Review: Priddy’s Tale by Harper Fox

Priddy's Tale by Harper FoxRating: 5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

I must hang my head in shame to admit how long this novel, Priddy’s Tale by Harper Fox, has been on my To Be Read (TBR) list—suffice it to say it has been way too long. I am a huge fan of this author’s work and this one, a tale of merman and the sea, is a bit of a departure for her, but a beautiful novel nonetheless.

Jem Priddy has lived a life few would ever want. With a legacy as a “Priddy” whose worthless, “never managing to amount to too much” lives cast a shadow over everyone who carries the name, Jem comes from a long line of less than savory characters. His own father is a drunken cheat who took out his anger and his taste for drink on poor Jem as he was growing up and so it makes sense that as this story opens we discover how Jem has barely survived a drunken, drugged bender leaving him with memory gaps and so much more. Jem is lost, afloat in many ways, and his best friend Kit is moving on, now at university and building a life that Jem can only wish for but never have.

challenge month 2017 copyAlone and trying to survive, Jem takes on the job of lighthouse keeper and tries his best just to put one foot in front of the other most days. He is a recovering addict and, as such, knows that the only way he can move forward is to lock himself away from the temptation that drink and drugs has for him or most assuredly lose his life the next time he indulges. There are still moments when he feels thrown back into that horrible night where hallucinations took on the edge of horrific nightmares and Kit was the sole reason he survived. So when Jem sees a man drowning in the sea, he naturally calls the rescue guard and goes into the water to help him. Little does he realize that it is he who will be ultimately saved and that his life is about to change forever.

I have read a few merman tales before and never have I fallen in love with the sea nearly as much as with this novel. Harper Fox has that rare ability to craft an entire world out of words—building the sights and sounds of the sea right before your eyes and drawing you into its mysteries and beauty. Her merman, Merou, is not only physically gorgeous, but mischievous and sexy as well. But it is his vulnerability that captures your imagination and heart—just as he does Jems’.

Jem is so broken and needy, yet there is within him a resilience that is staggering to behold in its truth. He has battled his demons all his life, both real and imagined, and when he is offered love he grasps at it like the dying man he has become. Merou and Jem together are breathtaking and entrancing. The story is carefully woven and captivating and kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed Priddy’s Tale by Harper Fox and encourage you to grab a copy of your own but don’t let it lay on your TBR list, read it today!

This review is part of our Reading Challenge Month for TBR Pile Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win a fabulous prize from NineStar Press. Four lucky winners will each receive a $25 NineStar Press gift card. Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press (a loaded Kindle fire filled with DSP books!). You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on TBR Pile Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!

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  1. This sounds heartrending at times, but appealingly multifaceted and lovely! (And the whole merman/selkie realm sounds good lately for some reason…)

  2. I’ve seen this title/cover floating around for eons now and I had no idea it involved a merman!

  3. Another one I have alreday read – I do enjoy Harper Fox’s stories but I too was a bit hesitant to start – maybe not quite a 5* for me but definitely a 4.5+ and in my reread pile!!
    I liked the mix of Cornish folklore, salutary lessons, humour, fantasy and a love story – all told with Harper Fox’s trademark prose. 
    Priddy’s back story, as it is gradually revealed, made me sad and mad.
    Merou was fun and good for Priddy though at one point I did wonder if he would disappear on us.
    I appreciated the Afterword and then went back to read the foreword again – glad that all worked out.

  4. Thanks for your review. I’ve only read a short of Harper Fox’s in an anthology however I’ve got several others on my wishlist & I’ve heard a lot of great things about this author so I’ve added this as well.

  5. I’ve only read Life After Joe, so I would like to read more by this author. The reveiw sounds wonderful; worldbuilding is a big thing for me, especially with fantasy/paranormal/sci-fi books.

    • I love Harper Fox and she does an amazing job with setting, even in her contemporaries. Personally, my favorite is her middle ages Brothers of the Wild North Sea. Totally amazing. And if you like contemporary, I loved Cold Fusion as well.

      • That’s my favorite, too! Just hearing the title makes me want to reread it. But, no, reading challenge month plus dirty looks from the rest of my tbr will keep me focused. 😉

  6. I’ve always really liked Harper’s Fox but hadn’t heard of this latest! Excited ot read.

  7. Bronwyn Heeley says:

    I’ve never heard of this book before. I love a good mermaid or merman story so I’m going to have to chance it up 😀 

  8. Theresa Brooks says:

    Harper Fox has always been a must buy for me. Have all of her books and am waiting for “Driftwood” to make to audio book.

  9. I really have to be in the RIGHT mood to read any Harper Fox’s books. It tends to be NOT fluffy *lol*. Thanks for the review.

  10. I’ve read and enjoyed several other Harper Fox books but hadn’t really been aware of this title. I haven’t read many merman tales (no pun!), but this sounds quite enticing. Thanks for the review, Sammy. I’ve downloaded a sample.

  11. I have a couple of Harper’s books, A Midwinter Prince & Cold Fusion, but I haven’t really been able to get into either of them. I really want to enjoy her books because everyone seems to love her, but…
    The review makes this one sound like one I would enjoy but I feel like I should read the ones I have first, maybe?

  12. Thank you for the review. I’ve tried listening to the audio book for one of Harper Fox books and I didn’t finish it, I didn’t even get halfway before I decided to move on. This one sounds a bit dark but I do like stories with dark elements and I’ve never been shy of stories that involve the psyche.

  13. I love merman tales! I have had this in my tbrl since it was released, I’m going to move it on top. I’ve read this author before so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

  14. Thanks for your review! I love Harper Fox’s stories and I have this one on my Kindle. I don’t know how I haven’t read it yet but I’m going to fix that!

  15. I adore everything I’ve read of Harper’s. I haven’t read it all (including this one) and I’m glad because it means I still have Harper Fox stories and that’s a good thing. I’m glad this was such a great read for you, and when I get to it, I know I’ll be able to say the same. She just released When First I Met My King for preorder and I think that’s going to be one I don’t wait on.

  16. I have read some books of Harper Fox and liked them very much. This book is still on my wishlist and I don’t know when I will have time. But she is a really great writer and I want to read every book of her!

  17. I have not read a Harper Fox book or a merman book. I’m glad Ami commented that its not fluffy. I want to give it a try but I’ll make sure I’m in the right mood

  18. Thank you for your review. I haven’t read a Merman book yet but your review definitely has me intrigued.

  19. Another push towards reading Harper Fox. I just wish the books weren’t so expensive.

  20. I’ve loved every Harper Fox story I’ve read, but am way behind, and also hadn’t realised this had a merman in it. Added it to my wishlist. Thanks!

  21. Purple Reader says:

    Thanks for the good review, Sammy. I like Walker, and for this how she sets up the MC and the entrance on the merman. I also like the ocean and to hear how Walker can transport me to the shore is good too.

  22. Thanks, Sammy, I’ve downloaded a sample that I’ll tackle after challenge month. I’ve seen this book around for a while, but I think I read the blurb and thought “Merman? Meh.” The cover and the title didn’t draw me in either. But sometimes these books you think you’re not in the mood for really surprise you. I’m currently reading C.B. Lee’s “Not Your Sidekick” about a regular teenager with superhero parents. It’s quite enchanting. I’m not going to be able to finish it before the challenge week ends, but I’m enjoying it so much, I don’t care!

  23. Great review, and I’ve never read anything by Harper Fox so maybe I’ll try to read this for the New To Me author week. I’ve never read a merman story, so I’m intrigued by that aspect.

  24. Karen Chichester says:

    I need to read this!

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