Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Eresse - By Chance Met

From the moment he laid eyes on the handsome Lord of Ilmaren, Naeth Orosse fell head over heels in infatuation with him. And after that first meeting in the middle of a tavern brawl in the dual-gendered realm of Ylandre, Reijir Arthanna did not forget the orphaned youth who came to his aid unasked. When fate brings them together anew, Reijir becomes Naeth’s guardian, which proves both blessing and bane when their mutual attraction is guilelessly nursed by one and distrustfully downplayed by the other.
Between attempting to ignore Naeth’s artless overtures and suppressing feelings he had long disavowed, Reijir has his hands full. But more than a title and duty were forced on this enigmatic cousin of Ylandre’s king. A less than benevolent past has left its imprint on Reijir who is as known for his cynical outlook on life as he is for his exotic features and proficiency between the sheets. Convincing him to risk his heart in love is a battle more experienced Deira than Naeth have waged and invariably lost.

Comment: In keeping up with this series, this month it was time to read the third installment of the Chronicles of Ylandre, a series of five books by Eresse.

This is Reijir and Naeth's story. 
Naeth is a young man who lost everything back home and looked for help in the capital with one of his father's old friends. He works in a tavern but his life is far from perfect. One day he helps some highborns and when he is attacked later that night, Reijir rescues him from harm. That night starts their relationship, as Reijir welcomes Naeth as his ward and takes care of him. Years go by and Naeth falls more deeply in love with Reijir the more time he spends with him. Things reach a breaking point when Naeth listens to what he shouldn't and tries to run away, but will Reijir just let him go?

I liked this installment. Many things are going on, although it's obvious the wight of the relationship is distributed not very equally...Naeth is clearly portrayed as younger and more naive man and Reijir is the older, more mature one. I felt that, until the end, Naeth was a much easier character to understand, he showed his feelings better and in a more obvious way. Reijir had reasons to be quieter and more reserved, but in a way that fact didn't help in building up a more empathic connection to him and he always felt a bit cold at times. His reasons are more than acceptable, tough. But that doesn't mean he changes much, I found his character to be pretty much the same throughout the story.

Like I said, I still liked this one, and it was interesting to see how previous characters played a part in this one as well. There are many usual elements in this novel, the same way there are in any other romance story. There's jealousy, fear, feelings of inadequacy, love, lust, friendship...although the overall feel of the story doesn't differ much from the other stories, I thought this one felt more polished, more thoughtful in a way.

This series are based on a society where only exist men. Therefore, any relationship pertains only men, so it can be a bit annoying at times when they talk or act together and one of them is almost what we would call a "twink" because of the similarities to women's behavior or characteristics. Personally I would prefer if this were not to happen, as I like my m/m romances with men acting like men (for the most part), but this being a fantasy, it's not that weird. I just think it wouldn't be bad if one of them didn't had to look "weaker" in a relationship, or if this is such a keystone to the imagined society, then why does this has to be a rule in all books? Just random, personal thoughts.

Despite my personal ideas, I still enjoyed the book and was touched when they faced emotional and moral dilemmas and had their problems...I wanted everyone to be happy and to find their place. Despite a thing here and there I don't like as much, I still feel marveled at the author's imagination and society descriptions, which are a lot, and how interesting everything works.
Grade: 7/10

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