A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.
Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.
Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.
That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…
THOUGHTS & RATING
“I know we’re young,” he blurted. “I know that we met under stressful circumstances. I know that I’m a prince and you’re a merman. But I also know that I’ve never felt this way about anyone else. I know we’re both the last, and we’ve felt alone. But we could be alone together.”
First of all can we appreciate how gorgeous the cover for this book is? I’ve actually first saw this on bookstagram and made a mental note to get into it as soon as it is released because I absolutely fell in love with the cover.
Honestly speaking I didn’t really think of this as similar to the Pirates of the Carribean but more on a queer take on The Little Mermaid. I have actually debated on what star rating I should give this book and instead of the average 3 stars I bumped it up to 4 stars cause I really did enjoy the story. Although this theme has been used multiple times I love how it was different in the sense that it isn’t dark, mature or full of tragedy. After reading too much fantasy the past year I needed something light and romantic for a change.
The story as well as the characters made it so much easier to get into. I adored Athlen and how naive he is to the world around him and I just want to protect him at all cost! I love the innocence and the vibrancy of Tal and Athlen as main characters. I love the relation of Tal “Tally” with his brothers and sisters. How it showed how much he could and would sacrifice to keep his family and his country safe even though he, like Athlen, doesn’t know much of the world since he was kept out of it because of his magic.
F.T Lukens briefly touched on topics like betrayal, forgiveness, hope, power, differences and acceptance but as Little Mermaid’s story this does center around the heart warming, fluffy and the innocence of Tal and Athlen’s first love. Even though both of them are so different with one another and from everyone else they held on to the belief that as long as they are together they will never be alone.
I can say that this is a book you would enjoy reading either at the beach on vacation or at the comfort of your home. Even though this wasn’t as action packed as the books I have been reading I did end this book with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.