure her out. Through The Mermaid’s Madness we see her character grow and learn more about her. She became a more complex person than she seemed in the first novel, which I hadn’t anticipated. This isn’t to say that the other characters in the book didn’t also develop, but the ways in which Talia was described and changed were simply the most fascinating to me. We also learn a little more about her back story prior to The Stepsister Scheme that helps give her additional depth.
This book is certainly worth any fan of fairy tales time to read. I would recommend it to any fantasy fan though. The twists, humor, and fun you find in the books makes them enjoyable to read.