Categories
Fantasy Romance

Read For the Throne

Read For the Throne by Hannah Whitten

Red and the Wolf have finally contained the threat of the Old Kings but at a steep cost. Red’s beloved sister Neve, the First Daughter is lost in the Shadowlands, an inverted kingdom where the vicious gods of legend have been trapped for centuries and the Old Kings have slowly been gaining control. But Neve has an ally–though it’s one she’d rather never have to speak to again–the rogue king Solmir.

Solmir wants to bring an end to the Shadowlands and he believes helping Neve may be the key to its destruction. But to do that, they will both have to journey across a dangerous landscape in order to find a mysterious Heart Tree, and finally to claim the gods’ dark, twisted powers for themselves.

This was a very frustrating read, and I don’t think it stuck the landing. The solution didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I didn’t believe the heroine would choose what she did. The resolution between her and the antihero was weak.

There was no need for this to be 500 pages. There were seriously like five dream sequences. At least one other POV could have been cut. I would frankly have cut all the other viewpoints besides Neve. I thought it very odd to have one chapter each from the sisters’ love interests.

Honestly the story just didn’t quite work. It wanted to be the story of two sisters, and it wanted to be a romance, and it wanted to be epic fantasy. Unfortunately, by not choosing one it did all three poorly. It probably should have focused on the sisters instead of the romance, based on the ending.

At the halfway point, I started skipping all the other viewpoint scenes until the climax. They telegraphed too much, without adding value. Knowing the end, I don’t think they paid off. The author used them to create tension by keeping you away from getting resolution from the main storyline, which I feel is a bad sign when the tension isn’t enough on its own and you have to stall.

Categories
Fantasy

DNF The Rings of Power S1E1

Watched A Shadow of the Past from m.imdb.com

Galadriel is disturbed by signs of an ancient evil's return. Arondir makes an unsettling discovery. Elrond is presented with an intriguing new venture. Nori breaks a deeply held community rule.

Husband fell asleep and I was bored and pissed I couldn’t reach the remote 😂 He woke up and we bailed at two-thirds through.

Felt perfunctory and generic. Too many storylines with not enough connection. Weirdly slow storytelling, going for atmosphere I’d guess. They did too much backstory at once yet not enough character development for me to care about anyone. I always roll my eyes at scenes starting with a child version of the character, especially with bullies.

They chose poorly on what lore to include, weighing down the story with worldbuilding we didn’t need. Almost all that shit should have been in backstory flashbacks worked in throughout the season. In storytelling you’re encouraged to start your story as late as you possibly can… and instead the writers were like, but this is Tolkien, he does All The Lore, and the fans will be mad if we don’t too!

Episode specific comments below the fold.

Categories
Fantasy Romance

Read Steal the Wind

Read Steal the Wind

Everything Caelan knows about his world is a lie.

A war is brewing. As the crown prince of Erya, it’s only natural that Caelan is sent on a secret diplomatic mission to support one of the kingdom’s allies. With his advisor, his bodyguard, and his best friend as traveling companions, what could go wrong?

Everything.

Everything goes wrong.

Now they are on the run, dodging assassins, setting secret meetings, and even making deals with a sleeping god.

So, this is probably a really bad time to cave to feelings he’s been fighting for his best friend. But Drayce has owned his heart for more years than he can count and if he’s going to die, shouldn’t he have just one kiss?

More fantasy than romance, but probably more romance than many fantasy readers want, like T. Kingfisher’s White Rat universe books. Thank goodness for self-pub bringing us books that don’t neatly fit one category! And it seems there are enough fantasy romance readers to warrant writing.

Two pairings are set up, with one drawing the focus. Appropriately for my Pride Month reading, seems like most of the main characters in the book are gay.

Very odd world building in which there are baseball hats and guns, but it’s also a legitimate choice to use a sword or spear? 🤔 Whatever, I don’t care that it doesn’t make sense since it’s for fun. Although I personally find it unsettling to have a modernish setting with a monarchy – even though that does still exist in many countries. (Is my aversion to royalty the American in me? Or just the progressive? 🤷‍♀️) So it’s not sure if it wants to be urban fantasy or high fantasy.

I’ll check out the second book. Ended on a bit of a cliffhanger which is a little irritating.