Bloom is the shyest and youngest of the four. She is from a family of poor merchants, and she was sold into the harem by her parents.
Marlona is from a wealthy, high-born family. She fancies herself a future queen, despite her choice to accept Prince Tadeas’s invitation to join his harem.
Kiz is the prince’s favorite, coming to the palace all the way from the lesser territories. She has a mysterious past and a harsh, yet honest, demeanor.
Kora has been in the prince’s harem the longest. She has a wild streak and is always looking for the next party.
But all is not well in Mediterrania.
Word comes all the way from the kingdom of Atlantis. The king has sent his youngest daughter across the sea to marry Prince Tadeas as a gift, joining the two kingdoms as they never had before. This would bring good tidings to Mediterrania. They would have an ally for many generations with the union of Prince Tadeas and Princess Katina.
This means exile for the four members of Tadeas’s harem, and he is not happy he is being forced to send them away to marry a mermaid he has never met. The palace is thrown into turmoil as nobody knows what Tadeas will do once the Atlantean princess arrives.
At the crux of all this, Bloom, Marlona, Kiz, and Kora must deal with the changes going on around them. They are seemingly powerless in the current of Tadeas’s betrothal, but none of them want to face exile without a fight.
Kiz has a secret agenda only Bloom knows, and it is one that can send the kingdom into a whirlpool of chaos from which it may never recover. Marlona does not trust her, and she refuses to allow Tadeas to marry another, forsaking her to the lesser territories. Kora does not want the party to end, and fears she has wasted her life in a haze of partying and toxin addiction.
Prince Tadeas and the four mermaids of his harem have the power change the fate of an entire kingdom for better or worse. They just do not know it.
Excerpt from Chapter 1:
King Gamon swam down the main hallway of his palace, looking for his son, Tadeas. He thought he may have to pull him away from some lust-filled tryst between him and one of the mermaids of his harem, but he was pleased to find him swimming back from the main hall. Neither one knew of the orange-haired mermaid who was too scared to move from behind the door, only a dozen or so meters from them.
“Tadeas, my son!” Gamon shouted. “We must speak at once!”
“I am busy, father,” Tadeas said. “Elias is waiting for me just outside the palace walls.”
Gamon sighed. “I know what Elias does,” he said. “Swimming to the surface is against Atlantean law. Doing tricks for humans for a bottle of libation is a more serious law. You cannot protect your friend if he is caught, and I would not be able to protect you either.”
“To the depths with Atlantis,” Tadeas scoffed. “I do not need them or their laws. They should have no concern for Mediterrania and its citizens.”
“Your attitude will doom us all,” Gamon said. “You sound like one of the uneducated rebels who occupy our dungeons, waiting for execution.”
“Why is it that you seek my company?” Tadeas asked. “I doubt it is to insult my friend and remind me of the foolish laws Atlantis holds over our heads.”
“Atlantis is sending an envoy to Mediterrania as we speak,” Gamon replied. “Their purpose is to deliver their princess, Katina. It is King Solon’s hope, as well as my own, that you will accept her as your bride.”
“My bride?!” Tadeas exclaimed. “I did not choose to be waylaid by this princess or your fantasies of a wedding!”
“Calm yourself,” Gamon said. “She is a gift from Atlantis, and you are more than old enough to marry. Refusing their favor will cause great turmoil for us all. It is time to put aside your foolish lusts and send your harem to exile. You will soon meet the mermaid who will be Queen of Mediterrania when I am gone and you are crowned king.”
“You want me to send my harem to exile?!” Tadeas asked, ignoring the rest of his father’s words. “Those four mermaids love me more than any princess ever could. I care not for the favor of the bastard mermen of Atlantis.”
“We would be held over the other kingdoms living in Atlantis’s shadow,” Gamon said. “The Horn, Pacifica, The Tasmans, and all of the smaller territories in the Atlantic. Mediterrania has never had the offer of a bride from Atlantis. Do not put your lust over your fellow mermen.”
Tadeas crossed his arms and turned away from his father. It was the way he argued when he had no good point to make. Gamon had become used to this ever since the prince was young.
“Your harem knew how their short lives in the royal palace would end,” Gamon continued. “The kings of old had their sons’ harems beheaded. Be grateful yours will only face exile. There are decent futures for whores in the lesser territories.”
“Some may be found by the hideous mermen of the Marrows too,” Tadeas said. “You have not even thought of that, father.”
“There are worse fates,” Gamon said. “Hideousness aside, it is said the Marrows treat all of their mermaids as princesses.”
“I am leaving to meet Elias,” Tadeas said, turning away with a look of disgust on his face. “I am through speaking of how you would turn my harem into whores or the wives of Marrows.” He swam toward the palace’s exit.
“We are not finished!” Gamon called, swimming after his son. “This wedding will happen!”
Tadeas ignored his father’s shouts, exiting the palace. Gamon lowered his head after the door was slammed. “You have no idea what you are doing,” he said to the empty hall. “My neglect has spoiled you, and now you cannot even make the smallest of sacrifices for your own kingdom. Dark days lie ahead for my kingdom when my son is crowned king.”
Gamon swam past Bloom as he made his way back toward his throne room and quarters. She knew she had to tell Kiz what she had heard. She turned and hit what felt like a brick wall. She swam backward a couple of meters and looked up at the black face of Sergios.
“Little mermaids should not hide and eavesdrop,” Sergios said in his deep voice.
Bloom moved back further, quaking in fear. She tried hard to get some kind of sentence past her lips, but no sound would emanate. She thought for sure Sergios would execute her for her accidental crime.
“You heard nothing today,” Sergios said. “If you had heard anything; it would be a dire mistake to repeat it. Nod if you understand me, little mermaid.”
Bloom nodded once, not taking her eyes from Sergios’s.
“Swim off now,” Sergios said. “Leave my sight before my mercy lessens.”
Bloom went through the door and swam away from Sergios. She swam into the chamber she shared with the other members of Tadeas’s’ harem, and she was glad to find it empty. She curled up with her fin under her arms and wept.
Read the entire novella here:
Mediterrania on Amazon