Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Eresse - Cross Purposes

One of Ylandre’s most prominent nobles, Keosqe Deilen may have had it all in terms of wealth, power and social rank. But in matters of the heart, he was impoverished. Such was the consequence of falling in unrequited love. Though he hides that love and his sorrow well, a few inevitably see through his masquerade.
Young Tristen Marante is quick to discern Keosqe’s pain. His blunt sympathy is a balm to Keosqe’s wounded heart as much as his beauty is an effective distraction from the noble’s hopeless yearning. But Tristen is a skittish would-be lover, whose reluctance to express his affection is as much an impediment as the lack of reciprocation from Keosqe’s first love had been. Whereas Keosqe seeks intimacy, Tristen shies from it, suspicious of the motives behind his pursuit and unwilling to yield his heart so easily or soon.
With such different perspectives toward lust and love, is it any wonder their path to a common goal is strewn with stumbling blocks and paved with false impressions?

Comment: This is another book in the Chronicles of Ylandre series. The most recent one was recently released and I'm eager to read it despite this one not being as amazing as the previous ones. Some things seemed weaker and it wasn't as enjoyable either.

This is Keosqe's story, he's another of the many cousins to the king and a close friend too to pretty much all the characters we've met so far.
Keosqe has been in love with his best friend since they were young and they were even intimate. Now his friend, who never returned his deep feelings, married and asked Keosqe to help his younger brother by letting him live with him while he went about his studies. But Keosqe gets closer to Tristen not realizing his feelings are changing too.
Tristen doesn't like to be someone else's trouble and doesn't like to be in debt. But the time with Keosqe teaches him many things among them the value of patience and waiting.

Well, these stories are heavily set in the workings of a hermaphrodite society but much of the details are obviously similar to those old Victorian ideals of innocence and power plays between older and younger people, namely the older should take care for the youngest and wait until they are of age before sexual activity and other more adult ways of acting. Despite nothing out of place happens here, it's a bit too much on the limit how Keosqe, so many times said as just and patient, sort of pressures Tristen for sex. It's not aggressively done, actually it' quite subtle, but there nonetheless. I think it wasn't the best way to carry on things. There's a fine line almost crossed here that I feel it's unnecessary because the tone of the books so far has been more focused on the romance and the balance in it, the emotions and in this case it missed the mark because the way things were done, I felt it wasn't as good as we were used to.

I also had the feeling this story had a more boring tone than any other. I don't know exactly how to explain, perhaps because I've never warmed up to Keosqe and reading his story was more of a task than I imagined. I just didn't feel as eager to read and not even the most emotional parts, which in the previous book always made me shed a tear here and there, weren't as polished and to the point as before. Tristan and Keosqe had their obstacles but I wasn't as motivated to read as that.

The plot follows the usual patterns, some sort of mutual interests at some point, seduction, caring, betrayal and making up, of course with different details for each story. In this book's case it was so but it just wasn't as thrilling or well shaped, I thought it was more of the same and I felt the difference in writing, it felt weaker somehow. Still, I enjoyed seeing beloved characters, some details here and there and the overall plot details.
The romance felt lacking strength and beauty and romantic things. It was more like a task to be done so I wasn't even overjoyed with the HEA.
Not the author's best, I think.

I really hope the next one keeps up with the goodness and isn't like this one. Still, it's interesting enough, if not for more than just to keep up with the series.
Grade: 5/10

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