Scion of House Essendri, the reigning dynasty of Ylandre, Jareth Hadrana is gifted with more than his fair share of beauty and wit. The kingdom’s preeminent ambassador, he has surpassed what is usually expected of a fief-lord’s second son. But while his high birth and family wealth opened doors for him, Jareth’s success stemmed from his own efforts to make something of himself other than the idle fop or swaggering rakehell that was the lot of many younger sons.
A coincidence of interest drew Jareth and Yandro to the same profession, but a king’s intervention throws them together in an association that soon turns into mutual desire. However, prejudices have largely kept the aristocratic True Bloods and lower caste Half Bloods on opposite sides of the social and romantic divide. In addition, reticence born of distrust and a secret like no other hamper their attempts to span the chasm between them. It will take more than their shared passion to convince them to lower their protective walls and risk their hearts in full.
Comment: This is the most recent installment in the Chronicles of Ylandre series by the author. In this book we have a couple that has been working together for long but never acted on their attraction. This series shows us a fantasy world where genders evolved and now only the hermaphrodites Deir exist. This is a world full of imagination and details but still focusing a lot on human feelings and experiences.
This book shows Yandro, a man coming from doubtful origins, he is an orphan who got something out of life sue to his own worth and work. He feels attracted to his new boss as soon as he meets him but he has a work code he respects so he never acted on his feelings or planed on revealing them.
Jareth comes from the ruling royal family tree and his wealth and influences would make sure he didn't have to work but he isn't one to just exist, he wants to do something valuable so he works where he knows his abilities will be more needed. Yandro is the only one of his aids who never tried to gain his good graces intimately so he respects him and can't help but feeling something for him too, something that evolves to love. But their roles and origins can be on the way if they don't admit they love each other...
I liked this story a lot. I think it was well done and the relationship between the two main characters was portrayed quite well too.
This book also has a lot of politics but I'll be honest, I didn't pay much attention to those parts. Not that those aren't important, after all they provide plot development and help explain how many things work, it helps to contextualize everything. But for me these books have their strength in the relationships and the society workings. I think the author does a great job in imagining so many details about how such a society would work, the rules which have a lot of what we know of reality and historical times. The characters have depth and their reactions and feelings seem real.
The main point in this book is Yandro and Jareth' relationship. They come from different sides of the society and Yandro feels the prejudice because of his origins. Some things are expected of him because of that be he always tried to be more while keeping his honor and willingness to work and prove his worth. I think his character just proves people with humbler origins can be as important and hardworking as any one and that doesn't affect his personality. He has a good grip on how things work but he still has dreams.
Jareth is rich, comes from an important family but he isn't lazy or wastes his time. He found a work that he is good at but he still keeps his secrets. I liked how he shared important things about himself with Yandro and how he trusted him.
Communication is key in a romantic relationship and these to have had their issues because of a lack of it. But I never got the feeling this was silly misunderstandings as it happens often in romances, they had expectations about their roles and while they never judged the other because of what they thought the other should be like or be with, they still had their personal doubts and like anyone else in the world, they wanted to be worthy of the one they loved.
I think the emotional situations provided in this book were well approached and dealt with. Jareth and Yandro had issues to solve before admitting to a relationship and I felt for them in their journey to acceptance. No that they didn't say they had feelings, but sometimes people just need to speak. I liked the pace of the story and how all the things we would want to see took its time but were done well.
Some political parts were a bit boring and there was this character that, although I understood its presence due to plot issues, I still would have done something different, and these are the reasons why the grade isn't higher.
Still, the goos things made me read the book fast and it was hard to put it down.
I liked the end a lot. It's always so good to have an epilogue that works, that doesn't feel like a duty just because and that helps proving the good guys deserve happiness.
I think the issues about relationships addressed in this story were dealt with fine for the most part and in terms of romance and writing, it was done very well.
I hope there are more stories to come in this world.