Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Eresse - Shield Mate

Ranael knew his obligations to family and society. As a scion of Ylandre’s most powerful House, he was destined for a life of service, albeit a privileged one. As the son of a wealthy fief-lord, he was supposed to bed or wed as befitted his station. With obedience to authority ingrained in him since childhood, Ranael hewed closely to what was expected of a royal-blooded aristocrat and a military officer. Thus, defiance of the strictures of his position never entered his mind. Until he came to covet Vaeren Henaz.
Vaeren did his duty to king and country despite attempts to put him in his place and keep him there. A survivor of neglect and frightful adversity before and after he fled the orphanage wherein he grew up, Vaeren refused to let his illegitimacy or lack of sufficient lineage stop him from fighting his way up the ranks of Ylandre’s hidebound army. Nor did he allow anything or anyone to trample on his dignity or his heart. Until he learned to love Ranael Mesare.
In the dual-gendered realm of Ylandre, two warriors of nigh irreconcilably dissimilar backgrounds battle their way through the vagaries of military conventions, social censure, and personal vendettas. All while struggling with an attraction that contravenes the traditions and expectations that shape life and love in the world of Aisen’s most powerful nation.

Comment: This book is the most recent installment in the Chronicles of Ylandre, a fantasy m/m series by author Eresse. This book wasn't on the TBR list because I purchased it the day it was published, Monday the 21st and started it the day after. I just couldn't wait to read another fascinating story featuring the hermaphrodite species that live in this world the author created.
In this new story, we have the romance of Ranael and Vaeren, two men in the army who come from different backgrounds but meet and fall in love.
Ranael belongs to an important family, he's cousin to the king and is expected to marry well. He has never been involved with another soldier but there's something about Vaeren that compels him and he tries to be friends but their attraction and connection is too strong and they become a couple.
Vaeren knows he's illegitimate but that hasn't stopped him from doing a good job and being rewarded by his work, loyalty and merits. The King also seems to favor him despite they never met in person. Their relationship seems to go well until someone comes to their camp and becomes the new boss. But if their love is true nothing can't separate them...or can?
I just love these stories, the amazing and detailed world the author thought of, from rules to laws, to names and situations, everything is a rich and fascinating story done to not only delight us with its details but to let us enjoy a romance too. I mean, I'm a fan and will look forward to all the installments.
The stories are romances, they have many scenes related to the world building but the focus is clearly the romances and how the main characters are related and connected to one another. I also like how so many of the most important characters play a part and are important to some sections of the story or the overall plot. There's a sense of family, of community, of friendship between some of the key characters I really appreciate and enjoy seeing developed. It's something on out face, the focus is always the romantic relationship, but it's nice to have a secondary element with importance.
The romance in this story is similar to those in the other books when it comes to sweetness, angst moments, making up, etc. What I think makes these stories special and not repetitive (in my opinion, I know other don't think the same) is the main characters themselves, so different elements or characteristics make for different stories and impact situations.
Ranael is someone certain of his position but not of his own feelings and it was interesting to see him grow up, go from just what it was expected of him to someone he needed to be and how Vaeren helped him in it while still allowing him to keep his opinion and place in the society. Of course he makes a bad call at some point and he's the one that has to change his ways but all ends well.
Vaeren is more complex, he has a past that shaped his attitude and notions but didn't stop him from trying to be a good man, a good officer and someone others could respect. I really liked him and was very happy when his happiness was finally a sure and everlasting thing.
The HEA is sweet and I liked how the relationship between Ranael and Vaeren got stronger after a tribulation... it seems too long went between their problems and their making up but honestly I was simply enjoying the story. I think certain situations are clichéd and I don't care about some of them, nor the way some characters are portrayed as more fragile both in appearance and personalities. I understand this, but in some situations it verges on the limit of effeminate status and I don't care for that. Some attitudes by Ranael seem to be by someone very unsure and fragile and that's not very matching to his position of power, something we hear about often. It's not a deal breaker for me, but when I notice it, it's not easily put aside. But it's a minor personal preference.
All in all, I liked this romance and the story itself and here I am again, just waiting for the next story and hoping the author won't take too long to write and publish it!
Grade: 8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment