The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay Berrisford
Published by: Less Than Three Press
Review by: Dani Hoots
The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay Berrisford is about a young merman named Raef who grew up hearing stories from his mother about mermaids falling in love with lovely princes who would wisp them away and take them to a castle of gold
Hearing all these stories of what he thought was true love, Raef decided that one day he was going to find himself a prince and be happily married. The only problem was that as he grew up, the leader of his tribe declared love to be nonexistent and that interaction with humans was against the law. Deciding not to put up with this, Raef runs away to find his dear prince.
After searching, he finds a man, Haverford, whom he thinks is royalty and decides that he is in love. On the day he was going to tell him about his love, a pirate steals something from Haverford. Raef decides to get the item back and goes after the pirate, but after meeting the pirate, he finds that maybe pirates aren’t so bad after all and learns that Haverford isn’t the man he thought he was. Raef then gets tangled in a web of lies and deceit that surround the Haverford family and must side with the handsome pirate to help bring back what was stolen from a young woman.
To begin, this story, I don’t think, was very well executed. It had a lot of potential but the characters felt flat, didn’t seem to change, and were very flaky. For example, Raef was easily persuaded to love Haverford because he thought he was beautiful. There was nothing that he did to make him fall in love and it felt like Raef was very superficial. He then falls in love with the pirate because he too is handsome, but also kinder than he thought a pirate would be. It seemed to me, though, that he fell in love with the pirate more for his looks than his personality.
Raef also wasn’t that strong of a character. He was easily persuaded by people’s looks and didn’t seem to stand up for himself. Haverford was also a weak villain, taking advantage of everyone in the city. He didn’t seem to have an reason to be evil other than his family was evil too. I like a villain with depth, not just a cardboard cutout of a bad guy.
There is also a scene that has a flashback, but it was a flashback for someone else, not the main character. This broke the flow and the information could have been easily given another way that didn’t feel out of place. I was definitely confused…
The description was good and I was able to picture every setting that Raef was in. The plot had great potential, but it needed better characters to support it. All in all, I give this story a 2.8/5.
Note: this is a romance story between men and has some graphic scenes. I would recommend this for only readers over 18.