Mermaid, The Iron Wyrm Affair, and Dreams Underfoot

NEW: MERMAID: A TWIST ON THE CLASSIC TALE by Carolyn Turgeon (Crown, March 2012)

Princess Margrethe has been hidden away while her kingdom is at war. One gloomy, windswept morning, as she stands in a convent garden overlooking the icy sea, she witnesses a miracle: a glittering mermaid emerging from the waves, a nearly drowned man in her arms. By the time Margrethe reaches the shore, the mermaid has disappeared into the sea. As Margrethe nurses the handsome stranger back to health, she learns that not only is he a prince, he is also the son of her father’s greatest rival. Sure that the mermaid brought this man to her for a reason, Margrethe devises a plan to bring peace to her kingdom.

Meanwhile, the mermaid princess Lenia longs to return to the human man she carried to safety. She is willing to trade her home, her voice, and even her health for legs and the chance to win his heart…

A surprising take on the classic tale, Mermaid is the story of two women with everything to lose. It will make you think twice about the fairy tale you heard as a child, keeping you in suspense until the very last page.

Carolyn Turgeon is setting herself up to be a queen of fairy tales twisted. In 2009 she gave us Cinderella’s fairy godmother’s perspective in Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story. Contrary to the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, in Hans Christian Andersen‘s much darker original fairy tale it is not the mermaid with legs who wins the prince, but a human woman who, it seems, could not possibly deserve the prince as much as our heroine. In both the Disney version of The Little Mermaid (1988) and Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale of the same title (1837), our heroine mermaid trades her fishtail for legs. But Andersen’s much darker, life’s-neither-fair-nor-pretty denouement gives the prince to a human woman who could not possibly deserve a happy ending.

In Mermaid, Turgeon shines the spotlight on this other woman, giving her a name: Margarethe (there are no names in the original). For nearly 200 years we were all quick to vilify her for leading our heroine to die of a broken heart. But Turgeon rides that Margarethe does this unknowingly into a well-fleshed out alternate telling. Sharing prospectives with the little mermaid herself (named Lenia in Turgeon’s tale), we lose none of the magical fantasy of the original story. Community reviewer on Goodreads Chelsea agreed, “Mermaid was just about the most perfect re-telling of a classic story I have ever read.”

If mermaids are one of your favorite Fantastic creatures, Turgeon’s is sure to deliver for you. She launched a mermaid blog last year which is packed full of interviews with and articles about the mermaid fan community, from mermaid cosplayers to makers of waterproof mermaid makeup, and she worked with Faerie Magazine to launch a special Mermaids edition. Community reviewer on Goodreads Bonnie confirmed, “One of my favorite fairy tales has always been The Little Mermaid… Whenever I read a re-telling, it always tends to follow the Disney route, complete with a happily ever after. I was enamored with the way Turgeon takes Lenia down the sadder path.”

An excerpt of Mermaid is available on the publisher website. Order it from these popular booksellers:


SOON: THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR by Lilith Saintcrow (Oribit, August 2012)

Emma Bannon, Prime sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn’t much help that they dislike each other, or that Bannon’s Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen. In an alternate London where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs.

The game is afoot…

We at FairyRoom love Sherlock Holmes, (more on Arthur Conan Doyle’s fairy history coming soon!) and what could be better than recreating that classic detective-and-assistant pairing in a magical steampunk London with Watson as a powerful sorceress?

 Goodreads community reviewer Michelle said, “A really well done, exciting new mystery/steampunk series! …Loved it! Emma is bad-ass lady!” Sounds awesome. We’ll be back with more information when the book comes out.

DON’T MISS THIS: The author is giving away a copy of The Iron Wyrm Affair on Goodreads right now. Hurry up and enter to win because the giveaway ends tomorrow, June 20.

We can’t find an excerpt for The Iron Wyrm Affair yet. Do you know of one? Let us know and we’ll add in the link! Look for this book on August 7 or preorder:


CLASSIC: DREAMS UNDERFOOT, Book One of Newford series by Charles de Lint (Tom Doherty Associates, 1993)

Welcome to Newford… Welcome to the music clubs, the waterfront, the alleyways where ancient myths and magic spill into the modern world. Come meet Jilly, painting wonders in the rough city streets; and Geordie, playing fiddle while he dreams of a ghost; and the Angel of Grasso Street gathering the fey and the wild and the poor and the lost. Gemmins live in abandoned cars and skells traverse the tunnels below, while mermaids swim in the grey harbor waters and fill the cold night with their song.

Like Mark Helprin’s A Winter’s Tale and John Crowley’s Little, Big, Dreams Underfoot is a must-read book not only for fans of urban fantasy but for all who seek magic in everyday life.

If the many names brought up in the synopsis didn’t clue you in, this isn’t a novel, but a collection of short stories all set in De Lint’s fictional North American city of Newford, home to fairies, mermaids, ghosts, goblins, Bigfoot, and dozens of other Fantastic creatures. Goodreads community reviewer Jammies said, “This book just sings to me—I love the sparse, clean prose; the engaging, three-dimensional characters; the twisted but familiar storylines and the city of Newford.” Another reader reviewer, Dennis, agreed, “This was possibly the best book of short stories I’ve read. De Lint captures the magical and fantastic both in everyday life and where it intersects everyday life.”

The easiest way to start reading this book is to Look Inside on Amazon. Order Dreams Underfoot from these popular booksellers (only print versions available):

Tell us about which New, Soon, and Classic Fantastic books you’re excited about. We want to include them on FairyRoom!