Prince of Tricks by Jane Kindred ~ Review by Optimist ♰King’s Wench♰

Really clever idea for a book/series.

princeTitle:  Prince of Tricks (Demons of Elysium #1)

Author:  Jane Kindred

Publisher:  Samhain

Rating:  3.5 out of 5 Stars

From the Publisher

When desire rises, angels will fall. One, by one, by one…

Demons of Elysium, Book 1

Over the past century, Belphagor has made a name for himself in Heaven’s Demon District as a cardsharp, thief, and charming rogue. 

Though the airspirit is content with his own company, he enjoys applying the sweet sting of discipline to a willing backside. Angel, demon, even the occasional human. He’s not particular. Until a hotheaded young firespirit steals his purse—and his heart. Now he’s not sure who owns whom.

A former rent boy and cutpurse from the streets of Raqia, Vasily has never felt safer than in the arms—and at the feet—of the Prince of Tricks. He’s just not sure if Belphagor returns those feelings. There’s only one way to find out, but using a handsome, angelic duke to stir Belphagor’s jealousy backfires on them both.

When the duke frames Vasily for an attempted assassination as part of a revolutionary conspiracy, Belphagor will do whatever it takes to clear his boy’s name and expose the real traitor. Because for the first time in his life, the Prince of Tricks has something to lose.

Product Warnings
Contains erotic sex: m/m, m/m/m, m/m/m/m…oh hell. Let’s just say “mmmmmm!” and be done with it. Also one m/f scene. Smart discipline meted out with a great deal of love and charm. Erotic sex acts requiring copious amounts of elbow grease.

My View

I have a thing about Russia. Don’t ask. Maybe it’s all the fur. Maybe it’s because it’s so enormous. Maybe it’s because they used to have Tsars. Nah. It’s the vodka. I have to respect a country that appreciates vodka as much as the Russians. It’s like a food group!

As you might have guessed, Prince of Tricks has heavy Russian overtones. It’s dedicated to Pussy Riot, set partially in Russia and they refer to Russian as the speech of  “Man”. None of which I realized prior to starting this book. I requested it because… pfft you know why.

What’s clever about a Russian book you ask? Well, the two protagonists, Belphagor and Vasily, are demons. Wait for it. Not only are they demons but they’re elemental demons and former rent boy demons. RENT BOY DEMONS?!?! *nods* IKR? Genius. And who’s appropriating these demon rent boys, you ask? Why angels of course! Little do the angels know that these demons are on a mission and are not averse to using their… ahem, considerable skills to… shall we say, obtain information.

Prince of Tricks has numerous religious and mythological references all of which I enjoyed and felt they were utilized with dexterity. It also struck me as highly political. What I liked about Ms. Kindred’s depiction of Russia is the generosity of the Russian people. Our countries’ governments may be in the midst of yet another cold war, but that doesn’t necessarily extend to the citizens that comprise said countries. I think Ms. Kindred portrayed this sentiment deftly.

After looking at Ms. Kindred’s body of work, I think this series is a spin off of another and am left wondering if more world building of Raqia was done in those. There is some and I was able to glean things from the information provided, but I still have questions.

The story arc left me wanting. I don’t want to give too much away, but the book starts off with an assassination attempt on the principality by a splinter group who’s intent is to “liberate the Fallen” which sputtered when the two MCs fled to Russia. They meet up with two friends of Belphagor and it spiraled into a carnal cornucopia. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the sexy times, I did. A lot. But, the plot became non-existent and I don’t think it ever recovered.

Now, about the sex. Belphagor and Vasily have an intense relationship-Belphagor is the master and Vasily is his property and, a bit of a brat. No one’s being forced to do anything. This isn’t non-con or rape. I’m not opposed to sharing though it’s by no means my favorite fetish, but to each their own. However, I enjoy it much more when the slave understands his place is secure and feels cherished; Vasily doesn’t. Belphagor is still fumbling with his feelings for Vasily and how to articulate them and still doing as he pleases with many, many others while Vasily sinks further  into a vortex of jealousy. Still, they do have some sort of strange magic together and I’m wondering where their journey will take them.

Ms. Kindred is new to me and I very much enjoyed her writing style. She’s very descriptive, imaginative and clearly has a penchant for linguistics. The prose flowed nicely and I was engaged with the characters. There were some words in Russian that I had to look up but for the most part they were translated.

I’m looking forward to book 2 in this series. I’d recommend the Demons of Elysium series to fans of rent boys or celestial beings.

Where to Buy

Samhain

ARe

KOBO

I would like to thank Samhain for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Farewell Giveaway
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,

Brandilyn
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