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In The Hunted, Bethany-Kris opens a new world—the 9INE REALMS—for readers with a dark fairy tale retelling, and pulls inspiration from the cult classic favorite and the Hans Christian Andersen original to redefine what it means to be The Little Mermaid.

Let the hunt begin …

After witnessing the murder of his mother by a mermaid, Prince Eryx Bloodhurst of Atlas makes a deal to sedate his need for vengeance: they’ll catch the mermaid who did the deed, but he’ll pay for it with his crown.

Arelle, third princess of the Blu Sea, has never known the true cruelty of the forbidden lands firsthand, but she will soon. The halfling prince with murder in his eyes and the sea’s songs in his blood will make sure of that.

He should kill her.
Perhaps, keeping her might be worse.

Two kingdoms are falling. One king is losing it all and another threatens to ruin everything. The rules of the land and sea are changing. Secrets of the past are spilling.

And all because of a prince and his little mermaid—whether they live or die—nothing in the realm will ever be the same.

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Fly Girl’s Review

This was an interesting book I read just after it came out in January of this year. Somehow I missed getting a review up in January. Not sure how that happened, time just slipped away. This story is memorable though and made me want to cry in several spots and I realized something about humans, even in fairy tales–We are a mean lot. When we don’t understand something, we just feel the need to kill it, capture it, or conquer it. Sadly the Little Mermaid tale turns out to be no different. Thank goodness someone came up with a less horrific telling for us to share with our little ones.

I always remember my Mom reading me all the older fairy tales she could find, many of them were not very happy or cute, but taught good lessons. Ones like from original translations of the Brothers Grimm and such. Also, when you listen to old Indian tales, they aren’t very cute or sweet or nice either. We somehow quit wanting our kids to be shown real life and instead wanted to coddle them with cute stories where all things are truly good in the end and we all get a happily ever after and fairness wins the day. Maybe this hasn’t turned out so well for us…More young people live at home, jump from job to job, spend more time getting through college and work to hard to find their way that they get the meaning of being a productive adult mixed up in there. I’ll step off my soapbox now.

This story is not for the faint of heart and is nowhere near the Disney’s version of The Little Mermaid. If you are expecting that, just let it go and move on. The only similarity is there are mermaids in the story. The good guys and the bad guys are all blurred together and family is not loving and caring, but mean and backstabbing and vicious. Eryx and Arelle don’t start off on good footing, in fact she and her sister kill his mother, so his whole life he looks for revenge and hunts them until they are almost extinct. Come to find out though, his father is really the bad one. I don’t want to ruin it so I’ll stop there. Suffice it to say, he’s a bad-bad man and deserves a horrible death. This story has a lot of death, gore, and families literally torn apart. No one is truthful to one another except Eryx and Arelle who can’t hide their passion for one another or their desire to protect each other at all costs. But to outsiders it doesn’t look like that, it looks like she is his willing captive and he her manipulative-cruel captor.

By the end of this tale, they both find out how much they need one another to survive both in water and on land, only they believe letting one another go is the best thing to do. Bethany-Kris shows us in the end, we all need someone even if that someone is cruel and hateful. I’m sure there is more to come for this tale, but for now it ends in heartache and bloodshed like no one’s business. She tells a super dark tale in which the Mermaids don’t smile so much as have shark teeth and prefer to eat you. The war and death scenes are very graphic. On top of that her descriptions of the change is so lifelike, you almost feel the pain they experience when they go from Mermaid to Human.

I actually loved this version and was delighted to see it didn’t really parallel the Disney version I know so well. It felt more powerful and the dark cover suits it well. I can’t wait until the next book in the series comes out. With that, I’ll leave you with a 4 of 5 rating.

4 of 5 propellers


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Romance author Bethany-Kris is a Canadian, the mother of four boys, and a lover of things that are usually bad for her. ​Between the boys, four dogs, two cats, and her husband, she is always writing something … when she can find the time.