Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Radiance (Grace Draven)

Not so bad in the end!

★★★★★☆☆

Title: Radiance (Wraith Kings #1)
Author: Grace Draven (USA)
Genre: Fiction /Fantasy Romance
First published: 2014
Edition: Kindle e-book

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.

***

I really needed something lighter and this one had been on my radar for a little while. I enjoyed the read, but maybe I was a little disappointed. I’m on the fence.

The story started strong and I thought I was going to love it. The characters were interesting, the conversations were amusing and I was completely on board. But then the story just started to peter out and I got bored, which I was really gutted about. Three quarters in I thought I would definitely not be continuing this series. Luckily the story did pick up in the final quarter, when the stakes suddenly got a lot higher and more interesting!

The fantasy elements were pretty limited here, apart from that the groom in this political marriage is not human… The world did not yet feel fleshed out. I did not really understand some of the characters’ action, but I did enjoy their connection. It was just a mixed bag for me.

I can definitely see the potential in this series. Magic was hinted at and shown a little bit and there was a healthy amount of court intrigue, but in this one none of it really came to fruition.

I may continue the series, or I may not. I will brood on it a little while.

5 out of 7 stars

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