This book deserves more attention than it has gotten, and I think that maybe some of my friends are missing a good read. I just reread it for the secoThis book deserves more attention than it has gotten, and I think that maybe some of my friends are missing a good read. I just reread it for the second time, and for all these reasons, am inspired to review it.
I really think that Veinglory writes some of the best fantasy m/m around. Of course, those kind of statements say as much about the reader as the writer. It may be in large part because of the type of fantasy I am willing to read (e.g., I don't especially like 'high fantasy'), but certainly it is also because Veinglory is a highly competent writer.
I like her because her fantasy isn't too soft, it isn't too pretty, but then again it doesn't try to pummel you with dark and gore either. Her writing is solid, imaginative, and reads smoothly. I think this was one of her better ones. I found it very easy to get lost in the story, and happily succumbed to the fantasy. The sex is hot, but not overwhelmingly described and doesn't overtake the story. Good balance in here.
Even without the m/m aspect of the story, this is a good read. A prince and his sister struggle to save a town under seige with the help of a magus. Said magus is known for dabbling in the dark arts, and the people of the town--though they depend on him to survive to the next day--also despise and fear him. Everyone except for the prince, that is.
So um, yeah. Maybe it's just that I like dark characters... :)...more
I very much enjoyed this book. It is my second Aedin (the first was Paper Planes) and I'm beginning to think I could make her a regular go-to author.I very much enjoyed this book. It is my second Aedin (the first was Paper Planes) and I'm beginning to think I could make her a regular go-to author. Her writing is solid, her characters are three-dimensional and they behave in ways that make them very human and believable to me. I also think she is quite good at weaving story elements together.
I nearly didn't read this because the reviews to date warned me off. I'm glad I took a chance. Because with absolute respect to other reviewers, I felt as though we read slightly different books. To me, this was a better read than Paper Planes (PP didn't give me enough conflict, but then I freely admit to being a conflict-slut in my reading choices).
I don't like to necessarily write reaction reviews (reacting to other reviews) since I absolutely without question believe that my review is worth no more than anyone else's; at the same time, I feel as though this book is getting short shrift so far, so wanted to give my thoughts as a balance. Not for the author's sake -- I don't know her from Adam, but because, hey. I think this is a great book!
First off, yes, the book is hot, with some pretty steamy sex scenes. I enjoyed all of the characters very much, they were all nuanced and real to me. I especially appreciated how Aedin was able to write a scene that in other hands might have turned me off (the "Daddy" scene), but this one said so much about the characters involved that I devoured it. An excellent example of a sex scene that is so much more than it appears.
Where I disagree with other reviews is on two points (some light spoilery head, though I've tried to tone it down):
1. I thought that the so-called 'stalker' subplot (I'm not sure I'd call it a full-blown stalker subplot so much as some disturbing text messages) was well-integrated and necessary to the story. It did not stand alone, it was part and parcel of another aspect of the plot that was important to the story--to wit: the fact that Adam and Keith were all of a sudden getting their names splashed on front pages, and someone seemed to be driving that. More specifically, (view spoiler)[the texts explained *why* Cameron was calling the press, why he was trying to sabotage Keith and break up the couple. Without the texts, I would want to know why Cameron had a case of the ass for Keith, and without Cameron wanting to break Adam and Keith up, there is little story. (hide spoiler)]. Clearly Aedin didn't entirely get this across since so many reviewers feel the text-story stuck out -- but for me, it worked seamlessly and was required. The texts played another role in the story as well: they served as a flashpoint for Keith: in recognizing the damage that mental-illness can cause. It was a literary echo of that theme. I thought it all worked very nicely.
2. The ending was exactly right. This is totally a matter of opinion, but to me, there is a tendency in m/m (maybe for all romance, though I can't say for sure since I don't read it) to drag endings out for far too long. God help me, I think 95% of all epilogues should be axed. By the end, all of the major tensions had been resolved (and with what I thought was good pacing). The trio has decided to give it a shot. We know that Baz is already thinking to move. Keith has agreed to get help. For me, to give another chapter or two showing us each of these resolutions in detail would bore me. The conflict is resolved; the story is over.
I had minor niggles. Things like, the colors got a little heavy-handed for my tastes. All characters were a little bit too reasonable for my tastes (you can see I have odd tastes). But overall, I think this was a very well-constructed story, and I find Aedin's prose a pleasure to read....more