- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 53 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Grace Draven
- Audible.com Release Date: June 10, 2015
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00ZD6TG3S
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Radiance: Wraith Kings, Volume 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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This book is for readers like me who are usually annoyed and oftentimes bored with the standard paranormal romance storyline clichés. I thought I knew how this story would go: beautiful human forced to marry hideous beast, he treats her poorly because he was also forced into marriage. She doesn't want to find him attractive but somehow they have amazing sexual chemistry. In the last chapter they realize they love each other. The end.
Nope. If that is what you want, don't buy this book. If you are looking for a humorous and heartwarming tale of two individuals who learn to first like, then respect, then love, then desire each other, then this is what you are looking for. Draven puts equal efforts into world building and character building with the result that I found myself invested in both. I enjoyed this tale tremendously and know that it will be read again and again by me.
Radiance is the tale of two "spare" nobles that are forced to marry each other to seal an alliance between their kingdoms. Their physical appearances are very dissimilar and even disgust each other because of the pronounced differences. Their respective peoples pity them for having made such unfortunate matches. Oddly enough the characters themselves never indulge in bigotry or pity, either for themselves or their spouse, they accept each other and adapt. The new couple must deal with issues of cultural disparity, political machinations and the prospect of war with a kingdom unhappy with their alliance. Through it all these characters shine.
It was unique in the way that the lovers found each other ugly, which I really liked, mostly because many other books describes the head characters as beautiful and they fall in love in first sight. This book however was not that cliche and that's what made it unique. Ildiko and Brishen had to get to know each other before any romantic feelings could develop and they had to get past their differences in looks. I especially liked how they explained human eyes as scary. It makes me wonder how aliens would see us humans as, and weirdly enough, it made the book more realistic. We are so used to perspectives from a humans point of view that we can't ever really know how a nonhuman would interpreted us, but this book gave a pretty good idea of how we look for an "outsider".
Even the author's writing is good with the formulations, metaphors and general storytelling. The reason however, as to why I couldn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted to is the fact that it misses that flare and drama to get lost in the world the story is painting for us. For me, the relationship was pretty dull and drama free. There were no disagreements between the lovers and they pretty much liked each other from the very beginning. Even though I get behind the idea of love growing over time, there just wasn't any excitement in their relationship. They liked each other all the time with no arguments, no twists or turns and no drama to add that flare the book needed. What made it worse was the fact that very little happened in the book except in the end. The story was built to make you follow their evolving feelings for one another, but since not much was happening there either it made the book over all forgettable and a bit dull.
I see potential in this author and even though I couldn't get behind this book I can see why many others likes it. I'm not saying "do not read", I'm saying try it out and create your own opinion of the story and understand that this is just my own view of the book. I myself am content with not continuing reading this series, but I'm happy that I gave this book a shot.
I will not ruin the story by summarizing it here to explain why I adore it so much. You want to know why, read the blurb. Or read the sample. But if you take it that far, beware: you'll end up buying the book.
The premise of this story is great. The dialogue and interactions are meaningful and interesting. The male and female leads, endearing and witty. The best part about their coming together was that one was not tasked with winning over the other. The main characters were equal in that measure, putting a unique twist on the typical romantic cliche’s.
Although I am a fan of the “no, no, no struggle” that takes 3/4 of the story before the “yes, yes, yes of acquiescence” (I mean who could read romance without being able to stomach that), this different take was so refreshing and fulfilling. It really took me by surprise.
The only bad thing I can say about this book is that the names (or at least their spellings) were too hard to pronounce properly in my head, so I found myself saying them wrong just so I wasn't pulled out of the wonderful story every time I saw someone’s name.
That being said, I was hooked after the sample and didn't think twice about buying the book. And the next in the series.
Darn you author for penning such a compelling tale and taking my money! *raises fist to the sky in mock agitation*
Truly fantastic read.