Author: Liz Braswell
What if Ariel had never defeated Ursula?
It’s been five years since the infamous sea witch defeated the little mermaid… and took King Triton’s life in the process. Ariel is now the voiceless queen of Atlantica, while Ursula runs Prince Eric’s kingdom on land. But when Ariel discovers that her father might still be alive, she finds herself returning to a world–and a prince–she never imagined she would see again.
Part of Your World is the fifth novel in the Twisted Tales series and my sixth one that I have completed. This story follows the events of Disney’s The Little Mermaid where Ariel does not stop the wedding of Vanessa (Ursula) and Prince Eric (still under Ursula’s spell) and King Triton still trades himself to be Ursula’s prisoner instead of Ariel. Instead, Ariel returns to the sea defeated as she still does not have her voice and she has now lost her father and love. The main story takes place five years later where Ariel has become the acting Queen of Atlantica in Triton’s absence. Eric and Vanessa are married and rule the kingdom, although Eric cannot get Ariel’s song out of his head and becomes a composer as a result.
The story begins with Ariel as Queen where rumors reach her that Eric may be starting to remember her, and Triton might not be dead as everyone thought. This begins the chain of events where Ariel is determined to rescue her father and defeat Ursula once and for all. On land, Ursula has tasted power as Princess and is determined to now expand her kingdom to take over the surrounding ones. The novel follows Ariel on her quest which is easier said than done. Throughout the story, Ariel reflects on her decisions from the past and tries to learn from them to not make them again.
For the characters themselves, they resemble the versions from the Disney movies and musical, but there are many differences. As many years have passed, there were things that did not make a lot of sense, such as the reasons for Ariel not trying to defeat Ursula before. There is some discussion about this, but I did not connect with it as, for me, nothing made sense. Ariel is more jaded as she has spent the last five years defeated and acting as ruler when her heart is not fully in it. Now Eric was difficult as he was written a lot more airhead-y compared to the version readers are familiar with. While his character was never perfect, the way he uses “baby talk” with Max did not work at all for me as his relationship with Max is well established in each version. Usually, I do not fixate a lot on overused phrases in stories, however, “Queen of the Sea” was extremely overdone for me. It was used constantly either in conversation or the narrative and seemed very out of place many times.
Overall, the actual concept of this story was excellent as I love the idea of seeing what would happen if the wedding was never stopped by Ariel. Unfortunately, many of the core traits about the characters are lost. Ursula being the ruler on land did not work as her songs and plan all point to her taking over the sea. Ariel has the trident but does not use it most of the time and Eric does not live up to his potential to be useful in defeating Ursula. The novel itself is a very fast read as the 400ish pages go by very fast and the story kept me interested from start to finish; however, it just did not work for me. While some of the other novels in the series had their flaws, the characters, at least, felt similar to their established versions. In this novel, unfortunately, I could not see these characters as being a variation of their known versions. I liked that I completed this novel and plan to read more from the series, but I do not believe I will revisit this novel in the future.