Book Review: A Disney Prince Novel – “Prince of Song & Sea” Gives Prince Eric His Own Curse to Break

With the exception of Aladdin, male leads in a Disney Princess story aren’t typically all that thrilling. I mean, there’s a reason we all laughed during the song the princes sang in the Disney+ Day Simpsons short Welcome to the Club, which was pretty spot-on. They’re often just handsome plot devices through which the heroine’s dream can come true. While the animated classics they originated from won’t be changed, Disney Press seeks to make these characters more exciting through a new series centered around Disney Princes. The first in the “A Disney Prince Novel” series was released today, titled Prince of Song & Sea by Linsey Miller.



More than just The Little Mermaid from a different point of view, Prince of Song & Sea adds its own twist to Prince Eric’s story through a curse that was placed on him as a child. His mother, Queen Eleanora, upset an evil witch when he was born. In retaliation, she cursed baby Eric with the threat of death if he ever kisses anyone other than his true love. With his mother no longer beside him and a fast approaching coronation, Eric is under pressure to find a bride to secure the future of his kingdom Vellona, but a wedding day kiss could prove fatal if he doesn’t find someone who matches the witch’s description – a girl with a voice as pure as her heart.

Aimed at readers ages 12 and up, Prince of Song & Sea expands Prince Eric’s world beyond his dog Max, his majordomo Grimsby, and his head of household Carlotta. It introduces a trio of friends, plus a pirate-turned-confidant for this curse-breaking adventure. Set during the events of The Little Mermaid, Eric’s pressure to undo his curse is also complicated by the arrival of a mysterious redhaired girl who can’t talk whom Eric develops feelings for, despite the fact that she couldn’t possibly be his true love since she lacks the ability to sing…

Linsey Miller crafts a novel that makes Prince Eric’s story more relevant to a modern teenage reader. She subtly uses non-gender-specific wording when characters in Eric’s sphere talk about love, and uses they/them pronouns when talking about the pirate Sauer. Ariel was always an inquisitive and take-charge character, which is consistently carried over through part of Eric’s adventure that she joins him for. Diehard fans of The Little Mermaid will have to look past a few moments of contradiction with the film, such as Eric’s attempt at a near-fatal kiss with Ariel during a romantic boat ride, or Ursula’s magic shell not hypnotizing him right away when she appears on the shore singing to him as Vanessa. Speaking of Ursula, the book does a not-so-great job of trying to keep the identity of the witch who cursed Eric a secret. And then it misses the chance to have a meaningful moment between two of Ursula’s victims who found each other because of the sea witch’s meddling, skipping right from her demise to their wedding (although another modernization is a coda that sets their nuptials about two years later).

Overall, I did enjoy Prince of Song & Sea. Whether you’re a general Disney fan or just can’t get enough of The Little Mermaid, it expands this world with a story that reframes the film from the perspective of Prince Eric. It also offers a glimpse at what’s to come in this new Disney Prince Novel series. And while it’s not yet known which prince will be the next one featured, it does make a casual reference to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

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Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).