I have to admit that I was not too excited to start this one as I make my way through the Twisted Tales series. Ariel isn’t one of my favorite princesses and I’m not crazy about her story but I kept an open mind. This was also one of the longer books in the series too so you can understand my hesitation. I actually ended up really liking it, though!
Ariel’s character was believable in this story. The twist is that she never stopped the wedding of Eric and Ursula. Her father was captured and turned into a disgusting polyp and she returned to the sea defeated. Her kingdom of Atlantica made her serve as queen, supposedly as punishment for all the trouble she caused but really none of her older sisters wanted to do it. That part was a little wonky to me, but hey it’s a fairytale. At the start of the story she is already queen and has matured a lot since her days of dreaming of the Dry World. I liked her.
I really liked Eric’s development into this tortured and miserable Prince who is under Ursula’s spell but still feels in his heart something isn’t write. To deal with his depression from being married to a horrible woman he turns to music, specifically writing operas which is original, and the ocean. He always loved sailing out on the ocean but his new wife won’t allow it so he walks the beaches talking to himself, helping him get the nickname The Mad Prince.
Ursula is stuck living as the human Vanessa in the Dry World, but she actually seems to like it because of her status as Princess and ruler. She gets to do whatever she wants and Eric never says anything because he’s busy walking beaches and writing operas and being distant. She still has her evil plans and a bunch of those seaweed looking poor unfortunate souls trapped in jars, including Ariel’s father. Once Ariel finds this out she can’t let that go, of course.
I liked this book better than the first few only because it jumps right into the story without giving 25% of the book to novelizing the original movie before getting into the twist. A lot of people seemed to complain about that and they finally addressed it and laid out these books differently, which is nice. I breezed through this despite being over 400 pages. It genuinely held my interest. The ending wasn’t wrapped up into a happily ever after but left open between Eric and Ariel to develop into whatever the reader wanted to think. That was different and kind of nice. I highly recommend this series if you’re a Disney fan and a Disney Princess fan, and I recommend this particular book in the series as well.