Okay, first of all who the heck is D.G. Valdron?!
About the Author
Den Valdron, is a reclusive writer, originally from New Brunswick, currently living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Over the years, he has published in print and online a variety of short stories of speculative fiction, and articles on obscure pop culture topics. Like many writers, his previous occupations have included mechanic, carpenter, schoolteacher, journalist and ditch-digger. He is currently an aboriginal rights lawyer. He loves B-movies and tries to be nice to people. The Mermaid’s Tale is his first published novel.
I know we usually see the “About the Author” bit at the end of a book and/or review but I wanted to put it first in my review today. Why? Because I want to hear more from this author soon!
D.G. Valdron’s The Mermaid’s Tale feels like a new and fresh experience in the fantasy genre. It features all the species that fantasy lovers are used to and some we don’t get to see often; vampires, orcs, giants, trolls, hobgoblins, goblins, dwarves, selkies, mermaids… But these species are not cut from the same cloth we are used to and this time we are reading it from the POV of a female “arukh.” How frickin’ fantastic is that?!
What is an “arukh” you ask? Well, it’s another word for orc, defined here as a mixed breed, a cross between a vampire and a goblin, and these arukh do not have names. Arukh is what they are! The different species fall into levels in society and the arukh are at the bottom of the totem pole, known as soulless abominations. The arukh life is one of brutality, often at its own hands. They are a very violent species, full of anger and hatred at all things, which can come in very useful. The dominant species see them as tools for the dirty work. After all, they aren’t afraid of anything, they are mad, bad and dangerous to be around.
The female arukh in question has been summoned to the waterside where the mermaids reside. One of the mermaids has been butchered in a brutal fashion and this particular arukh is known for her smarts in these matters. As the arukh works to unravel this murder mystery, we follow along with her and learn more about this crazy world of hers.
Make no mistake; The Mermaid’s Tale does contain violence and graphic sexual situations. This is a dark world, one of danger on all sides, teetering on the brink of a war between the species. It’s also balanced with some hilarious banter with mermaids regarding sex and general playfulness. The arukh’s interactions are captivating and her journey of self-discovery makes this one of the best books I’ve read this year. So yes, I am definitely looking forward to reading more from this author!
I want to thank the publisher (Five Rivers Publishing) for providing me with the ARC through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program for an honest review.