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The Fifth Son

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  209 ratings  ·  45 reviews
A prince without power

In a land where magic is commonplace, Prince Llyskel has none. He can’t command spells, he has never been taught to fight, and as the fifth son of the King, he will never rule. Everyone believes he’s a weakling, most of all himself.

Powerlessness is Llyskel’s problem—and his pleasure. In his secret fantasies, the prince dreams of nothing more than find
ebook, 2nd Edition, 76 pages
Published November 28th 2014 by Cayendi Press (first published March 8th 2012)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  209 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
3.5 Stars

This may sound like a cop out and it probably is, but I have a really hard time reviewing shorts. I love reading them, though so I'm hopeful that practice will make perfect. I get caught up in the cycle of, 'the world building could've been better' or some derivation thereof followed shortly thereafter by, 'but it's a short. Don't be a pill.'


And on and on it goes.

I will say this little fantasy did surprise me with some kinky rope bondage and an unexpected fetish that I'll get back to s
Cole Riann
Review posted at The Armchair Reader.

3.5 stars

This is the second work I've read by this author and I'm really liking what she has offered. This was a sweet fantasy that touched on a few different subjects without fully committing in any direction. It was like a tapas lunch, light with variety ;) There was a nicely delectable bit of shibari, which was the slow heat in the sex between Llyskel and Ariv, capped with the sharp taste of danger (even though that is technically a relative term to Llyske
Serena Yates
A fairy tale from beginning to end, this story about an artistically talented prince who is different from everyone else around him because he possesses no magic captured me from the first page. The whole setting enchanted me as well: secret spots in the forest, water nymphs, a wonderful castle, and a yearning need for love are the perfect background for a story designed to take me away from it all, off into a world where spells and magic are as normal as breathing.

Llyskel is the only one in his
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fab quirky little book this was.Perhaps some would class it as fantasy but the way that Llyskel narrates it in his own sweet voice was for me reminiscent of a " Once Upon A Time " fairy-story about magical kingdoms, wicked Queens and Princes and ... well princes, because of course this is m/m and in this world there is no homophobia, people fall in love with who they want and same sex love is the norm.. They also court each other using the language of flowers and they ask permission to co ...more
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Since the blurb really described the book quite well, I’ve decided not to rehash it. The Fifth Son is an addictive, sweet and sexy book from start to finish. I loved all of the characters in this book and was immediately captivated by the story the main hero, Llyskel told. Since the book is told in first person, with his point of view, I really enjoyed his charming personality. He’s an interesting and complex character and experiencing the world through hi
I have a soft spot for books with illustrations. Half a star for that :)
Stars: 3.5/5

For some reason I had a difficult time sitting down to review this story. I enjoyed the writing, the characters, the world, and the relationship, but I still felt as if something were missing--or perhaps there was too much of something else. Still, the main characters' dynamic is appealing, despite having some difficulties coming to an understanding Llyskel's shooter kink (even being able to make the connection between it and gun kink). A good fantasy setting with interesting
Llyskel likes to paint and he does it in abundance, since he has no other duties as a fifth son and prince in his family. His life is even more dull because he is magic less in a world filled with magic. He is doted on by his parents, and protected like a newborn because he has no way to protect himself. So Llyskel spends his time painting, and watching his brothers and soldiers train. There is that odd time when he gets to spend a little time by himself but it takes a bit of scheming and hoping ...more
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay
This is one of those stories I really wanted to love, but just couldn't quite get into. Don't get me wrong, The Fifth Son is not a bad read by any means, it just lacked that something special to really find its way into my heart.

I think part of what distanced me from the story is the fact that we're kind of bashed over the head with the fact that Llyskel is an outcast. He doesn't fit in with his royal brothers. He doesn't have a role to play in court. He's an arist in a warrior's world. He lacks
It was a very strange story...
Somethink like a mediaeval setting with sci-fi/fantasy elements (the weapon for example?).
The plot was strange too, I did't see the point of the whole "twist"...
I liked the MCs though, especially the strong, brave Captain Ariv ;)
Prince Llyskel's problem (his abilities or rather the lack of them) was somewhat stilted for me, but he was a likeable character.

However, the rope play bondage scene was exquisite!!! And even better with the picture (there are a few drawing
~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~
★★★☆☆½ ~ 3.5 Stars
Prince Llyskel is the artistic fifth son who has no magic and has had his eye on the handsome Captain Ariv. Always feeling less than since he can't command magic, Ariv finds something even cooler about Llyskel, he's a null and magic doesn't affect him.

This is a quickie with some rope bondage thrown in and some arty pictures. Nice, uncomplicated afternoon read.
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, arc, hea, mm-romance, fantasy
Original Blog Post: Happy Happy Release Day! eARC Review & #Free eBook #Giveaway: The Fifth Son by Blaine Arden where you can meet Llyskel

We would like to thank author Blaine Ardenfor donating an ebook copy of The Fifth Son, to 1 lucky commentator who gets chosen. Make sure to leave a comment in the link to get a free ebook copy of The Fifth Son.

I love fantasy and it is really nice to stumble upon one that is light enough to read within two hours and still end with a nice smile on my face. I rea
Victoria Zagar
Llyskel is a prince who can't use magic in a world where everyone has some semblance of magical power. Considered defenseless and weak, he is guarded wherever he goes and has little freedom, except when he paints. He also harbors a secret desire, something which the knight captain Ariv senses in him and seeks to satisfy.

The Fifth Son was sweet and spicy, a lovely little romance set in a fully-realized fantasy world where magic is so commonplace it is even used to open doors and windows. Llyskel
Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this very much, but I was disappointed that it seemed to end so abruptly. The characters were very interesting. I wish there had been a little more to flesh them out. I admit that by the end I didn't really understand what a "shooter" was. I still recommend it as a very pleasant fantasy. ...more
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, fantasy

Fairytale-esque, easy read, ends sort of abruptly but actually felt like a much longer story than it was (in a good way).
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it
A very nice and entertaining short story. The flow was mostly good but I kind of felt like the story got bogged down during the whole Atan sequence as Llyskel described in nauseating detail what he was seeing and doing. I actually think that whole episode made little sense and didn’t enhance the story in any way. Did the queen really think her plan would succeed? I would have also liked to get a better feel for the ages of the characters. From the narrative, I’m guessing that Llyskel was perhaps ...more
purple witch ෴
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It's about a magical land where Prince Llyskel don't have any magic. And everyone believes he is a weakling. He is though , smitten with Captain Ariv of the Guards.
So, mainly the plot is full of magic, action but also a lot of sexy times (book is ADULT mm romance in a fantasy setting ).
I loved the book and the cute hot romance story . Written beautifully, I fell in love with the world author showed us.
I wish it was longer though 👀🤭
Jun 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
It started off with an interesting premise. Youngest son can't do magic while everybody else can and subsequently has to be protected because of that. However, instead of being protected he was being smothered and when they found out that SPOILER he is immune to magic, it just all went downhill for me. Not a book I will be reading again. ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt, fantasy
3.5 stars

This had potential, but ended up being a little short. It really lacked depth and the world building was essentially non-existent. Still, if you're looking for a quick read, this isn't too bad.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Short story. Romantic and kinky. Second shibari scene faded to black. Sketchy world building. Pacing issues with rough patches.
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review was originally published on my blog Joyfully Jay

Llyskel lives in a world where magic is everywhere, but unlike everybody else, he has no magical powers. As the fifth son of the king, Llyskel is sheltered and protected, unable to serve in the military or go out unguarded, his family worrying that he is unable to protect himself in the face of others with magical abilities. Although Llyskel's passions lie in his artwork, part of him still chafes at the restrictions he faces and wishes
Annette Gisby
Reviewed for The Romance Reviews

A romantic fantasy with the touch of a fairy tale.

In all his life, Prince Llyskel has been sheltered by his parents and the guards of the palace due to his lack of magic. He has no way to protect himself and so his parents insist on guards accompanying him on every outing, even if he was just going to the river to paint.

He is not allowed to train with other warriors, in case they accidentally use magic on him, and so Llyskel
Love Bytes Reviews
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 star review by Tara

In an alternate world we are introduced to Prince Llyskel, the fifth son of the King of Eizyrr. A world in which magic is used everywhere and it is unheard of for someone to have little or no magical ability. One such person without magic is Prince Llyskel. Since he has no magic, he has to be constantly watched at all times, never allowed to roam free and experience the world like his other siblings. His bodyguard Neia must accompany his every move according to his parents
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faye
Review can be read at It's About The Book

Prince Llyskel is tired of being trapped in the castle, only allowed out with a guard for protection. Sadly, he needs it. Occasionally, he even needs a guard for protection against his own niece. Llyskel was born without magic into a magical world. He’s also the fifth son of the King. He’s beyond the spare. Nothing about Llyskel’s life feels important, and it all feels sheltered. Llyskel does have a secret. He’s stunned to find out it’s not as secret
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews
4 Hearts

First published at MM Good Book Reviews

Llyskel is nothing like anyone else in his kingdom or the country. Everyone else has magic and Llyskel doesn’t and because of that he is protected in and out of the castle. a captain in his father’s army captures Llyskel’s eye and his imagination. Ariv is attracted to the young prince and has guessed his secret desires; he sets out to court the prince and discovers a secret that nobody knew.

I enjoyed this sto
Stella ╰☆╮╰☆╮
REVIEW @Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

I can officially say I’m becoming a fantasy girl! I’m reading a lot of fantasy books lately and I’m really loving them. This one too. A really well done short story and the beautiful black and white illustrations helped me to visualize better the MCs. The Fifth Son was only the first book I read by Blaine D. Arden but it surely will not be the last. I loved the writing, the plot, the setting, almost everything, except I’d really like to read a little mor
In the world where everybody (at least everybody in his royal family, because we are not told as to everybody in his world) has magical skills, Llycel is kind of an outcast. He does not seem to have any magic and I guess this is why his family is so very overprotective of him. He is a talented artist but of course he also wants to feel that he can stand up and fight for himself as all warriors in his family. I think I fell in love with Llycel from the very first pages of this novella. I loved hi ...more
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm
Rounding up from 3.5 stars due to a really interesting courting custom.

This short read is really the story of Prince Llyskel growing to find himself. He is the fifth son in a kingdom where magic is commonplace. He, however, has no magic. So he feels "less" than others. He secretly paints and lusts after Captain Ariv.

Speaking of that interesting courting custom, an interested party will declare themselves by giving a kozal bud to their intended, who can either refuse or respond with an answer. T
Helena Stone
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novella, fantasy, fiction, bdsm, m-m
I loved this story, I loved the world it was set in and I loved Llyskel and Ariv. I find myself amazed at how the author manages to create a vibrant and vivid picture of a fantasy world in such a short story. At no point while reading was I aware of world-building, never mind information dumping, and yet I had a clear picture of where I was and how that world operated, almost from the very first paragraph.

Llyskel and Ariv’s story almost reads like a fairy-tale and I loved that aspect. The combin
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Blaine D. Arden is an EPIC Award-winning author of Romantic Speculative Fiction and Suspense who sings her way through life in platform boots.

For most of her sheltered youth, Blaine read, daydreamed, and made up stories. As she grew up, she slowly transitioned from telling them to her favourite doll and acting them out with her Barbies, to putting pen to paper. Her motto is Our difference is our s

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