The Hunted by Bethany-Kris
Series: 9ine Realms #1
Published by Self-published on January 6, 2020
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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.
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.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
My memory of watching the sweet cartoon version of the Little Mermaid didn’t prepare me for The Hunted. Catchy tunes filled my head along with images of a fun red-headed mermaid and a handsome prince. Well, there was a mermaid and a handsome prince but the soundtrack in my head that accompanied them was far more sinister.
Arelle won me over from the beginning, always placing others before her own wellbeing. She’s the odd one out in her family, everyone else was fixated on themselves or their role within the underwater kingdom. The connection between Arelle and Eryx snaps into place as soon as they make eye contact.
She’d been burned into his memory. Her image ingrained in the backs of his eyelids, where he was sure it would remain until the day he died.
Eryx is hell bent on seeing Arelle again, but his intentions were far from romantic. Romance has a way of rising above all situations but the journey from ‘never’ to forever is a treacherous path for this couple.
While Eryx was busy being difficult, I was madly wishing I could share what I knew to help make the plot go in the direction I wanted. And there were some horrid, dark moments ahead of them.
She’d wanted it. Needed it. It had still been a mistake. Her worst ever.
Normally I love dark romances but I struggled to get past the horrific methods used to keep mermaids from returning to the sea. It haunted me to the extent I couldn’t forget what I had read. My reaction took me by surprise as I have read darker scenarios and compartmentalised them. Obviously this is a case of me not the book because the vivid writing evoked historical dark romance tones while still including all the sordid details.
“There’s no certainty,” she tried to explain. “Not with you, or the sea.”
And just like Arelle’s choices, there are no guarantees that every book a writer writes will be for you. I was totally behind Arelle and Eryx beating all the odds to become a couple. They definitely had sizzling chemistry that heated up the pages.
The action in the story is based upon survival. I would have loved to hear more from some of the other characters but with this being the first book in the Nine Realms series, I am sure that what I am after is the material for another book down the track.
What I loved about the story was the inspiration it provided to search out the original fairy tale and then the movie. My familiarity with the inspiration for The Hunted, didn’t prepare me for the plot twists and the character depictions. I am impressed that this series differed from other Bethany-Kris books I’ve read. Now I am curious to see this new world develop and as such I plan on reading the next book.
3 Curious Stars
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