Friday, July 25, 2014

ARC Review: The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay Berrisford

The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate
Title: The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay Berrisford
Genre: M/M Romance, Fantasy
Expected publication: July 30th 2014 by Less Than Three Press
Length: Novel 67,000 words

Rating: 4 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


Raef, a lonely merman, spends his days watching the dashing Lord Haverford from afar and dreaming of love. When Haverford is robbed by a pirate, Raef vows to reclaim the stolen goods, hoping his victory will buy him the happiness he yearns for with Haverford.

But Jon Kemp does not match what Raef knows about pirates, and the simple quest Raef anticipated turns out to be an epic journey. For while Jon might be a nobler man than Raef believed, he’s still a pirate. Love and loyalty are not on Jon’s agenda, and he certainly has no plans to love someone not entirely human …

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Raef wants his own happily ever after by rescuing the prince from the pirate like in the Little Mermaid story (different from the classic version). However, the pirate isn't the bad guy in this story. When Raef transforms into his human form and stalks Lord Haverford, he witnesses the pirate, Jon, stealing from Haverford. He's determined to steal back Haverford's items from Jon, and in the process, learns about the reality of human nature.
Raef grew up on the merfolk ideals that "fair faces always told of fine souls." He eventually figured out how some pirates are good and some nobles are bad despite appearances. He's a great character and it's interesting to follow him as he navigate through his transformations and human culture. Sometimes, he acts like a child when human culture doesn't make sense to him, but it's fun to read. Jon also proves worthy for a merman's devotion and an honorable pirate. His history is revealed slowly and doesn't distract from the plot, which I think it well done.

The story keeps me on my toes with family scandals involving a mermaid and a nobleman and stories of oppressive merfolk society. The genre is fantasy but it's also a sweet and adventurous story. There are lots of fighting action and the characters go on a great adventure. It definitely brings something new to the old fairy tale. I definitely recommend this story for fantasy fans and those that like fairy tale remakes. 

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