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Kagama -The Literaturevixen

I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.





Heart of the Kraken (Tales from Darjee) (Volume 1) - A.W. Exley

Heart of the Kraken (Tales from Darjee) (Volume 1) - A W Exley


 Ailin doesn't care if the legend is true or not - she's stuck in a crate on her way to feature as the main course at a lavish banquet. Her heart to be served while still beating for a cruel noble while the rest of her is sliced into sashimi. Unless she can escape.
Across the ocean, Fenton longs for a different release. Sold as a child by men who labelled him a mistake, a failed experiment. Except he has one valuable skill, he can summon the dreaded kraken. Bought by a pirate, he has only known life at sea, wielded as a tool by the captain.

Two lives collide when the pirates capture the vessel holding Ailin. The kraken holds the key to Ailin's freedom but in summoning the beast one last time, Fenton must choose between losing his life or his heart…



Fenton is a product of the ore-mancers,who with their dark powers can meld human flesh and metal. But in his case their experimenting to merge a human with a kraken didnt turn out as planned and he was deemed a failure. As a child he was bought by the vicious pirate captain Reis who captains the Razors Edge.


Fearful of his powers to call the Kraken the cutthroat crew barely tolerates him except for his fellow victim of the oremancers craft, Timmy the boy with a spyglass fused into his empty eye socket.


All sailors feared when the demon would rise from the darkness far below and tear apart friend and foe alike. Fenton feared the void the kraken created inside him. He had to touch its dark mind to control the monster's

path and relay the captain's instructions. Only Fenton could control the kraken, and the captain controlled Fenton and he hated them both for it.



The Razors Edge happens on a small vessel after the carnage is over its revealed to be a research ship sent out on orders of the ruler of Darjee to bring back a precious but unusual cargo...


Pale fingers wrapped around the edge and the body sat upright. Water streamed from long black hair and plastered it around head, shoulders and chest..

A mermaid.


It is said that whoever consumes the still beating heart of a mearmaid will be able to know the mind and secrets of all men. A power the wicked and cruel Lady Alise would very much like to posess.


"She's going to eat her heart," Fenton said. He had heard the rumours, you didn't spend a lifetime at sea without hearing every marine-related story that abounded. He was simply better at remembering than most of the crew who had been hit one too many times in the head with a plank.


"Consume the heart of a mermaid and you know the secrets of all men."


Realizing they are sitting on a goldmine if they were to bring her what she covets instead of the scientist crew. They take the caged mermaid and set sails for the Island of Illusion.


Fenton is drawn to the mermaid, who he learns is named Ailin at first from pity for her,then fascination and finally love. Even if Reis ridicules him and says the mermaids sirens ways is rotting his brain.

Ailin has been trapped in the stifling dark coffin for what feels like an eternity but this landwalker opens her cage and treats her with respect. She is unable to read him as she can others and his affinity with the kraken is strange to her as its a creature to be feared but Fenton is anything but that. Soon her feelings starts to mirror his.


He wants to free her but as long as Reis is his jailer he cant leave or disobey his commands.


This book did have a twist that I didnt expect but probably should have guessed at by the hints that were dropped but I didnt.


But here is the thing that I have to mention this book feels very derivative of Pirates of Carribean movies 3 and 4, and also towards the a scene made me think of Disneys the Little Mermaid. I wont tell you what but it struck me as very similar as something that happens towards the end of that film.


I havent read anything by this author Before but I am aware of her other bookseries and expected this to be dark and this is very much a dark fantasy with some steampunk esthetics Its a grimy and gritty world


The oremancers what we learn about them is enough to give you the creeps.When someone is disabled in someway danaged they are given over to the oremancers to be "fixed". We also hear something of the Lady Alise,ruler of Darjee nothing wich makes me think good things of her even if she doesnt show up in person.


Even the way the characters are described reminds me of Philip and Syrena.



The writing and dialogue has a quality that makes you feel a bit detached from the story.There is a formal quality to the dialogue that brings to mind like watching a movie.



I loved the ending...it was very beautiful.


So in the end I feel a bit torn. Should I judge it on the fact that it reminds me too much of another piece of fiction and has its weak bits or should I ignore that and just give it a good rating?


Ive decide to go with the latter. If you are in mood for a romance with mermaids,pirates and dark steampunkery be sure to pick this one up.