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Radiance (Wraith Kings) (Volume 1) Paperback – January 11, 2015
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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4 1/2 stars and Top Pick from Romantic Times Book Reviews:
"In short order, Draven has demonstrated that she is a truly gifted teller of romantic fantasy tales that are utterly unforgettable. In Radiance, Draven explores a forced political marriage between seemingly incompatible races. The growing relationship between these protagonists is a genuine joy to read, and the fantastic story is filled with dangerous twists and turns!"
--Jill M. Smith - Romantic Times Reviewer
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Honestly, please learn from my mistake and do not purchase this book.
I have been married 20 years to the great love of my life. I have been a hopeless romantic for longer than i can remember. The surprising secret that no one tells you (probably because you wouldn't believe it) is that no matter what physical changes happen over the years your spouse actually grows more attractive. If you respect them, if you like them as a best friend, if you share common values, if you are each others advocate and support you end up desiring them more.
When my husband tells me i am more beautiful now than 20 years ago i often push him away laughingly. I mean im 30 pounds heavier - how could that be true? And yet- he is still chasing me around as persistent as ever. He still tells me he aches for me when our time is limited. And when i reflect i feel the same toward him. I almost don't see him with physical eyes any more. He is so much more than that and yet his blue eyes and naughty smile still make my heart race, his body still draws my eyes and no man compares.
Grace Draven showed this kind of love - this true, mature, very romantic love with this story. What a gift!
Anyway, suddenly the author started spewing filth. A slew of degrading terms describing the act and most especially body parts involved.
Why? Is that supposed to be romance? True love?
I'm married- I've birthed children. I know what all the parts and pieces are called and where they need to go; why did you have to use words like c**k? And other vocabulary like that?
I thought, well, maybe it's an anomaly, and I looked at other books by the writer. Nope- those books all came with a warning that those scenes were there. I guess I wasn't given the warning because the book hadn't been published as yet when I bought it.
I really want to know how the story ends, but I keep thinking of the story of Lot's wife and I don't want to end my days as a condiment.
When they meet, Brishen is repulsed by Ildiko’s appearance, despite that she is a great beauty to humans. Her eyes in particular make his hairs stand on end. To him she is ugly.
She considers him ugly right back.
They are the spares in their respective kingdoms. She is a royal noble woman, he is 8th in line to be king. His royal parents therefore feel they can sacrifice him to a marriage with a human - made for political alliance and mutual benefits of both their kingdoms.
Ildiko and Brishen both accept what is chosen for them, dreading their marriage. However, they meet by chance before-hand and are honest and open with the other, and form a camaraderie that continues after they marry and become great friends. They are funny, mature, protective, willing to learn all about the other, respectful, caring, and from friendship their love grows.
He is fiercely protective of her from the outset, as she gives up everything and everyone she knows to live in his kingdom. She embraces her new life and gives 100% towards making the marriage and the alliance work. Her husband appreciates her efforts, and despite her repulsive appearance to all around her, she is accepted and protected. Those closest to her, love her.
The story is told in a beautiful, light writing style. I connected with both characters. Their love had a slow build and there was no conflict, which was a refreshing element to the story. As they grew closer and loving, and their sexual awareness built, I felt their first kiss and love scenes to be heart-warming and heart-thumpingly good.
There is action, adventure, danger, gruesome battles, brutal torture and killings of people, awful villains and the mother of all nightmarish mothers-in-law. Some of this is not easy reading if you avoid violence in your reading preferences. Oh, and there’s magic in this fantasy world but used sparingly and to excellent effect.
The book is a complete novel and ends with a satisfying HEA for this couple. However, in the epilogue, outside events arise that impact directly on their future. This is the impetus for a continuing novel featuring this couple.
Ordinarily, I would groan and complain about being drawn into a story that continues into a second book. But here, I am delighted. I want more of this couple. I want to see them battle through and succeed in the next chapter of their lives. I loved everything about their dynamics, banter, loving, humour, and determination to accept their differences and get along. What a great book to draw parallels with racial, gender, religious, and socioeconomic differences in our modern world.
I could not put this book down. It is so well written, the pacing is just right, the world building is easy to follow. The characters are so likeable that you want them to succeed and overcome evil and prejudice.
This was my first novel by Grace Draven and I am wowed. I can’t wait for the next instalment. In the meantime, I’m exploring her back-catalogue.
*Includes sex scenes