Janet's Reviews > King of the Unblessed

King of the Unblessed by Michelle M. Pillow
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Jun 05, 11

bookshelves: fantasy, romance, steamy
Read from June 02 to 04, 2011

I don't read many romance novels anymore, and I'm not particularly interested in the paranormal romance genre -- but I somehow found myself caught up in this story about a medieval noblewoman who, on the eve of her marriage to an older man she's known all her life, has her wish for "adventure" granted by an elven king who has become obsessed with her.

The "unblessed" stand between the "blessed" and the "damned." They are not evil, but are aligned with the necessary and natural forces of darkness, winter, breakdown, and chaos. The politics of the Otherworld and the balance of power between the three realms of blessed, unblessed, and damned shapes the plot and provides a level of complication beyond the romantic storyline.

While reading the story, it was easy to suspect that the author is a fan of the movie "Labyrinth," for many of the motifs seem drawn directly from that story: a heroine who likes to lose herself in stories, not dreaming that she is being observed by the characters she thinks are fantasy, an enigmatic king who steals her away in act that could be seen as wicked but is equally mixed with passionate obsession, a quest with a time limit, unexpected fairy-goblin helpers, even -- yes -- a labyrinth.

But I don't want to suggest that this is a rip-off of "Labyrinth". I found the resonances fun, but the story itself felt fresh to me.

"King of the Unblessed" does suffer from the too-frequent romantic novel plot device of the heroine constantly misunderstanding the hero who can't bring himself to be fully honest about his feelings, but the strong points outweighed that annoyance.

I'm actually looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
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