Fantasy, Romance - novel
TBR Reviewer: Daniella
This story begins with King Oryan being attacked by his wizard brother Haerold. The Queen is killed during the attack, but Oryan and his son Gawain manage to get away with the aid of the Fairy Queen Kyri and her people. With the King is his closest man and friend, The High Marshall, Morgan. In order to keep Gawain safe, he is sent away with a guardian. Kyri and Morgan work together to raise rebel forces and help Oryan get his crown back. This is an epic fantasy romance, where we follow Kyri and Morgan in their battles against Haerold and his men. They fall in love as they are working together and fight for their love in a time when duty calls and time for a relationship is hard to find.
I want to start by saying that I really enjoyed the story and I did read it in pretty much one sitting. Kyri and Morgan are great together, with just the right amount of love and lust. Was it the best fantasy I ever read? No. Was it the worst I ever read? Far from. Was it a good romance? Oh yeah!
The story is based on a plot that has been done many times in the genre, but it had certain parts and characters that made it original enough. Even though the focus is on Morgan and Kyri, there are a lot of other characters, both human and fairy that bring a lot to the story. You can really feel the camaraderie between the King and his men. The Fairy is a fun and cheeky people with a mischievous side.
The first half of the story was a little slow with a lot of repetition. Attack by bad guys, Morgan is hurt and saved by Kyri. Attack by bad guys, Kyri is hurt and saved by Morgan. The second half of the story is where it picks up and there is more action, both in the war and in the love story.
As a romance (in a fantasy setting) this story had a lot more going for it than as a fantasy (with romance). I liked Kyri and Morgan together and how deep their love for each other went. They had ups and downs, had to make some hard decisions, but came out strong in the end. For the fantasy part I would have liked a little more. The fairy and their lore were pretty well developed, but the wizardry and the place for magic in the world did not feel developed at all. Also I lacked any insight in Haerold´s thinking and person. I like when the enemy is
as well developed as the main characters. Haerold was mostly the “power hungry, evil brother who beats down on all his people”-stereotype, while on the good side everyone was noble with a heart of gold (luckily, there were a few exceptions). I would also have loved to follow Gawain's journey, learning about his new life and abilities as he comes back from exile.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to read a light epic fantasy with a good romance baked into it.
Ahead of them they heard the sounds of fighting.
Oryan swore. “Whatever happens, they must not take Gawain.”
All of them knew it. If Oryan’s line was to survive the boy was their only hope. All of them knew of Haerold, the rumors and the truths—which were far darker.
Morgan and his men sprinted ahead in a great flying wedge, Morgan at the lead as the last of the King’s men defending the back servant’s stair fell before the surge of invaders.
In a clash of steel and flesh they came together, Morgan’s Marshals and the intruders, the intruders caught unprepared for the new assault.
No one stopped for even a second nor even paused.
Liliane looked the boy Gawain square in the eyes.
“On my back,” she said, fiercely, “and you stay there. You don’t let go. You hear me?”
The boy nodded and she swung him around behind her, freeing her hands, freeing her swords.
They would have to kill her to get to him.
Swords flashed as Morgan hacked a way through and his people drove into the mass of
fighters, scattering them, cutting through, cutting past. The dark clad invaders fell but they took Armand with them, an ill-timed thrust getting past his guard and armor both.
An invader leaped at Oryan but the King, no slouch with a sword himself, cut the man down on the fly with one quick swipe of his longsword as those of Morgan’s men behind him joined the battle, too.
Then they were past. Not a single invader survived that assault.
Distantly behind them they could hear the sounds of running men coming toward them, boots clattered. There was the crash of doors being kicked in, shouts of frustration
and fury. Searching. Not theirs then.
Pain pierced Oryan’s heart. Gwen? If they had come so far…then she was fallen… Gwenifer!
Grief nearly swallowed him. He knew then his beloved Queen was gone.
They raced up the stairs of the circular tower, desperate to reach the top before Haerold’s men reached them, before his magic found them.
Below on the stair came the sound of battle, the clang and clamor of steel on steel, the grunt and groan of men in combat as Morgan’s men held the door. They hammered the invaders back and back, slammed the door shut and barred it quickly. It wouldn’t hold long.
They burst out into darkness as the wind whipped at their hair, their clothes, as it battered at them.
Far beneath them in the courtyard below, the castle Guard fought a hopeless battle. Steel rang on steel, metal crashed on wood… Light flashed luridly, greenish and unnatural… magic… Men died in the roar of the flames…Shouts, screams and desperate cries filled the air clearly even so high above.
Oryan looked up to the black night sky to find it filled with gossamer wings…
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