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The Mermaid's Madness (Princess Novels) Mass Market Paperback – 29 Aug 2012

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: DAW Books; Original edition (29 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756405831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756405830
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 568,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim C. Hines' latest book is UNBOUND, a modern-day fantasy about a magic-wielding librarian, a dryad, a secret society founded by Johannes Gutenberg, a flaming spider, and an enchanted convertible. He's also the author of the PRINCESS series of fairy tale retellings as well as the humorous GOBLIN QUEST trilogy. His short fiction has appeared in more than 50 magazines and anthologies. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife and two children. He's currently hard at work on REVISIONARY, the fourth book in the MAGIC EX LIBRIS series. Online, he can be found at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved this book, the interactions where great and now since it split from Cinderella's point of view we get to grow closer to all the characters which is why this book works so well. There's great adventure and plot that is miles better than the original mermaid tale.

I love the tension between Talia and Snow at the end. Great book, just went and bought the other two after finishing it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 33 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
More thrilling heroics for the princesses! 11 Oct. 2009
By C. Vandehey - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty - the three princess heroines of The Stepsister Scheme are back in this much (for me) anticipated sequel! What happens after the fairy tale ends? That's the essential question that Hines's series attempts to answer. The first book tells us the fates of Cinderella (Danielle) after she's married her prince, of Sleeping Beauty (Talia) after she's awakened from her long sleep, and of Snow White (Snow), after she's escaped the murderous intentions of her stepmother. Hines takes the darker versions of these tales, and twists them into something highly original and new. The three familiar princesses now serve Danielle's mother-in-law, Queen Beatrice of Lorindar, going on secret missions to aid diplomacy, stop wars, save princes, and protect the kingdom, where Danielle is now Princess.

I've been waiting for The Mermaid's Madness literally since I finished the last page of The Stepsister Scheme. It was the sort of book that made you want to keep reading, that made you want to stay in the world and find out what happens next. The title alone, but virtue of the fairy tale roots of this series, lets us know right where we're starting off. With the tragic tale of the little mermaid. But with Hines at the helm, the tragedy of the story is twisted into something much more complex.

We begin with Princess Danielle on a mission of diplomacy with Queen Beatrice, their yearly tithe and renewal of peace with the merfolk, who prefer to be called undine. Since the undine are usually a matriarchal culture, it makes sense for the Princess and Queen to take the lead. Unfortunately, things go very wrong, very quickly. For instead of the King they are expecting, they are greeted by his mad daughter, Lirea, wronged by her human lover and looking for vengeance against all humans. In the ensuing conflict, Queen Beatrice is grievously injured. This leaves Danielle and her friends Talia and Snow to find both a cure for her ailment, and to find a way to stop Lirea from making war against their kingdom - and all of humanity.

Of course, it's much more complicated than that, as the girls quickly discover.

Once again, Hines gives us excellent world building and characterization. We get to see a bit more of Danielle's Prince Armand in this one, which I appreciated quite a bit. We feel so much of her love for him in the last book, but in this one we actually get to see them interact as a couple. New characters are introduced, as well - the mad Lirea and her sister, Lannadae, and a new Prince of a neighboring kingdom, who I'm guessing just may return for future books. But the heart of the series is the relationships between our three princesses, and Hines does an excellent job portraying the myriad ups and downs of the bonds of love and friendship so important between a woman and her best friends. The girls argue, fight together and for each other, and hold each other up when needed. We find out a few more details from each of their stories, though most particularly Talia's and Snow's. Hines does a particularly good job of this. I love reading the little details of how Snow's mother raised her, or how Talia escaped from her homeland. These are the details that make the books come alive.

There are some bittersweet moments in this one. I won't spoil them for you, but suffice it to say, things are not all happily ever after for everyone in the kingdom of Lorindar.

In the end, I was sad to come to the last page for a second time. I stayed up late to finish reading, because I could not wait to find out how it all turned out in the end, and then I was sad to be finished. What will the girls do next? With a title like Red Hood's Revenge, I can only imagine!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Magical All-Girl Commando Team 1 Nov. 2009
By Miz Ellen - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Right now, the competition in my stack of reading material is downright Darwinian; I've got so many good books, great books, significant books and books on fascinating subjects that this book was really not on the reading radar.

It became the book I kept sneaking off to read. Even when I discovered that it was the second book in a series, I was unable to stop reading in order to go find the first.

The initial premise seems both cute and a little silly: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella are here given their "real names" (Cinderella's is Danielle) and band together to defend the kingdom against the magical threat posed by a jilted mermaid, out for revenge against the man who done her wrong.

But in addition to taking a light-hearted attitude, Jim Hines has used as his source material the darkest, Grimmest version of the famous fairy tales. His heroines have tragedies in their backgrounds and that often gives the light satirical tone a real edge. There is a problem here, however. Perhaps because most of his "cast" is female, Hines has a tendency to pull his punches in his fight scenes and in his satire. I felt that sometimes he was ducking out of following the emotional implications of the dark stories he eluded to by switching to a Disney cartoon sequence of events. Some of his fight scenes lost credibility by not sticking to physics when magic wasn't involved.

But there is fine fantasy here. Hines makes us believe in the marvels he shows us: in kelpies and underwater forests, jars that hold the souls of sailors, a glass sword and an abalone knife. Here is adult fantasy that is lots of fun, and you bet I'm going to be searching out that first book soon. I never believed in that "happily ever after" guff and Hines fills in that gap in a most entertaining way.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great take on The Little Mermaid 27 Jun. 2013
By Angie, When will those clouds all disappear? - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the version of the Little Mermaid in here. It's one of my favorite fairy tales. I learned the original one before the Disney movie with the happy ending. It's one of the most heartbreaking, and Jim Hines managed to make this one even more so. Getting darker than the original Little Mermaid is quite an accomplishment, but Hines manages to temper this with his own light humor as well.

There was good growth for most of the characters in this one. I enjoyed Snow's tutelage under Morveren, and the questions she asked herself about her own motivation, about what made her different from her own mother. It seems to me that the key difference is that Snow actually is concerned with that.

Talia is a character I enjoy a great deal, with her prickly personality. We're given a little bit more insight into her relationship with Queen Bea and with Snow, and it makes her a bit easier to understand. She's perhaps the most compelling character in the group.

I appreciate that one of the heroines, Danielle, is a wife and a mother. Too often, marriage and children is the end of the story for a character, as if life ceases to have any exciting or interesting challenges after these events. Contrary to what most fantasy, romance and adventure novels would lead a person to believe, life doesn't end with marriage or childbirth! It's wonderful having a character that a parent can relate to.

There were some important revelations among the characters in this book, and the ramifications of them remain to be seen. I look forward to reading more of the series to see where this all goes.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful Top Choice Book-kept going strong until the very end 3 Mar. 2010
By Flamingnet Teen Book Reviews - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Queen Beatrice's soul is ripped from her body by
Lannadae, the Mermaid Queen, three princesses set out to
save her. Danielle, Cinderella, is naive but she is armed
with the skill to communicate with animals. Talia,
Sleeping Beauty, doesn't act like a princess as she kicks
butt with her supreme fighting skills. And Snow, Snow
White, an amazing sorcerer with the ability to heal. The
result is a magical action adventure story filled with
princesses and mermaids cleverly spun from 'The Little
Mermaid' tale (along with three other fairy tales) by Jim
C. Hines in The Mermaid's Madness.

Opening up The Mermaid's Madness I noticed a heading called 'Other Books
in this Series' and saw another book's title above this
one. I normally read stories in order for I feel that
that is the way they are supposed to be read, but lucky
for me I gave this book a chance. Although it was clear
that this book had a prequel, because there were
references to a past adventure, Jim C. Hines was able to
work in the character's background without messing up the
flow of the book.

It was a good thing that I received this book on a
Friday because I couldn't put it down. The plot hooked me
in right at the beginning and kept going strong until the
very end. It wove together action scenes, that made me
sit on the edge of my seat and yell at my book, and
emotional scenes that brought the characters to life,
making me feel for them. Hines cleverly took well known
stories and transformed them into an epic tale filled with
girl power. Now I plan to read this series' previous
books as well as the next one because The Mermaid's
Madness is now officially on my favorite books

Reviewed by a young adult student reviewer
Flamingnet Book Reviews
Teen books reviewed by teen reviewers
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Mad to miss the Mermaid 14 Dec. 2009
By D. Pietrasik - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The second Princess book, and another great one. While part of the fun of these books is the fairy tale twisting, most of the fun comes from them just plain being a good read. The characters and plot are real, pulled from the scant images we get from fairy tale readings. I'm looking forward to the next one.
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