A Duet with the Siren Duke is the fourth book in the Married to Magic series by Elise Kova. It is standalone, so you can read this book without reading the others in the series. Each book is inspired by a classic fairy tale; this one was inspired by the Little Mermaid. Only he’s the mermaid, or rather siren, and she’s a ship captain. Granted, she wasn’t a ship captain when they met. And the tale takes on a life of it’s own like most of the books in the series do.
She sold her soul to a siren and now he’s come to collect.
Victoria risks everything to leave a dangerous marriage and gain a second chance at life. But when her escape goes awry, she finds herself caught in the strong embrace of a mysterious siren, forced to choose: temporary salvation or immediate death.
And so, a cursed deal is struck.
Five years later, Victoria is alive-and the world’s finest ship captain. But her debt to the siren looms while her conniving ex has demanded a king’s ransom as the final price of her freedom. Victoria refuses to cause her family to suffer any more on her behalf, and is determined to make things right before her time is up. But that time is cut short.
The siren comes for her. Six months early.
Taken to the magical and deadly Eversea, home of the sirens, Victoria discovers she’s the sacrifice upon which all sirens pin their hopes. If they want to appease an angry god and save a world on the brink of destruction, then they need her. Which gives her the perfect leverage.
Victoria strikes a new bargain: the Siren Duke will help save her family, and she’ll fulfill his demands. It’s a good bargain until a flicker of passion ignites in the scarred remnants of Victoria’s heart, threatening all she’s worked for. As the sacrifice for the God of Death, she’s meant to give up everything that draws her to the world of the living. But that’s impossible when all she can think about is how this handsome siren’s song, and his hands, make her feel very much alive.
In a realm of ancient magic, submerged secrets, and forgotten gods, can love find a place among shattered hearts as they race against time and the blossoming of forbidden desires? Or will the delicate songs of their hearts be silenced once and for all?
- Published: August 10, 2023
- Page Count: 466 pages
- Genre: Fantasy Romance, Folklore
Thoughts on A Duet with the Siren Duke
So, how is it inspired by Little Mermaid beyond the fact that Ilyrth is a mermaid?
Instead of there being a sea witch that grants a wish, Ilryth agrees to save Victoria’s life in exchange for her soul, which he will come to collect in five years time. Only he ends up coming to collect six months early, when her life is in danger as the God of Death (Lord Krokan) attempted to claim her life along with her crew. While, yes, she is supposed to become a sacrifice for the God of Death, it’s too soon for that. As she needs to be marked/anointed more and complete the process of making herself lose all her memories through the process of singing.
Of course, this is a romance book at it’s heart. So Victoria falls for Ilyrth despite the fact she’s supposed to be letting go of all attachments to life in order for her sacrifice to be accepted by Lord Krokan. Who apparently demanded that some woman every five years full of life be sacrificed to him. But the only way for them to get close enough is to become more magic then flesh, and giving up all memories. But as Victoria learns more of the songs and words of the Old Ones, she starts to realize something is wrong with the belief the sirens have been lead to believe for the last century. And what the sirens came to believe may not be accurate, since they couldn’t accurately understand the song from Lord Krokan. The sirens believe that a worthy sacrifice to Lord Krokan will stop the spread of rot and allow souls to be accepted once again beyond the Veil. But Victoria realizes this is not the case. However, it’s not until she’s sacrificed that she learns the truth.
This book does have a HEA despite the fact that Victoria is a sacrifice and loses all of her memories initially. However, it does come at a high price that both Victoria and Ilyrth must pay in order to save their world and settle matters with the gods of life and death.
Overall, I enjoyed this tale. Victoria has to learn that she’s not unlovable just because she grew as a person and her first relationship ended in divorce. And that forcing yourself to lose memories doesn’t make things better. Instead, when you open up yourself to the possibility of new love and trust, then you find yourself healing. Granted, she does almost lose all sense of self before the end.
I would give A Duet with the Siren Duke a 3.75-star rating. And I can’t wait to read the next book in the series which is called A Dawn with the Wolf Knight, which will be able a lykin and witch, which will be Little Red Riding Hood inspired.
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