So, we have a sister who is ruler, a brother who is newly minted to adulthood, a not so above board uncle who wants power, Feys, and lovers of different kinds. And Goblins. And Gremlins. Here we go…
Published on Dec 11th, 2013
Categorized as Gay Romance with themes of Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Erotica
Three out of Five Stars
From the Publisher:
Princess Citlali and her brother Taima discover that while someone can appear attractive on the outside, they may hide a heart of pure evil. Equally, Taima also finds that a rough and gruff appearance can house a love beyond anything he may have imagined.
When Taima is kidnapped it will take all of Citlali’s strength, and that of those who love her and Taima, to face and defeat a deadly foe. One who killed before, and will not hesitate to do so again.
A Fantasy World for Many…
The story starts out focusing on Citlali, the sister, who has inherited control of her family’s realm after she and her brother’s (Taima) parents died. She and her part of this story are the focus for nearly the first half of the book. More on that later.
Most of the story is told in an objective third person, but then there are italicized inner thoughts told in first person, sometimes in the same paragraph. This can work in some cases, but here, for me, it was a distraction. Many times the italicized first person thoughts were repetitious of the general narrative and therefore lessened what we had just been told or were about to be told. It was almost like statement of the obvious? They didn’t feel necessary. At some points, I skipped those few lines just to see what would happen and, for me, the story had a better flow without them. I tried to figure out what the author was going for with this style but I was unable to. For me, the story was much stronger without them and I was able to gain the writer’s rhythm.
The first half of the story focuses on the sister, as I said, and her struggle to keep power as the new leader, especially with this dastardly Uncle Lonato doing his best to wrest it from her. Funny thing is, he’s easily one of the more interesting characters in this book, more so than Citlali. I won’t give away how, but she ends up in the hands of those whom she had been previously told were her enemy but may not actually be. This is where she meets Lord Armand and gets all weak in the knees for him. Yup. Insta-love case #1.
Early on, due to the detail, the character names, the overly dramatic reactions and this use of the two different POV’s for single character narratives, I kept having the thought that this would make a much better graphic novel. The dialogue and writing are simple in a way that would completely work in that type of presentation. All of the colors and physical descriptions of places and such would totally lend themselves to wonderful drawings with less written word, which could tighten up the story as a whole. This is meant as a compliment, a good thing. So if you don’t like or read graphic novels, don’t take this as a negative.
I figured out early on who the ‘bad guy’ is, as well as an important event that affects Taima.
Speaking of, let’s get to Taima, whom I think is meant to be the main character of this story… I think. He is mentioned and has a few lines here and there, but not much page time at all until the second half of the book. His arc stars when he decides to ignore Uncle Lonato’s seemingly relaxed reaction to Citlali having gone missing and make his way after and to rescue her. Unfortunately, I didn’t really connect with Taima. He suffered the same fate as Citlali in my reader experience with this story. Not even after he meets Hanne, the healer man-like being that would steal his heart within a day, did I really feel much for him. These two represent Insta-love case #2.
Staying on characters a bit, another one that did intrigue me was Muraco. He is a trusted ally, a friend, a captain for Citlali and he was written with a dash of hero, some good humor and grounded wisdom. I liked him. More Muraco, if you please. The funny thing is, he could technically represent Insta-love case #3, but his works. The young house servant, Kai, who is assigned to help him while he heals (he’s gravely injured during events leading to their arrival at Lord Armand’s castle) quickly capture’s Muraco’s eye, and the feeling is mutual. This connection is written well, with subtlety and sweetness, which makes for a nice contrast for a quiet hero type mutually falling for a just as quietly possessive servant. All very worthy.
Points do need to be given for wanting to mix M/F with M/M as far as the romantic storylines go, it’s a legit story choice that isn’t done too often. I know some don’t want any M/F mixed in with their M/M, but I feel it can be done if the M/F plays a minor role and the sex if off-page. The problem in this story was making the M/F the focus and first half of the book
As you can see, there are some good things about this story, even if it’s not the usually obvious inclusions. Some of the characters are shown with intriguing traits and there is a good level of creativity in the details of this fantasy world. Also: tails, just saying, and… other things that some would maybe have a ‘squee’ moment over. Unfortunately, this moment and these other aspects are overrun by the large number of characters to keep track of, including those mains that didn’t quite grab me.
So, here it is: a fantasy world, with humans and non, a sister and brother fighting against an uncle who wants what’s theirs for his own, insta-love with chemistry that doesn’t quiet explode, and fun detail that would have a grand life as a graphic novel. Note: the focus of that should be characters like Captain Cool-Love Muraco and Lord Dastardly Snark Himself, Lonato. Go this route and you would have a winner, winner, chicken dinner on your hands.
I would like to thank Wilde City Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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