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The Mermaid's Madness (Princess #2)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  2,429 Ratings  ·  232 Reviews
What would happen if a star writer went back to the darker themes of the original fairy tales for plots, and then crossed the Disney princesses with Charlie's Angels? What he'd end up with is The Mermaid's Madness-a whole new take on The Little Mermaid. And with Jim C. Hines, of Jig the Goblin fame, penning the tale, you can bet it won't be "They lived happily ever after."
ebook, 352 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Daw Books
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Crystal Starr Light
Danielle, Talia, Snow, and Queen Beatrice head out to sea to meet the King of the Undine, but instead are confronted by his daughter, Lirea, bent on revenge. Queen Beatrice is wounded, and now the three women must seek out a way to save Beatrice and restrain Lirea.

DNF at page 84, Chapter 5.

I found out about Jim C. Hines through his AMAZING series of blog posts about the over-sexualized nature of women on covers of books. Please, go check it out now. I'll be here when you're done.

*Five hours late
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Swimming through the ocean was like flying through another world.

Long story short
On her latest sea expedition, Queen Beatrice is accidentally stabbed by Lirea, a mermaid that can shift into human form. The dagger Lirea was wielding is an enchanted one, and it absorbs Beatrice’s spirit. Danielle, Talia and Snow have to catch the culprit and save the queen’s life.

My thoughts
I absolutely love pirate tales. And mermaids. And underwater adventures (thank you SpongeBob). And the three princesses.
Apr 28, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mad mermaids, Disney princesses
This is an endearing light fantasy series, like a Disney Princess adventure for grown-ups. Although billed as "the darker side of fairy tales," Jim Hines doesn't really get dark-dark, he just takes traditional fairy tales and treats them as stories about adults in a fantasy world.

In The Stepsister Scheme, we were introduced to Danielle Whiteshore, aka "Cinderella," newly married to Prince Armand and just learning that her mother-in-law Queen Beatrice has a predilection for collecting girls in tr
Hooray for more action and adventure for the girls! Hooray for more feminist fairy tale retellings! Sequels seldom achieve five stars for me, but I'm pumped over this. 'The Mermaid's Madness', the sequel to 'The Stepsister Scheme', is a hydraulic blast, and really clever storytelling. This is definitely a series I'll be continuing.

And to show I'm not a lazy motha*%^*$*er, I'll also skip the synopsis of the plot ('The Little Mermaid' reimagined with the subversive, ingenious skill I've come to ex
Mar 22, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this just after I read The Stepsister Scheme. This book answers some questions raised in the first and continues the characterization started in the first.

Like the first novel, Hines seems to be writing in repsonse to the Disney Princesses trend. The princesses in his book, however, are far from passive. In this book, Hines tackles the story of "The Little Mermaid", relying more on the Andersen version of the story instead of the Disney bastard version.

It's a fairy tale for grown ups. Unl

Ich mochte Jim C. Hines bereits, bevor ich anfing, über ihn zu recherchieren. Doch seitdem ich eine Weile auf seiner Website und seinem Blog herum gesurft bin und ihn ein bisschen besser kennengelernt habe, bin ich zusätzlich zutiefst beeindruckt von seinem Engagement hinsichtlich Genderthemen in unserer Gesellschaft. Seit 2012 stellt Hines Buchcover verschiedener Genres nach, um auf die sexistischen Inszenierungen von Männern und Frauen gleichermaßen aufmerksam zu machen. Das Ergebnis (HIER)
Nov 11, 2011 Rea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review can be found here.

I enjoyed the first book of the Princess series but felt that it dragged at times when it lost my attention. This second book worked much better for me – maybe it was because I preferred the setting (the sea here vs. Fairytown in the previous book) but I’m more inclined to think that it’s probably because the plot seemed more concise in this one.

Jim C. Hines takes elements from the traditional fairy tales and plays with them, taking them closer to their darker roots
Jan 10, 2011 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, so, the second book is better than the first. Not that I disliked the first at all, but it really was an introduction compared to this one.

First off: I GOT IN EVERYONE'S HEADS. It was fun! I liked that. Not that Danielle was a bad POV in the first one, it's just I was intensely curious about the other princesses's thought processes.

Second off: I am so happy with the gay in this book. Like, normally I have to wade through pages and pages of ilk about how some female protagonist lurves some g
Paul Weimer
Sep 11, 2010 Paul Weimer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the Stepsister Scheme, Mr. Jim Hines came up with a clever fantasy conceit, reimagining Snow White and Sleeping Beauty as kick-butt action heroines that could stand toe to toe with the likes of Sarah Connor, River Tam, and Ripley. Princess Cinderella, Danielle Whiteshore, joins their duo in an effort to find her husband, the Prince, who has been kidnapped, with faerie magic aid, by her evil stepsisters.

In the Mermaid's Madness, we turn to the sea. The relationship between the island kingdom o
Jessica Strider
Aug 11, 2011 Jessica Strider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid is a horribly depressing story. Jim Hines takes that story and makes it even more horrifying. So yet another princess missed out on her 'happily ever after'. Only this time the princess strikes back. Against those who hurt her and those who want to help her.

The Mermaid's Madness begins with the Lorindar nobles welcoming the return of the undine (merfolk) from their annual hybernation. Only this time the undine aren't happy to see the humans. The subse
Scott Wozniak
I didn't finish this fantasy adventure. In the end, I just didn't care about the characters. The adventure seemed interesting enough--why was the queen in a coma, how can we save her? But the main character, a Cinderella-based princess, was flat, boring, and I didn't care much for her. The Sleeping Beauty-based princess was even more annoying than the first book. The Snow White-based princess was fun, but not enough to make up for the other characters.

I think it goes to show that the most exciti
May 27, 2016 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
IT'S FANTASTIC! I love The Stepsister Scheme, but this sequel is even better. Learning more about the characters and watching them grow is just as interesting as it is amusing to watch them interact with each other. It's a great swashbuckling adventure about a trio of butt-kicking princesses (Cinderella, SnowWhite, and Sleeping Beauty) out to save their queen and The Little Mermaid. This ridiculous amount of fun, adventure, personality, and delightful banter is swiftly becoming one of my favouri ...more
May 19, 2014 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Three fairy tale princesses take to the high seas to help save the kingdom from mermaids with a vendetta. The three fairy tale princesses are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Now, however, they go by the names Danielle, Talia and Snow. Why do they go by these names? Who knows? The book tries to turn the often passively portrayed protagonists in sword-fighting, magic-wielding heroes. None of their stories had a happily ever after ending. This entry in the series focuses on the story of ...more
Riccarla Roman
Jul 23, 2011 Riccarla Roman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this continuation of "The Stepsister Scheme". Once again Danielle (Cinderella), Snow White, and Talia (Sleeping Beauty but don't call her that) must save the kingdom of Lorindar, this time from the undine (mermaids). Every year, the kingdom sends a tribute of strawberries to the undine. It's a tradition. But this year the queen of the undine, Lirea, has gone crazy, killing her father, attempting to kill her sister, and demanding gold as a tribute or the all ships will be attacked. She ev ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yuck. Hines is still a master with setting, but the characters have become sort of cookie cutter - one is responsible, one's flirty, one's angry. It's getting old. Prince Armand, who we meet here for the first time, is a pompous jerk. I have no idea what Cinderella sees in him. More irritating still is Danielle's (aka Cinderella's) ability to communicate with animals - sea birds, sharks, crabs, kelpies - and in the process these creatures, who do her bidding, are routinely slaughtered in warfare ...more
Fangs for the Fantasy
There is a new threat to the kingdom – the seas around the nation are becoming impassable due to rampaging mermaids and, worse, Queen Bea herself has been injured and lays dying. It falls to Princess Danielle, Snow and Talia to set out again, the only ones who can to try and save Bea’s life – and her very soul – and preserve not just the kingdom but all seafaring nations

But it’s a complex task and finding who the actual villain is proves more complex than previously imagined. It begs the questio
The second installment in the Princess series wasn’t quite what I expected. For some reason, I went through all of the book just waiting for Danielle, Snow and Talia to find Lirea, fix her madness, and welcome her into their princess club, which isn’t the case. Lirea (an anagram of “Ariel” as another GoodReads reviewer points out) serves as the crazy mermaid. Her grandmother cast a spell so that she could be human and win the love of her prince; instead, he used her and threw her away, so she st ...more
Jan 27, 2013 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a little more cinematic than the Stepsister Scheme, what with the mermaids and their "inhumanly wide eyes," but overall I didn't devour it as voraciously as I did its prequel. There were several points, particularly in describing Snow's magic at the end, as it captures air spirits, that could be translated rather as "Er...this problem needs to be solved, so...MAGIC!", but I didn't mind too much. The author is still writing feminist books for young adults (and adults who love YA boo ...more
Genre: Fantasy (specifically the Fractured Fairy Tales variety)

The cover is the best part of this book, imho. The cover totally rocks. The previous novel in the series was a fun, comedic, fractured fairy tale, a.k.a. "what happens next to Cinderella".

The main plot of this novel is a twist on the Little Mermaid myth. It's incredibly dark (but not explicitly so, mostly). Harkening to the original version of the tale, not the happily-ever-after Disney version. The subplot is also rather dark and so
Apr 14, 2012 Mirjam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tale
Jim C. Hines's amusingly dark version of cute fairy tales and their NOT so happily ever after conclusions are a real treat! In The Mermaid's Madness the three kick-ass heroines I have grown to love in The Stepsister Scheme are taking on The Little Mermaid. To save Queen Bea they have to discover what happened between Lirea and her Hiladi prince. It is a race against the clock with merfolk on their tail trying to stop them any way they can, but Danielle, Talia and Snow are not the kind to throw i ...more
I don't know how to rate this! I think it's very well done, and think the idea of taking three of the most famous fairy tale princesses and following what happens after "ever after" (for Cinderella), or telling the *real* story (Snow White and Sleeping Beauty) is a great one. But I don't think the way it's done is exactly my cup of tea. Which isn't to say anything critical about the books, as this really is a personal preference thing. I think what I find hard is the mix of really dark - and not ...more
Dec 02, 2009 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have never seen The Little Mermaid like this before.

Jim Hines' storytelling talent has grown into maturity with this book. All of the characters are strong and well rounded, with a complexity that you will never find in a Disney telling of these tales. At the same time, Mr. Hines keeps the story compellingly moving forward. There is no time for navel-gazing here! From battles at sea to star-crossed love, this is a great, fun work of fantasy.

Reading the first book in the series, The Stepsiste
Blodeuedd Finland
This series is fun, first we have fairytales, second kick-ass heroines. What's not to like.

Cinderella, Snow and Sleeping Beauty (they do have other names but whatever) have to solve one big problem here. A mad mermaid. And since this follows the real fairytales, and not those nice silly Disney ones, then yeah the mermaid's prince was a d#ck. Just like Talia's prince was a d#ck. But Cinderella/Danielle's prince is a keeper.

So we have a mad mermaid and her followers attacking and sinking ships. Th
Oct 09, 2014 Felix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Snow white & crew save the day at sea! The twists on these childhood stories are a fast read with a good dose of action!
Vivi Vocat
Apr 21, 2016 Vivi Vocat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
The story is based on the original fairytale by Hans Christen Anderson, yet it is darker (and that is quite an accomplishment), but Hines managed to temper it with light humor as well. There is a lot of magic, fighting, soul sucking, shape shifting and lifesaving (- oh I forgot the self-healing ship). Even though the heroines were from the beginning to the end always on the move, the plot was dragging and felt a bit convoluted.
Sue Smith
Well, this isn't your typical fairy tale telling of the sweet and demure princesses let me tell you! It's always fun to see how the tales can be spun and this one is one heck of a romp. A cross between Lara Croft and Charlie's Angels, these three princesses kick ass to keep order in the realm of the sea by overcoming some evil spells set by a revengeful sea sorceress. A fun story with some tongue in check humor and lots of action.
Jun 10, 2011 Kayt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Like the previous book, the fairy tale referenced (The Little Mermaid) turns out to be far less innocent that you believe.

The book will fulfill previous readers' desires for more Danielle/Talia/Snow adventures, and it won't be confusing to newcomers, though the princesses' backstories will be explained less. It does a good job matching the adventure of the first volume, and like the first it has a very dark tone.
Feb 16, 2011 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
[7 / 10] an enjoyable story, freestylin' on the Little Mermaid fairytale and further developing the characters of Danielle, Talia and Snow. The writing is good, but it lacks the exuberance and the irreverence of Jig the Goblin. I prefer mr Hines in his comedy mode, this drift towards serious fantasy is falling short for me to elevate his books above a number of similar competent but not top shelf fantasy writers
Mar 04, 2015 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This retelling of classic princess stories is absolutely wonderful. You have Cinderella, Snow White, sleeping beauty, and the little mermaid. All their stories aren't as happy as the disney version but a little more related to the original stories as they are told. That is one thing that I really liked about this book. This book has it all! Betrayal, love, hate, suspense, thrill, fantasy, and so much more. The story has you wanting more and more, I couldn't put this book down, there is always so ...more
I really enjoyed this book. At first it took a bit to get used to the switching of perspectives but I found as that went on I wanted more of it. I feel like the stories end with a satisfying closure that isn't exactly a "happy ever after" and I like that. Sure the good guys win, but there are a lot of trade offs in that win. I can't wait to read the next.
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Jim C. Hines' latest book is REVISIONARY, the fourth in his modern-day fantasy series 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, the humorous GOBLIN QUEST trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in BLOOD OF HEROES. His short fiction has ap ...more
More about Jim C. Hines...

Other Books in the Series

Princess (4 books)
  • The Stepsister Scheme (Princess, #1)
  • Red Hood's Revenge (Princess, #3)
  • The Snow Queen's Shadow (Princess, #4)

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“None of us live happily forever after. But we can choose to be happy today.” 6 likes
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