Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1)” as Want to Read:
Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Wraith Kings #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  21,345 Ratings  ·  2,215 Reviews

Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his br
Kindle Edition, 297 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by Grace Draven (first published February 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Radiance, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Grace I hope to have the second book out by the end of 2015/beginning of 2016.
Grace I'm so sorry for not seeing this sooner. I'm rarely out on GR and didn't even know RADIANCE had a Q&A page. I hope to release the second book,…moreI'm so sorry for not seeing this sooner. I'm rarely out on GR and didn't even know RADIANCE had a Q&A page. I hope to release the second book, EIDOLON, at the very end of 2015/very beginning of 2016.(less)
Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. WilsonPoison Study by Maria V. SnyderWarprize by Elizabeth VaughanRadiance by Grace DravenThe Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley
Fantasy Romance
537 books — 985 voters
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana ZapataKulti by Mariana ZapataThe Hating Game by Sally  ThorneUnder Locke by Mariana ZapataThe V Girl by Mya Robarts
Slow-burn romance
378 books — 918 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Navessa by: Casey
"You find me ugly, don't you?"
"Hideous. A hag of a woman. And you? You don't think me a handsome man?"
"Had you crawled out from under my bed when I was a child, I would have bludgeoned you to death with my father's mace."

*falls over laughing*

The above takes place between our two main characters, Brishen Khaskem, a Kai prince with gray skin, solid yellow eyes, razor claws for fingernails, and teeth meant for tearing flesh, and Ildiko, a human woman who happens to be the niece of a king.

Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession
5 Woman of day Prince of night Stars

Some Spoilers

“You find me ugly, don’t you?” Brishen had faced abominations on the battlefield without flinching, leapt into the thick of the fighting against creatures born from the nightmares of lesser demons. Not once had he been tempted to run away in fear. Now, his leg muscles rippled with the urge to flee. He clenched his teeth instead, prayed he wouldn’t start a war with their newest ally and answered honestly. “Hideous,” he said. “A hag of a woman.”-
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it

Once again, I came upon this book completely by chance, read the synopsis, and that was it ! I read it and to my surprise, I ended up loving this book so much that it’s actually hard for me to find something I didn’t like about it ^_^

What’s this book about ?
This is a Romance set in a Fantasy world.
Ildiko and Brishen are forced into a marriage to strengthen alliances between their two kingdoms. The thing is, both of them are from two diffe
Penny Reid
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book on the way to and then back from a business trip (on the plane) and it was exactly right for my *reader mood*.

Great writing.
Great story.
Great world-building.
Great characters.

If you're looking for a fun romantic fantasy, with NO INSTALOVE, and smart characters, then this is the book for you.

READ IT! You won't regret it.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dear book, please marry me. Much like the characters in this story, I don't even mind that you have a super ugly cover. I love you anyway.
Love, Jilly.

This book is the best thing ever. It's like Beauty and the Beast if they were both beasts. Beast and the Beast. Oh man. We need that movie. Someone call Disney!

The story begins with our couple on their wedding day. They are two different species and are being married off to set an alliance in place between their kingdoms. He is grey (not sure how m
Robin (Bridge Four)
Once upon a time a Mollusk and an Eel fell in love….

Okay so it isn’t quite that. Ildiko and Brishen are two people who are insignificant to their families. They both have always known that they would be used by their families in order to form alliances. They just didn’t realize that they would be forced to marry outside their race to do it. Ildiko thinks that Brishen looks a little like and Eel and he believes her to look a bit like a Mollusk. Still it could be worse.
“You don’t have to answ
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG Melissa Martin's Reading List


So Ildiko and Brishen are set up to be married so they can do all of that political crap from the ages that supposedly seals a deal with kingdoms. But.... Ildiko is a beautiful human and Brishen is a handsome Kai and both races think the other is ugly as sin. That would suck monkey butt!

The Kai are scary to look at because they have nacreous eyes, which are without a pupil or iris. They just glow at y
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ugh, I enjoyed the heck out of this book! It doesn't have the most compelling plot, but it was addictive and the two main characters, Ildiko and Brishen, were mesmerising.

The main aspect I loved about this book is how the author pretty much shunned the whole idea of outer beauty having any sort of relevance over inner beauty. These two characters are married off to each other for the simple reason of forming an alliance and security between their two lands. They're not attracted to each other,
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Buddy read with Gavin

Before the Epilogue I was thinking this deserves 4 stars if only because of the amazing main characters and their relationship. After the Epilogue - I'm not so sure anymore. Leaving it on 4 stars for now. Full review to come.

February 27, 2015

A fantasy romance! Count me in! And some reviews say the cover is ugly but I love it! It was actually the cover that got me interested. I was just grabbing some eBook freebies from Amazon and spotted this by chance. God moves books in
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My heart is literally double its size....this book was not good for my health at all! I loved it so so much....Ildiko and Brishen are the cutest couple ever.....amidst their circumstances..i fell helplessly in love with them😍😍😍😍😍😍. Thanks again to my darling Hiba for recommending this book

Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was ok

Well let me just get comfortable over here in my island – population three – who doesn’t think this book is AHAMZING. Come, come, grab a moss-covered rock to sit on and try not to worry about how dark and lonely it is while I tell you my thoughts.

But first, how in the hell do you pronounce her name? I never settled on one way and it was pretty annoying.

The premise of the book is nothing new: royalty of different nations must wed to bring an alliance to each of their nations and eventually the
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
My heart is just so ready to explode.

This book....has officially won first place on my "most adorable books" shelf. Not only was this the sweetest and most heart felt story I've ever read... it was completely unique. A breath of fresh air. Not to mention... completely hysterical.

Needless to say... this was nothing like I was expecting.

If you love fantasy/magic/quarreling kingdoms but you need a break from your typical YA plot line.. give this one a go.

When I first read the synopsis... honest
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy romance fans
Maybe more like 3.5 stars, but I'll round up for the reasons below.

This is an unfolding love story in a fantasy setting. Bristen is a member of the royal Kai family and heir to the throne, but far enough down the chain that he will never be king. Ildiko is the young noblewoman he is arranged to marry, whose only worth is being married off in a political alliance.

They discover they actually like each other - as friends. This is sort of a vague Beauty and the Beast re-telling, only both people vie
Tessy Nightblood Ijachi
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy
Actual Rating is 3.5 stars

This book was so unbelievably cute. I either smiled or cooed when I was reading it. The relationship between Brishen and Ildiko was just so amazing. They were really honest with each other and I appreciated that.

”She hadn’t chosen this husband of hers, nor had he chosen her, but fate or kind gods had brought them together, made them friends and then lovers.”

Since this story gave a premise of an arranged marriage, I went into it expecting a lot of arguing, angst and h
Jen Davis
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I probably never would have picked up this book if not for the glowing recommendations of some of my trusted fellow bloggers. I know that you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the sad fact is, sometimes I guess I do. And if I would have ignored this book, I would have really missed out on a great fantasy romance.

This is my very first book by Grace Draven. The good news about that is, if this story is any indication, I'm going to have a grand time rolling around in her backlist. D

6 BRISHEN stars

A simple as it sounds, I call dibs, ladies! LOL

This Kai Prince is simply...dear God

There's nothing I didn't love here - the plot, the characters, the descriptions, the action, the LOVE, the attraction greater than the superficial features..."bigger than life love story" between two individuals who couldn't be more different, physically, in kinship, in culture, in everything that distinguished them they found the connection beyond it all.

An arranged marriage.
An alliance between two
Tweebs♥️ (semi-hiatus)
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
"You find me ugly, don't you?" she said.
"Hideous." he said. " A hag of a woman."
Another peal of laughter met his words. Brishen wilted, relieved she took no insult in him so bluntly validating her assumption.
"And you," he said. "You don't think me a handsome man?"
"Had you crawled out from under my bed when I was a child, I would have bludgeoned you to death with my father's mace."

dear future husband, if we don’t have this type of relationship then you’ll need to take notes from this book.

Deborah Obida
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, fantasy, romance
Buddy reading with Kiah, my March Tbr twin.

After more than one week of proscastinating this review, am finally writing one, a short one.

Well this book wasn't what I expected at all, don't get me wrong it was a fun read and I really enjoyed the romance. In fact the romance is the only thing I liked in this book, the politics was kind of meh to me.

The world building is average, it was neither great nor bad, just okay. The characters are amazing, but like most dual romance POV, their thought revol
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fantasy Romance
4.5 stars

Ildiko brushed a feathery strand of his hair away from his eyes. "He pleases me greatly. This handsomest of eels." His cheekbones angled sharply under her palms. "So says this hag."

"Who is most beautiful in the darkness." Brishen kissed her then....

It's so hard for me to find good fantasy romances that I can enjoy. What I loved about "Radiance" is Draven's natural voice. She packs so much into this short novel while constructing an interesting world without it being complicated. The h
FINALLY! A Romance that doesn't make me cringe, gag, roll my eyes or giggle at the absurdity of it all! A Romance that begins with platonic relationship and gradually develops into something beautiful and deeper!

Although Radiance doesn't make it into my list of "Favorites", it definitely deserves all of my 5 stars! Why? Because it's one of the very few books in this genre out there that focuses on building the emotional connection between the two characters way before they even consider physica
♡Karlyn P♡
So far this is fantastic! In true Grace Draven style, it has me sucked in completely. I can't wait for the rest of the story!

Radiance is a serialized fantasy romance rich with world building, great characters and her trade-mark humor.

Chapter 1 - Feb 23rd

Chapter 2 - March 3rd

Chapter 3 - March 10th

Chapter 4 - March 17th

Chapter 5 - March 24th

Chapter 6 - March 31st

Chapter 7 - April 6th

Chapter 8 - April 14th

Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 ~ a good read. the ending creeped me out so I might read the sequel
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Angela by: Cory
Wow. Just wow. I'm so glad that Kaynan urged me to read this RIGHT NOW. This is an incredibly good book, and I had a really hard time putting it down to deal with (very necessary) tasks, like: getting kids ready for school, helping with homework, making dinner, bedtime routines, and playing with the kids...Oops.

The very best part of this book is the two main characters, Brishen and Ildiko (how the hell do you pronounce her name?? Every time I see it in the text I took 5 seconds to try to reason
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-books
This was an enjoyable fantasy romance. The pace was fairly sedate and for the most part pretty light hearted.

Brisen and Ildiko are "spares" in their respective families royal lines. A marriage is arranged between the pair as a way to seal the alliance between the kingdoms of the Kai and Gauri. The alliance is needed for both in order to keep their warmongering neighbours the Beladine at bay. The problem is that the Kai are not human! The Kai and the humans have subtle, but glaring differences i
Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

I read this book for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2017 Reading Challenge. For more info about what this is, click here.

We read this as part of a monthly "theme read" in my romance book group. The subject was slow-burn romances. I love slow-burn romances, when it's done well, that is, and when I saw that this was a fantasy romance, I was even more excited. More so, because most of my friends loved it, and one of them compared
This book felt something like this

I absolutely loved it! It was exactly what I needed right now.
It felt a lot like a fantasy, it had a pretty interesting world builder (although of course, the focus was the romance) and the plot was so much more interesting than I expected. I absolutely loved the names (except Ildiko, that one sounded strange in my mind), think it's one of the few times when I actually thing "wow, this name sounds so damn good!".

Still, what I appreciated the most was the story.
♔ Jaela ♊ Killer ⚔ QUEEN
Awww!!! I so needed to read a book like this. So cute, so lovely.

It starts with the classic hate-love relationship. Boy thinks girl is ugly, girl thinks boy is ugly. I have a thing for books about pre-arranged marriage, especially when it is an inter-species one. :D

They mention fangs all the time. You can easily imagine something like this:

but in fact:

Isn't this cover amazing??!....

Brishen is such an adorable hero. Together with Ildiko they make a "odd and beautiful" couple and they learn to l
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
4.5 stars
I am often convinced that I am more hard-nosed and cynical than I really am, as evidenced by my thorough enjoyment of this fantasy romance. For the first half of the book, I caught myself *just smiling* as I read of the burgeoning romance between two very likeable characters. There have been times when, had I picked this book up at all, it would have been a dnf, but it just caught me in the right mood.
The world building was interesting and I believe the sequel will give the reader more
Roshani Chokshi
HEART EMOJIS. Immersive, sweet, and a sensitive portrayal of how love breaks down boundaries of perception. Bonus points for the fact that this has a marriage of convenience trope. Legit my FAVORITE thing.
Sheharzad ⚘ (hiatus)
alright alrig ht A L R I G H T

*throws Radiance at you* READ THIS BOOK

I am at such a lose for words?? Lord help me with this review because this book was MADE for me. Do you know how long I've been waiting to read this? 2 years BUT IT FELT LIKE 1000000000000000 YEARS

I've been waiting to get my hands on this beauty for so long and it did not disappoint, my friend, because:

- The characters? So pure and perfect.
- The romance? Took the meaning of 'slow burn' to a whole new level and it was glorious.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Winter King (Weathermages of Mystral, #1)
  • The Last Hour of Gann
  • Impossible Things
  • Warlord  (Chronicles of the Warlands, #3)
  • The Curse Giver
  • Beneath a Waning Moon
  • The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm (Iron Seas, #4.2; Kraken King, #2)
  • Dark Horse (Class 5, #1)
  • Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold
  • Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2)
  • The Golden Dynasty (Fantasyland, #2)
  • Prince of Hearts (The Elders and Welders Chronicles, #1)
  • Venomous (Alien Warrior, #1)
  • The Mark of the Tala (The Twelve Kingdoms, #1)
I'm an author and Louisiana native living in Texas with my husband, three smalls and a big doofus dog. I have lived in Spain, hiked the Teton Mountains, honeymooned in Scotland, ridden in competition rodeo and am the great great granddaughter of a Nicaraguan president. I also hate doing laundry and refuse to iron anything.

I've loved storytelling since forever. I published my first short story with

Other books in the series

Wraith Kings (3 books)
  • Eidolon (Wraith Kings, #2)
  • The Ippos King (Wraith Kings, #3)
“This should never have happened, Brishen. We were unimportant, you and I. We weren't supposed to mean anything to anyone."
"Woman of day," he said slowly. "You mean everything to me.”
“You make a very handsome dead eel, my husband,”
“For a boiled mollusk, you wear black quite well, my wife,”
More quotes…