Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1) by Grace Draven
Published by Self-Published on January 13th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Love & Romance, Paranormal Romance
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THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE
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.
THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
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.
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 they fall in love. Even with the differences in cultures (because, well, one is human and the other is not – which I thought would be way cooler than it was) this story isn’t new, exciting, or different. The girl was too perfect: beautiful but humble, selfless, loyal, funny, empathetic, trusting, and generally just good. The guy was too perfect: handsome, kind, honest, tender, funny, loyal, understanding, and selfless. The evil mother-in-law that the girl is of course brave enough to not be cowed by. The instant connection between the main characters. The humor that only served to play into the perfectness that is our couple.
I’ll stop now but you get the point.
They’re both spare heirs and refreshingly (see how perfect they are) they aren’t embittered by their roles and how they must marry outside of their choices. Now, in fairness, I really did like that about them both. It really was refreshing if not for everything else illustrating how bubble gum happy things were.
So, one of the biggest selling points I saw over and over in other reviews was how refreshingly honest their humor was since neither race found the other to be attractive. They show this by insulting each other with brutal honesty right in the very beginning and then peppering the story with this cute little aspect of their relationship. Well, I found it boring. I wasn’t drawn in and in love with either character. I kept waiting. And waiting. And – well you understand. For someone who found his new bride hideous he was profoundly affectionate from the start. Touching her all the time and lamenting about her amazing character and resiliency. But seriously, I mean touching all. the. time. He would play with her hair, he would touch her face, he would talk about wanting to be with his wife (from the get go!), and how he derived comfort from her sleeping with him (platonically). It wasn’t quite insta-love but it was absolutely insta-connection. Also, how extraordinarily convenient that human and kai anatomy be the same, amiright? Which reminds me View Spoiler »I did indeed like that the girl wasn’t a virgin. It was even perfectly fine with me that she hadn’t had great sex in her past, though totally predictable, but their sexy times with him guiding her and talking about what she liked was done well I thought. « Hide Spoiler.
Everything was too easy. She assimilated to her new culture with no regrets or depression or anything remotely negative. There was no soul searching, there was no drama, there was just – bubble gum happy easy-all-the-things. Even with the “bad” stuff that happened I was like, that’s it? I mean sure, View Spoiler »it was horrible that Brishen was tortured, « Hide Spoiler and so quickly at that, but he didn’t suffer any kind of negative psychological effects from it. There was never a time when either character dug deep into emotional issues.
If you’re just wanting a filler book that takes up space this isn’t a bad one to choose I suppose.
I’m just wanting more I guess.
I would almost consider this contemporary romance for how predictable it was.
Overall I don’t think this is the worst book I’ve ever read (hence rating it as meh, its ok) but I wouldn’t suggest going into it thinking you’re going to find some anti-trope book that breaks the mold.
Co-blogger at The Book Geek
Hi, guys! I'm a book reviewer and liberal arts student studying gender and sociology. I have a deep love of fiction & fantasy because it's the best escape ever and only way I'll get to travel worlds. Connect with me at Goodreads
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