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Heart of the Kraken

(Tales from Darjee #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  388 ratings  ·  42 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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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  388 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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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
Tomoe Hotaru
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.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A definitely different type of story. An imprisoned mermaid, saved by pirates. Intriguing.
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
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
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 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks
Enjoyable enough, but I found the main plot predictable and the two viewpoint characters uninteresting. This was somewhat compensated for by interesting side characters and some good world-building. The prose is a bit clunky in places and tends to over explain things and repeat descriptive elements (for my taste). Having said that, I should probably note that I am clearly not the target audience of this book and was reading it as part of an effort to read outside my preferred authors/sub-genres.
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. ...more
Zu Reviews
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

I really loved the world introduced in this series and want to see more set in Darjee.

This was a short and fast read in vibrant new fantasy world. It's primarily a romance, which I wasn't as prepared for and though it was an insta-love romance (which is rather eye rolling for me) I loved the side characters and world enough to fly through it.
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
Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)
Heart of the Kraken is a free download available to subscribers of Ms. Exley’s newsletter. Set in the land of Darjee, the story is primarily shared from the point-of-views of Fenton and Ailin. Fenton is a reluctant crew member on a pirate ship, and when he was still in utero, magical ore-mancers manipulated Fenton’s body, connecting him with a deadly kraken. Pirate Captain Reis paid the wizards to bio-surgically place a gauntlet on his arm that controls Fenton, therefore the kraken. Fenton longs ...more
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Overall, this is a nice entertaining read.
It has a lot of elements I like: historical setting, pirates, steampunk constructs...
But I wanted to read it because of the merfolks. Despite having a mermaid as a love interest, we're told very little about mermaid lore, and Ailin has too human ways of reasoning and no peculiar "fishy" traits.
I loved the description about her tail regaining lustre, the unfolding of her webs, after being in the Ocean, but it wasn't enough to sate me.
Also, after pricking
Part of the same steampunk bundle that brought me Clockwork Alchemist and The Books and Braun Dossier. I would classify this one as a "romance", in which the relationship was the plot. I ... am not generally a fan of that genre. This one was fine until the romance took over, at which point I got slightly annoyed/bored with it. The world seemed interesting, though. ...more
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars
It would have been three or four but I didn't like the language or all the sexual encounters and innuendos. (view spoiler) I did like the story itself it was an interesting plot with a bit of a twist at the end. A nice twist, but not really a shocker. Our two mains were enough to carry the story. And I really did like Nancy.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a book I would choose to read again

This is just not a good read. It is too much to ask readers to bond with nonhuman characters. I bought the Dr one book in the series,but will not bother with reading it. I'm had to force myself to finish this one.
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! ...more
Pat Raab
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A touching love story in an unusual setting, with very unusual characters.
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.
Anna Wick
read the end but skipped about 27% to the end. to long drawn out and complicated for no good reason. the World building could have been handled way better. The romance was contrived.
Lyn Ducich
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dang it, lunch hour is over

And the sword fight has just started!
To be late and finish it, or be a responsible adult and get back to work?
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book. I preferred the other series (The Artifact Hunters) but then again, perhaps it is too early to say that. I will see what the others in this series holds. :)
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.
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I write historical fantasy novels from my home in rural New Zealand.

Other books in the series

Tales from Darjee (2 books)
  • Alise (Tales from Darjee Book 2)

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