THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE
Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.
THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.
Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.
“You find me ugly, don’t you?”
“Hideous. A hag of a woman. And you? You don’t think me a handsome man?”
“Had you crawled out from under my bed when I was a child, I would have bludgeoned you to death with my father’s mace.”
*falls over laughing*
The above takes place between our two main characters, Brishen Khaskem, a Kai prince with gray skin, solid yellow eyes, razor claws for fingernails, and teeth meant for tearing flesh, and Ildiko, a human woman who happens to be the niece of a king.
They’re destined to marry, and for that, everyone pities them. The two races find each other physically repulsive, and as you can tell, that extends to our MCs.
While their appearances couldn’t be more different, their souls share a kinship. They’re both witty, intelligent, and quick to laugh. Which basically means that their interactions are frigging hysterical.
They first meet just before their wedding, and recognizing this kinship in each other, form an alliance based on mutual respect and honesty.
I KNOW, HOW REFRESHING, RIGHT?!
Their marriage is one that will secure an alliance between their kingdoms, and while both were pushed into it, neither one resents it.
BECAUSE – HOLY CRAP – THEY’RE BOTH DESCENT “PEOPLE”.
What follows can only be described as one hell of a love story, set against the backdrop of a world balanced on the brink of war. As there is no physical attraction between them (at first *waggles brows*), Brishen and Ilkido form a fast friendship. This love story is a slow burn, a realistic joining together of two souls with more meaningful things to draw them to each other.
I just blew your mind, didn’t I? Trust me, this book blew mine. It was so incredibly refreshing to actually buy into a relationship for once, an ACTUAL relationship, and not just people lusting after each other for no frigging reason aside from the OMG, ABS/OMG, BOOBS that dominates most romance novels.
My only complaint is that I wish there were more to this. I wish Draven delved deeper into this world. I wish there were more descriptions of journeys, surroundings, and cities.
But honestly, that tells you just how much I enjoyed being in this world. And how sad I was to leave it.
I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW, DAMN IT.