5 Books Inspired By The Little Mermaid Fairy Tale

You don’t have to dive under the sea to find a list of stories inspired by ‘The Little Mermaid’! You just have to check out this list!

The Little Mermaid, originally penned by Hans Christian Anderson, is the tale of a mermaid who falls in love with a human prince. She gives up her voice in order to live with him on land, and she also must live with the anguish that walking on two human legs brings her–the very sensation that the text describes as walking on knives. The Little Mermaid doesn’t end up living happily ever after with the prince in the original story, but there are many instances in which this story has been adapted and given a different ending, and there are several that remain faithful to its bittersweet conclusion.

So here are five books inspired by The Little Mermaid. 

1. “to kill a kingdom”


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To Kill A Kingdom, written by Alexandra Christo, follows the siren princess Lira. She is a lethal being who has the hearts of seventeen princes to prove it. When Lira kills a siren, she is punished by being stripped of her voice and turned into a human. She now has until the winter solstice to deliver the heart of a human prince to the Sea Queen. If she doesn’t, she will be trapped in her human form forever… did I mention that the prince in question is a siren hunter? I didn’t? Well… yeah. Lira may have a bigger challenge ahead of her than she originally anticipated.


2. “midnight pearls”


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Debbie Viguié has written several stories that take inspiration from fairy tales. Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of The Little Mermaid, takes place in a tiny fishing village. Pearl is rescued by a fisherman and his wife as a baby, and she is raised by the two into a young woman with silver hair. She befriends Prince James, and their friendship, though secret, is a source of great comfort for the two. Yet the royal family is enmeshed in a conspiracy that couples itself with a curse from the sea’s depths. The two friends will find their relationship tested when Pearl’s past surfaces.


3. “sirena”

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I read this book years ago, and I never connected that this is a retelling of The Little Mermaid set with Greek mythology as its backdrop. Sirenaby Donna Jo Napoli, follows the titular main character. Sirena and her sisters are responsible for lulling several sailors to their deaths. However, in one of these shipwrecks, there is a survivor, and Sirena doesn’t want him to die. In defiance of the goddess Hera, Sirena saves Philoctetes and brings him to an island to recover. There, they form a relationship together, but the question always remains: is this love based on true affection, or is it based on Sirena’s bewitching song?



4. “drown”

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Esther Dalseno presents us with a very unique image of The Little Mermaid with her own story DrownHaving grown up amongst a group of beings who were more animal than human, the little mermaid in this tale flees to seek out a different path. She heads to the ocean’s surface, and she finds a palace made of glass and limestone… and a prince. She seeks out a sea witch so that she may join the prince on land, but as she pursues this, a virus starts to wreak havoc on the merfolk race. Though she may wish to live with her prince, the mermaid is now forced to choose between her love and the people she grew up with.


5. “The surface breaks”

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Louise O’Neill‘s story promises a tantalizing read. The Surface Breaks follows Gaia, a young mermaid who has grown up off the coast of Ireland under the watch of an extremely controlling father. She is drawn to a human boy upon her first visit to the ocean’s surface, and her story becomes a question of what she will risk to walk amongst humans. This is a retelling on The Little Mermaid via a feminist lens, and it most certainly draws a great deal of interest.


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