“Part of Your World: A Twisted Tale” by Liz Braswell is now available. This alternate universe take on the classic “Little Mermaid” is part of a series of Twisted Tales that reimagine a darker conclusion to the most iconic Disney stories. Braswell’s take is unique and gripping, preserving and extending the characters’ quirks to imagine how they would populate a dystopian timeline.
“Part of Your World” picks up with the conquering of far flung peoples in the names of Prince Eric and Princess Vanessa of Tirulia. It is revealed that after the fall of King Triton, Prince Eric married Ursula, disguised as Vanessa, and Ariel returned to the kingdom of Atlantica, voiceless and defeated. Meanwhile, Prince Eric has forgotten the events surrounding his marriage and now composes operas that echo his lost memories. After Scuttle discovers that Triton may still be alive, Ariel ventures back on land to set things right.
The young adult love story make this dark fairy tale more of a beach read. The novel makes the familiar teen romance beats feel fresh by introducing barriers like Ariel’s muteness, Eric’s memory loss (and general dopiness), and Ursula’s deviousness. While the story is mostly told from Ariel’s point of view, other characters periodically take over the narrative to round out the story.
Despite being nearly 500 pages and having a rather dour premise, “Part of Your World” is a breezy read that goes down easy and has a uniquely open ended conclusion that could extend into another installment. During the Halloween season of witches, Braswell’s “Part of Your World” satisfies the witch itch with a refreshing twist.