Grace Draven – Radiance


published: 2015
pages: 297


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 bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.
Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.
Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart. (Amazon)

In (Very) Short:

+ fantasy novel with some “adult content”
+ two members of different courts have to marry to sustain an alliance
+ fascinating world creation

My Opinion:

Two very different worlds collide in this fantasy novel. Brishen and Idilko are not only from different kingdoms but also from different species. In order to preserve an alliance between the two, Brishen, a prince least important in the line of succession, and Idilko, a niece to the king, have to get married. Thus, both travel to their new home (Brishen’s home) where they are not only close to the border of another enemy kingdom but where they will have to get used to the foreignness of their partner.

The book itself was an enjoyable read. Both characters were content or at least had accepted their fate and were not fighting it. The relationship between the two protagonists was interesting and progressed at and understandable pace. I was intrigued by the different worlds and cultures that the author created, something that I like most in fantasy and the aspect that has to convince me.

The action did increase towards the end of the book and seemed a bit rushed at that point compared to the pace before. The characters’ actions were relateable, and the story left some lovely hints for the next installment.

Beware that there is some adult content in this book, which I was not prepared for since I did not read the blurb. Thus I was a little surprised by it.

Bottom Line:

An interesting fantasy read with a whole new world and some good old lovin.


rating 4


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