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Heart of the Kraken

(Tales from Darjee #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  339 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Legend says if you consume the heart of a mermaid, you will know all the secrets of men

Ailin doesn't care if the legend is true or not - she's stuck in a crate on her way to feature as the main course at a lavish banquet. Her heart to be served while still beating for a cruel noble while the rest of her is sliced into sashimi. Unless she can escape.

Across the ocean, Fenton
ebook, 201 pages
Published March 2015
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Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Fenton is a product of the ore-mancers craft,who with their dark powers can meld flesh and metal. But in his case their experimenting to merge a human with a kraken didnt turn out as planned and he was deemed a failure. As a child he was bought by the vicious pirate captain Reis who captains the Razors Edge.

All sailors feared when the demon would rise from the darkness far below and tear apart friend and foe alike. Fenton feared the void the kraken created inside him. He had to touch its dark mi
A.W. Exley
Feb 17, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: steampunk
This is a brand new series and a new world that is darker, more fantastical. Also contains more pirates... ;)

The plan is that each book will be standalone and they won't have to be read in any order. You can pick and chose which ones grab your interest.

Sep 13, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: wattpad
UGH. That cover, though.

Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
really do enjoy Exley’s work (obviously…considering I just put down Ella the Slayer and picked this one up). This one wasn’t a total ‘love’ for me, but it wasn’t bad, either. I’d consider it a vanilla middle-of-the-road-needed-something-easy-to-read-while-life-shakes-me-around-like-a-ragdoll kind of read.

My biggest pet peeve with the entire book were the editing mistakes. It wasn’t just one or two—there were many, and they were noticeable and made the story confusing at times until I sat there
Alexia Purdy
I don't read much steampunk pirate stories only because they are really hard to find and don't always turn out that great for me, but this was a pleasant surprise to read. Reading the blurb totally convinced me this would be a treat. I absolutely fell in love with this tale and with the characters. Fenton is the kind of guy you'd want on your side in a pickle, which for Ailin who's in a huge dilemma, he's just the man she needs. She's a mermaid and on her way to be served up to a royal for her h ...more
Bitsy Vontrapp
Jul 29, 2015 rated it liked it
This book started out full of promise, painting a vision of a harsh, cruel steampunk world where those with power take from everyone and those who should be in charge of law and order are, instead, the most fickle and cruel. And then, somehow, halfway through the book it devolved into a sappy, lame love story.
Another huge problem I had with the book and a serious pet peeve of mine, the names of some of the characters are completely inappropriate for the tone and subject matter of the book. How
Charles Ray
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ailin, on her way to have her heart eaten as part of a lavish banquet, is saved by Fenton, who is held captive by the pirates transporting her because he can speak to and control the dreaded kraken.
When their two lives collide, Fenton has to make a decision, summon the beast to free Ailin, or free himself.
Heart of the Kraken by A. W. Exley is a chilling story of Fenton’s search for his soul, full of action and excitement, and deep emotions as well. Fantasy fiction for the connoisseur of fine sto
Apr 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The idea behind this story was intriguing and the writing was mostly done well. There are some editing issues; misspellings, wrong names and a few grammatical errors. Enough to detract, but not enough to stop reading. I may get a sample of one of her other works to try but I wouldn't spend another $4.00 on one of her books without assurances that it was done a bit better.
Olivia Munrow
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
TLDR: A sweet, if simplistic, mermaid love story.

After I'd read the first three Artifact Hunters books, starting with Nefertiti's Heart, I was stoked to see that A.W. Exley seemed to have written a fantasy romance featuring mermaids. (The sea is kinda my thing.)

Unfortunately, after the tightly woven and relatively complicated plots of Artifact Hunters, I found Heart of the Kraken a little too simple. Captive pirate and Kraken-summoner Fenton and his equally captive fishy lady love Ailin are just
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barb VanderWel
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this & I can't wait for more.
I will be also leaving a review on Goodreads @ Amazon.
And letting everyone know about it.
So i gave it a 5 Stars.
Pat Raab
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A touching love story in an unusual setting, with very unusual characters.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
really entertaining, if a bit predictable. can't wait to read the next one!
Kara Jorgensen
Apr 11, 2015 rated it liked it
When I first saw HotK, I was incredibly excited. Steampunk, mermaids, and a gorgeous cover. I loved the idea of it, but when I started to read it, I was a little disappointed. At times, the prose was overwritten (let a good sentence do the work rather than qualifying it with another) and in other places under-written. The ore-mancers, I thought, were under explored. I understand there is a sequel coming, so I hope there is more of Nancy and Weston there. My biggest issues were in Fenton and Aili ...more
Diane Lang
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Heart of the Kraken introduces us to the dark, steampunk world of Darjee where oremancers twist metal and flesh in strange ways. Fenton was sold as child after the oremancers regarded him as a failed experiment to combine a kraken with a human. He is bound to a ship's captain who uses his ability to control the mighty ocean dwelling kraken to bring down ships. The captain and crew are harsh, brutal men who will stop at nothing in their pursuit of wealth.

Ailin is a mermaid captured by another shi
B. Brumley
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Heart of the Kraken by A.W. Exley

Fenton has been trapped since birth. Ore-mancers used their skills to bestow a dark and terrible gift, before selling him to an ugly-hearted Captain that exploits Fenton's abilities for his own nefarious purposes. Fenton has no choice but to obey while he longs for freedom. Pirating the Sanguine Ocean, Captain Reis stumbles upon a prize incomparable captured in the hold of a science vessel. Reis steals the mermaid away, swearing the bounty on her heart will be hi
Lady Mockingbird
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steampunk Fairytale Romance

I would have given this and all of Exley's books published to date 5 stars if it weren't for the frequent and jarring misuse of words. They interrupt what otherwise would be excellent writing. Two examples leap to mind. In this book flags flatter rather than flutter. And ropes are pulled taunt, instead of taunt. It would be charitable to say they are typographical errors, but there are too many of them, running throughout all six of the titles I have read to date. The
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Too predictable and completely boring...

This received 2 stars instead of 1, simply because I DID finish it...barely. The entire story is based on a mermaid (who has been captured for science/sacrifice) and a mistreated mutant were-squid/octopus boy (who is supposed to be the Kraken. There is no chemistry, attraction (besides the fact she's a hot, nude fish/girl) or real love story of any kind! It was basically exactly what it sounds like .......The "about blurb" tells the ENTIRE story, no twists
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mermaids and Krakens

Fenton has a problem. He is ok on the sea but seasick on land. Even worse, he was sold to a Pirate Captain and bound through a oramancer tie. His life is not good. Things continue like this until the Pirates get their hands on a mermaid. And we have a developing romance which is going to end badly for the Mermaid as she is destined for the main course at the ruler's dinner. What to do?

This is another great addition to Exley's Steampunk books. So far each one is top notch. I
Fiona Andrew
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh what a magical world awaited me as I started this book. 3 hours later I was finished and totally enraptured that this book continued in the great tradition of this author. Many thanks.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read from this author. Great book with an unexpected mix of sci-fi/fantasy/steampunk and romance. It was a new and intriguing experience to read such a book, as the mix is totally refreshing. A fantasy world with ships, mermaids and other wild creatures. A world in which romance takes a slightly different shape and form. I found the story interesting. After having read the entire book, I believe the author managed to balance different genres that made this book worthw ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it liked it
The story behind the main characters was really interesting but the love-story aspect of it seemed rushed. The whole 'instant soul mate, mating for life' situation just isn't my thing and seems sort of shallow. Especially since they're desperately in love after knowing each other for a few days, to the point where they're each willing to die for each other.

But it was a fun read. And I like happy endings.

Also I was sorta hoping for kraken/mermaid smut in graphic detail and there was none. But tha
Allison Sanderson
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
The only issue I had was that it was riddled with errors that should have been edited out. Things like the wrong word or wrong verb tense, etc.

Critiquing story alone, it was a pretty good read. I'm curious if there will be more books on the way that take place in this storyline, although this could also stand alone. I'm also curious as to how you pronounce Ailin. Like "ale-inn" or "eye-lynn" or something else? I don't know. But that doesn't matter. Good read, would recommend.
Robyn Baker
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A.W. Exley is one of my favorite authors. I have only had the pleasure to read The Artifact Hunters series, so far, and fell in love. Heart of the Kraken was a pretty good, quick read. It wasn't my favorite though. It could have been that I had just finished the AH and was still in that world. I liked the premise and the weird of the story and some of the characters. I was hoping for a little more from the ending but not so much to give it any kind of a bad review.
There is an interesting concept here, but it's not fully explored. Parts of that story that could have been really delved into were too brief to enjoy, and the focus on the romantic scenes of the story was cloyingly sweet and had a lot of cliché sentiment.

Overall a good story, but it could have been so much more. Oh, and this has quite a few grammatical errors and uncaught typos, so if that will bother you (as it did me) then I suggest choosing something else to read.
Jun 07, 2015 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

This was ok. It had an interesting premise and some neat ideas. Overall it was entertaining though it did drag throughout. What bothered me most about this was that the main characters had obstacles to overcome, but they didn't really do anything to help themselves. A different character pretty much had to save them in every way. I would have like to have seen the main characters be able to do something for themselves.
Zeinab Dh
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I got this in exchange of an honest review, this book was a interesting full of secrets mysteries and adventure which I loved and also the plot and characters were wonderfully well done I recommend this to anyone who loved a good one
Nicole B
So much love for this book. I'm already looking forward for the next one, in the meantime i will have to try some of the other books by this author
Danica Lamphere
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Different in a fantastic way

Excellent story with a good twist ending. The characters were well done and the plot kept me involved to the last line
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Apr 25, 2015 07:55AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please create new series 2 21 Feb 17, 2015 10:17AM  
  • The Gift (In Darkness We Must Abide, #4)
  • Desolace (Desolace, #1)
  • The Undying (Hayle Coven #16)
  • First Bite (Darkwood Manor, #1)
  • Armored Hearts (Armored Hearts, #1)
  • The Iron Locket (The Risen King #1)
  • Firefly (Cicada, #2)
  • Kylee (Once Upon a Zombie Apocalypse #1 POV 1)
  • Silver Mortal (The Gracen Chronicles, #1)
  • Jade (Once Upon a Zombie Apocalypse #1 POV 2)
  • Yesterday's Daughter
  • Winter Fae (Armored Hearts, #0.5)
  • In Embers (Ember, #3)
  • The Land Beyond the Portal
  • Eternal Hope (Hope, #2)
  • Dissension (Chronicles of the Uprising, #1)
  • Agartha's Castaway (Trapped in the Hollow Earth, #1)
  • Autumn Dawn (The Witchling, #2.5)
Books and writing have always been an enormous part of my life. I survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, I overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.

I write gaslamp and fantasy historical novels from my home in rural New Zealand.

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“Time to release the kraken, Mr Fenton,” 0 likes
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