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Mermaid Discussion Post

As requested, here is your more-or-less official discussion thread for The Mermaid’s Madness [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy].

Because my blog mirrors to different places, I’d suggest going either to LiveJournal or http://www.jimchines.com/2009/10/mermaid-discussion-post/ for the liveliest discussion.

Spoilers ahoy, obviously.

If you haven’t read the book and don’t want to know what happens, stay the heck out of the comments.  Otherwise, all discussion, speculation, and questions* are welcome.

*I might even answer some of ‘em!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 52 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 16th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
I just started reading MM yesterday, so I'll stay the heck out of the comments for now and probably check back later. =)
Oct. 16th, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
We'll still be here :-)
Oct. 16th, 2009 01:58 pm (UTC)
Come on, tell us what's *really* going on in Mermaid's Madness! Is she a mermaid, or is she just a psychotic in a padded cell making shit up? ;-)
Oct. 16th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
She's actually an alternate universe Buffy, and my three princesses are secretly vampires!
(no subject) - cathshaffer - Oct. 16th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Oct. 16th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
I haven't had my coffee yet, so please forgive any misspellings or typos.

One of my favorite things about MM was seeing more of Danielle's interactions with Armand. Last book, we didn't see him much - he was helpless, so to speak, in the face of the spell he was under, and off the page. But we felt Danielle's love for him and determination to save him no matter the odds for the entire book. Seeing them interact here was a nice affirmation of those feelings from her, and I think I would have been grumpy without getting that.

On the other hand, these books very much belong to Snow, Talia, and Danielle. I'm also pleased Armand wasn't on stage more. It felt like a really good balance.

I am also intrigued by this new prince who seems to have developed a little crush on Talia - after all, he gave her a betrothal sword! Since Snow and Talia pretend to be servants and don't own up to their princess origins much, this strikes me as particularly meaningful (although maybe he saw them enough that he realizes there could be some royal blood there...)

Of course, given Talia's feelings for Snow, I think the poor prince is doomed to have his attentions unrequited. But I liked him as a character quite a lot, and I'm hoping he makes possible future appearances. *looks askance at author* ;)
Oct. 16th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
I am a fan of the new prince too (can't remember his name off hand) as well as the idea of a betrothal sword. Of course, I'm pretty much a fan of anything to do with swords ;)
(no subject) - jimhines - Oct. 16th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - georgmi - Oct. 16th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Oct. 16th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
Danielle seems to be jealous of the time that Snow and Talia have had with Bea. Now that Bea has admitted that she knows she is dying, is she going to spend more time with Danielle to train her(D) to take her(B's) place? Bea isn't going to die before the end of book 4, is she?

Everyone BUT Snow seems to know that Talia loves her - until someone flat-out TELLS Snow, that is. Heart-to-heart talk coming up?

Does Red hail from any of the countries already mentioned in the first two books? If so, which.
Oct. 16th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
Red is from Morova, unless something changes in my final revision. It's not mentioned in the first books, but you can see it on the map.

I think the ending does suggest Beatrice is going to be spending more time working with Danielle, but I'm not going to answer that other question :-)

What do *you* think Snow would do when faced with this sort of revelation?
(no subject) - georgmi - Oct. 16th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Oct. 16th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
I am almost finished--Talia had just fallen out the window when my ferry docked this morning. Since I usually spend the hour on the boat sleeping (I have to get up at 4:45 in order to catch it), and I was particularly tired this morning, you can probably safely assume that you've hooked me. Not enough to let my boss catch me reading on the clock, but there's another hour's boat ride home this evening.


I also liked the increased interaction with Armand, showing what appears to be a pretty healthy and loving relationship on both sides. I also like how you've managed to keep him from being the big strong rescuing man without making him weak. Partners, dividing the work between them, works excellently for me.

A little bothered by Danielle leaving Jakob behind, but now that I type it, I realize that if Danielle were a man and she left the kid with his mother, I'd be OK with that, so clearly this discomfort is my problem, not the story's.

Lirea being an anagram of Ariel? Kind of distracting to start with, but I got over it about the twentieth time I read her name.

A sheet is a rope, not a sail. Everybody makes that mistake, though. I am merely a pedant by nature and training, and if you think it's annoying now, you should have seen me when I was twelve.

Bottom line, though, is I love what you're doing with these stories, and I can't wait to see what's next.
Oct. 16th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
holy crap---Lirea was an anagram or Ariel---didn't notice that til now!!! (:
(no subject) - georgmi - Oct. 16th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Oct. 16th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
Favorite line: "We can't all live happily forever after, but we can choose to be happy now" (:
Oct. 16th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
::Grin:: I liked that one too. Thanks!
Oct. 16th, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
first off, my husband is "outraged" that the princesses are getting more books than Jig. He suggests a fourth Jig to balance it out.

About MM. (I'd have the book in front of me to pull references and names out but i lent it to a friend)

I am absolutely in love with this series! I think the new Prince would be good for Talia. To help her learn to trust and perhaps put what was done to her behind her and move on. I am not sure I can see Snow returning Talia's feelings. She seems to enjoy the company of men too much.

Are we going to learn more about Talia's child? I couldn't remember if the child survived, or if you even said so. (My friend has that book too, so i can't go look it up)
Oct. 16th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
If it's any consolation, there's a possibility that Smudge at least might show up in future books. (I haven't yet pitched any new ideas to my publisher, but Smudge would be in one of those ideas.)

Re: Talia's children (twin sons), I'll tell you that Red Hood's Revenge is going to give us a lot more information on Talia's backstory :-)

And thank you!
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Oct. 16th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
Echoing a lot of what other commenters have said here. I enjoyed seeing more of Armand, knowing that he deserved the love Danielle had for him, and yet it was also nice that he didn't overshadow the princesses and become the Knight in Shining Armor, riding to the rescue.

I definitely look forward to seeing more of Talia's backstory in Red Hood's Revenge - she's probably my favorite princess out of the three. But, I also liked the hints of the darkness in Snow's normally bubbly nature that's potentially inherited/learned/??? from her mother (or perhaps simply something that comes with having great power or schnazz). I was sad that Morveren had to go - I think that having a (seemingly) benevolent teacher would'e been good for Snow and her magic.

I hope to see glimpses of Lirea and Lannadae in future books, if you can logically fit it in. She had a bittersweet ending, but there was a lot of hope in it, too, and it'd be nice to check in on her later.

I also liked the fact that you expanded the POV characters to include the other princesses. That was really nice.

Bottom line, I'd been looking forward to this book for months and wasn't disappointed. RRR should be quite a ride!
Oct. 17th, 2009 08:41 am (UTC)
I enjoyed The Mermaid's Madness, let me tell you, I waited for months after reading Stepsister's Scheme for this tale.

My girlfriend was the one who figured out that Talia was attracted to Snow (it obviously flew over my head, so much for gaydar) and it was nerve-racking to read Snow's reaction to this revelation. I'm in love with the idea of a Talia/Snow relationship but it doesn't seem as though it would materialize but I do hope she finds a great partner. Have you started working on that Talia/Snow icon yet ^_^

Danielle has grown exponentially in her role as princess and mother. It was heartwarming to see her relationship with Armand as we had little interaction with him in the first novel (being kidnapped and all).

Morveren. seriously?! I never saw it coming. I sat on the train, gripping the pages of book as it slowly came to light that she was the cause of Lirea's flight into madness. I almost missed my stop.

Bea on her last years was an unsettling thought for me, this book revealed her "powers" as a Queen who ruled with compassion, love and what I can only term as a third eye or gift of insight. She will be missed.

Oct. 18th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
Morveren is another one whose role evolved over several rewrites. I wasn't sure how I wanted to play with her role as the evil sea witch--whether she should be the innocent scapegoat, the misunderstood victim, or just go with the all-out evil, 'cause they're fun to write :-)

I feel the same way about Bea. I just don't think it would have been believable to let her escape this one without consequences, you know?
Oct. 18th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
I did something very stupid: I already finished Mermaid's Madness.
Now I have to suffer – it's a long wait until Red Hood's Revenge is going to be published. Btw when in 2010 will that be? First half? Second half? (Oh God, please no!)

But on to discussing MM:
I don't know if this ever came up before but what fairy tale princess is Queen Bea? I got the impression she might be one version of the story with the girl saving her brothers who were cursed to spent seven years as swans?
I wondered since the first book about Beatrice but than there is the description of that tapestry in the king and queen's bedchamber . . .

So, did I like the book? Ha, take a guess. I think Danielle and Snow developed the most, with Danielle growing into the heir to Queen Beatrice while Snow's part of the story is really interesting in another way – the lure of power, the knowledge and magic and yet all the darkness that is both in her back story and that might claim her. I really like it.
I also think that Snow is not necessarily that much into men for fun – like Bea says that when Snow isn't feeling well her flirting gets more intense. I think it is her way to work with her problems with love and trust. Her lover was murdered and she seemed to have loved him very much. Now it is not love and romance she is looking for when playing with those poor men.
I also think this is were it gets interesting now that Snow knows about Talia's feelings. To have someone love her like that – no matter where this leads – will be a scary thing for her. And I think she will go on to react the way she already has at the end of the book: with treating Talia in a not too nice way. It's a bit like lashing out because she is scared.
At least that's what I read between the lines so far but I am very much looking forward to see how it will work out.

Actually very very very much looking forward to it!
We got some glimpses of Talia in Mermaid's Madness, it will really be interesting to find out more about her.

And a few little tiny spoilers for Red Hood's Revenge would make the waiting a bit less terrible . . . :o)

Last thing I got to say: thanks for writing these books!
Oct. 22nd, 2009 08:46 am (UTC)
Ok, so first off, I really do love this book. I enjoy the series as a whole. Honestly, my room mate and best friend practically things you almost a diety because I am willing to read outside of my genre--and he has been trying to get me to read fantasy for years. Yours are the first books I have gone out to read and finished lol.

I had picked up TSS (Stepsister Scheme) at a SciFi Con in dallas, (They had these adorable little bookmarks with the covers on them,and I was pleased with the cute cover, and one of the sellers happened to have a few copies so I picked one up). I will admit I put off reading it for a while, but I sat down and just devoured it! Then I had to wait seven months for the next book. It is generally a personal rule to NEVER read an incomplete series, I usually stick with dead authors, but I just couldn't wait to get this book!

It was fun, although not as many one lines as the first I think. But the new character and expansion of the setting, it's really getting more and more apparent that you are comfortable with the setting. It was great to see more interaction, both with Theo and Bea, as well as Armand.

I am a fan of this new prince though. Varisto. And there powers were so fascinating! Him being bound to the earth! And his brother having air elementals? Perhaps it throws back to my pagan upbringing but I loved it. Is there any chance of more of him or others from his country?

The Dryad and the ship were such great humor aspects. The fact that she knew everything going on was such a kicker. I loved her line when Danielle was asking about the ship, and the captain answered "It was a big tree." I laughed so hard the people at the restaurant were looking at me.

Now that I have stayed up four hours past my usual bed time, becasue I simply COULDN'T go to bed without knowing how it all turned out, I just want to thank you. The books have been a joy to read, and what ever you do with the characters I have faith it will do great, and I shall run out and buy the next book ASAP.

So that's a hint to write it quickly ^_~
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 2nd, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
Lirea is very much an anagram of Ariel. Posannes, on the other hand, was a made-up name. I was doing a lot of reading about various mermaid-type stories and mythology at the time, and I suspect I had come across Oannes and this influenced the name. But it wasn't a deliberate play on any particular name(s) the way Lirea's was.
( 52 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines


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