Tuesday, June 29, 2010

‘Til Kingdom Come

Title: ‘Til Kingdom Come
Author: Evangeline Anderson
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-814-3
Genre: [M/M] Medieval Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

He lives in a world filled with magic, witches, dragons and oppressions and Prince Thrain Blackwater has grown up in bleak Castle Black, under the tyrannical thumb of his father, King Ungor and his unfeeling and deadly older brother, Baynor. After a vision shows him the one who can make him whole and aid in his revenge against those who wronged him, Thrain accompanies Baynor on a mission of treachery and brutality that will in all likelihood, alienate the one he means to claim as his own.

As son and heir to Queen Alaina, Prince Elias Trueheart has led a sheltered life within the walls of Castle Rowan. His royal mother might be a powerful sorceress, but Elias isn’t—he’s a null and resigned to living a life in obscurity, surrounded by his vast magical family. When the men of Castle Black attack, Elias is claimed by Thrain in a brutal manner he can’t forget or forgive, then kidnapped and taken far from his home.

Held captive beneath Castle Black is a magical being filled with riddles that will release Elias’ magic. The secrets this creature holds are confusing but one thing’s certain. He must learn to trust Thrain with his body and his heart and he only has a few short weeks to do it. If he doesn’t, not only will they both wind up dead, the land of both kingdoms will be pillaged and ruined and all magic will leave the world forever.

‘Til Kingdom Come is the newest release by multi-published author Evangeline Anderson, and take it from me—it’s well worth the read. This M/M medieval fantasy is vividly described, whether in regards to customs, clothing, daily life or personal/kingdom backgrounds, and the author does it in a creative and well crafted manner that brings the story and its people to life.

The tale begins with a reprehensible act that sets up Thrain as a villain. This one action shapes Elias’ opinion of him, forcing Thrain to spend the rest of the story atoning for what he did, showing his lover his true and caring nature. I actually felt sorrier for Thrain than I did Elias. After growing up with a dangerous father / king and a crazy / murderous brother, it’s a wonder he turned out as caring as he did. The father and brother--now these two men make perfect villains—the ones you love to hate and Ms. Anderson outdid herself with their creation. They’re despicable in every way and don’t have a single redeeming characteristic. Not one.

There is a seamless integration of magic, fairy folk and dragons throughout and I really enjoyed how she wove Elias and his power into the story, making them a vital piece of the puzzle. Then she added in some well-placed political intrigue, an unfilled prophecy, danger and brutality, then threw in a twist where Thrain’s touch is the only thing capable of grounding Elias and his newly unleashed magical ability. My only complaint is that there was just too much angst, bickering and mistrust on both sides. It got a little tiresome, but it’s balanced with the unique and inventive plot and nicely handled sexual tension build up. When Thrain and Elias do get together physically, watch out. The only word to adequately describe it - HOT!

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