Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ice Dragon Tales

Author: Hurri Cosmo
Publisher: Amber Quill
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61124-663-6
Genre: {M/M} Historical Fantasy/BDSM
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Prince Joron of Blade Rain spends his days trying to help his people and that isn’t an easy task when his father, the king, cares for little except his own pleasures. To get food and supplies out the castle, Joron dresses as a servant. It’s on one of these missions that he’s seen by King Aric, the leader of the neighboring kingdom, who’s smitten with him.

Months later his father dies mysteriously, putting Joran in danger from the new king, his older brother and his evil step-mother. It’s at the funeral that Aric rescues Joran while he’s hiding, dressed as a maiden. Thinking it’s their sister, Liarta, Aric offers for her hand in marriage. The problem, she’s already engaged. Joron learns that Aric wants him, so Joron makes a bargain. Himself, instead of his sister, putting him in the middle of a two royal courts filled with deceit, danger, political intrigue and lies. Can Joron be happy with Aric and find a place in his heart?

Ice Dragon Tales is the first book by Hurri Cosmo that I’ve read. There are things about the book that I like and others that I don’t , so I’ll divide the review into two sections to define them.

What I like. The premise isn’t new but it has potential, with the likable Joron a stand out. His personality is pretty well developed and you can feel how much he cares about his people—that he’s willing to sacrifice for them. The way the author disguises him to go on missions outside the castle is nicely done as are those where he’s dresses as a woman. There are numerous interesting secondary characters woven throughout the plot. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with him and Aric’s adorable small son.

The unique names and descriptions work for me, and there lots of action, danger, and political intrigue, with all the twists you’d expect in a royal court.

What I didn’t like. Too many men are attracted to Joron and want to have sex with him. In the plot it’s taken to the extreme with several near rapes and forced seductions—and the book only comes with a light BDSM warning. For some readers this would be a problem, and I find the omission annoying. Even Aric, the other male lead, is rather dubious in the honor department. It definitely took some time for him to grow on me.

There are TOO many points of view. Some actually muddied the plot, adding unneeded information and slowing the pace.  My last niggle is the over abundance of wicked individuals—and their extreme behavior. If a couple of the characters hadn’t redeemed themselves by the end, I would have banged my head on the desk.

Content Warning: Numerous near rape/forced seduction scenes

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