Sunday, September 11

Book Review: Radiance by Grace Draven

Author: Grace Draven
Title: Radiance (Wraith Kings #1)
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: February 2014
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon)


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.

A couple of people I know have read this and highly recommended this book and the series. I was a little reluctant at first, but then  I found it on Amazon and decided to give a go.

What type of fool am I to deny this book for so long?

Comedy, romance, fantasy, drama, action, and so much more.

I laughed, I cried. I was addicted from page one. The story of Ildiko and Brishen was certainly unique. One is human and one is a Kai (I'm not sure how or what they really are - they are an older race who are considered "beastly" to the humans) and they are forced to marry to keep the two kingdoms at peace and united. They become friends through honesty and jokes. What else can you do when you are revolting to each other and have to spend the rest of your lives together?

Friendship slowly turns to love, but it takes a while and I'm glad it did. Seeing each other's souls is the only way to look past the ugliness and the cultural differences. I do feel worse for IIdiko since she had to move to his kingdom and change her diet and sleep schedule since the Kai hate the sunlight. She also has to deal with the malicious and deadly Queen who is Brishen's madre. Talk about the worse mother-in-law EVER! The bitch tried killing her after a few days there. SMH. 

All the characters were intriguing and I am looking forward to learning about them. I believe the third book in the series is about someone else. 

I think my only complaint was how evil the Queen is. I get it....but why? What is her motivation? Maybe it will be explained in the next book, but it seemed SO over-the-top on how evil she was. I didn't get anything about her. Like why make the alliance with the Gauri (humans) and her kingdom and then decide, "Eh - fuck it...let's kill my son and his bride and potentially spark a war that we agreed to avoid by this marriage. Yesssss!" Like what? This seems like too much work. I kinda get why the neighboring countries don't approve of the marriage, but why piss off two nations? Maybe I don't understand the politics of this world yet. It sure is a different world and maybe the next book will assist in my knowledge of the world and its politics. 

Besides my not understanding the whys and motivations, this was an excellent read. I do highly encourage lovers of fantasy to give this a chance. Yes, there is romance, but there is so much more going on. I shall stamp this with 4 stars. Nearly a five. ;)


Blodeuedd said...

Yay you liked it :D

Melliane said...

Oh it sounds quite emotional!

Carole Rae said...

B, :D

Melliane, so many emotions.

Anachronist said...

I liked this one as well - so pleased you share my impressions! The continuation is available as well!

Carole Rae said...

Ana, can' wait to read the next one.