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I loved Little Mermaid growing up. I used to watch it all the time to a point where I could recite the words of the first and second movies (primarily second) by heart. Though I don’t recall it to that level anymore, I know all the music and story insanely well. So, when I saw that Tessonja Odette was doing a retelling of that story in her Entangled With Fae series, I was all for reading it. While you can read the Entangled With Fae series in any order, I would recommend reading them in order as this book takes place one year after the events of Heart of the Raven Prince and refers to characters from there, so there might be spoilers to the previous two books.
I did receive an electronic copy of the book early in exchange for an honest review. I also ordered a physical copy of the book to put on my bookshelf which arrived shortly before Christmas, which was early since Kiss of the Selkie was supposed to release on the 31st, but now Amazon lists it as releasing on the 15th. Either way, I was happy to have both copies to read, since I like reading on the go as well as curled up under a blanket with a physical copy.
A handsome fugitive seeking a marriage of convenience.
A selkie with a lethal kiss sent to seal his fate…
To evade a vicious sea queen’s clutches, selkie Maisie hides on land surviving as a thief. But when she rescues a human from drowning and illegally brings him to shore, she must answer for breaking fae law. As punishment, she’ll have to hunt down the man she saved…and kiss him. But with a kiss that can kill, Maisie’s mission means more than seduction. It means murder.
Son of a notorious fae-killer, Dorian was never meant to survive the shipwreck that was orchestrated to assassinate him. Now that he’s on the forbidden fae isle, he’ll do anything to gain citizenship—even marry a fae bride. Desperate for a hasty marriage, he holds a bridal competition in the isle’s most theatrical city, where displays of frivolity aren’t just encouraged—they’re expected. And if Maisie can act like a proper debutante and join the pageantry, she’ll get near enough to deliver her fatal kiss.
But getting close to her target brings complications she didn’t expect. As she pretends to compete for Dorian’s heart, it starts to feel less like an act…and more like falling in love.
If Maisie doesn’t deliver her kiss by sunrise on the last day of the competition, she forfeits her life. But if she succeeds, Dorian dies. When the pageant ends, will there be a true victor? Or only death and broken hearts?
ACOTAR meets Bridgerton and The Selection in this standalone fairytale retelling of The Little Mermaid. If you like enemies-to-lovers romance, bridal contests, and snarky fae royals, then you’ll love this swoon-worthy story in the Entangled with Fae series.
*NOTE this book is upper YA/NA featuring mature situations and some adult language. The romance is slow burn but leads to moderate steam.
Kiss of the Selkie is a complete stand-alone novel set in the same world as The Fair Isle Trilogy. Journey back to Faerwyvae or begin your adventure for the first time with this enchanting tale. Each book in the Entangled with Fae series can be read on its own and in any order. Happily ever after guaranteed!
- Published: December 15, 2021
- Page Count: 476 pages
- Genre: YA Fantasy and Folklore
Thoughts on Kiss of the Selkie
This book returns to the original form of the Fair Isle books where it takes place from one POV, that being Maisie. She is the daughter of the Seelie King of the Sea Court (Ronan) and the Unseelie Queen of the Sea Court (Nimue). Something that we don’t learn until a few chapters in. All we knew until that point was that she was on the run from the Unseelie Queen, who wants to turn her into an assassin after the discovery that Maisie can kill individuals when she kisses them. While we knew she ran away during the events of Heart of the Raven Prince, we did not know the reason why. Turns out her father asked her to run after killing the first boy she ever kissed named Luther, who had tried to steal her selkie skin. Something that she needs or she will die without an article of human clothing on her in the daytime.
I love that Maisie’s nose twitches whenever she finds a treasure that she wants to add to her collection. She may be a thief on the run, but she still keeps a collection of found goods like Ariel. Though she left the majority of her collection behind with Ember when she ran off with her best friend and fungal sprite (a crab) named Podaxis. Also, she states that she likes her men with a little “blubber”, which turns out to be muscle though that little detail isn’t explored until much later. I especially found it hilarious when Maisie’s nose twitches at Dorian to the point where she sneezes on him. Because he has the right amount of “blubber”… granted her discovery of that and the sneezing incident happen at two separate times. Still, I found both moments to be *chef’s kiss*.
The main story kicks off when Maisie rescues Dorian from drowning after his ship was attacked by her mother’s assassins just outside the magical perimeter. Similar to how Ariel saved Prince Eric from drowning after his ship was on fire. Maisie couldn’t allow him to drown and brought him to shore. She manages to perform CPR on him though she doesn’t understand how and won’t touch her lips to his in fear that she’ll kill him with her kiss. He spits seawater onto her then mentions sanctuary with a church that previously caused a rebellion after the fae rulers. She begrudgingly tells the church where to find him only to learn a few days later who she rescued. Particularly because of her mother. He is the son of a man who used to capture and torture fae, then forced them to fight illegally. Nimue claims Dorian killed in cold blood as well when he was ten as he was found covered in blood and a fae had been stabbed by him seven times, so he deserved to be killed rather than allowed back onto the isle. She curses Maisie to kill Dorian by entering a bridal pageant (kind of like The Bachelor) and delivering a deadly kiss before the end of ten days, otherwise, Maisie will either be killed or forced to join her mother’s league of assassins. Something Maisie does not want to do.
The rest of the book takes place during those ten days where Maisie is trying to get close to Dorian in order to kill him. Though as you can imagine this is the Little Mermaid, and seeing as they are the main couple that’s not going to happen. I won’t spoil want happens but I enjoyed every minute of their chemistry and learning about one another. Though they argue at first, it turns into them spending more time than they’re supposed to together and learning the truth about one another. We also get to see Podaxis go from being rather anxious and shy to growing enough confidence to don a Seelie form, not just to admit his feelings towards a girl he likes but to help save Maisie. It was a really sweet moment. Especially because he was so nervous and self-conscious about what his Seelie form would look like since he never once has been in it before that moment.
Overall, I think Kiss of the Selkie was a great book. I couldn’t put it down and was finding myself talking about it immediately afterward with my mom. Mainly, as she was next to me since I read it while at her house for Christmas. I would rate this book 3.75 out of 5 stars. I could probably go on for ages about the book but I want to avoid sharing every little detail so if you pick up the book as well, not everything is spoiled.
I don’t know if there are going to be any other retellings in this series. Typically the book sets up the next tale and I couldn’t figure out who we would be jumping to next. Usually, it’s fairly obvious and you also can tell which tale will be retold. Ember was Cinderella, which you knew before the release of Heart of the Raven Prince. And then that book introduced Maisie which was clear it was going to be A Little Mermaid. However, I have no idea about this book. While there were new characters introduced and a comment of where they were going after this book finished, there wasn’t a clear “this is who the next book is going to focus around or what the theme will be.” We had some reappearances of characters from the previous books, but mostly they were just references. If this is the last book in the series, I would be a little sad not to see any more of this book but it also ended nicely. If it continues, I’ll be curious to see what’s next.
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