Comment: I got this book months ago, the author wrote this story for a Goodreads group and the story was free at the time I got it, I don't know if it's still so. As I try to read m/m books every month, this is one of January's picks.
In this story we meet Prince Theryn and his sort of servant Sir Atrum as they try to find a way for the Prince not to marry with the heir of country's enemy, thus saving the country from future actions, but at the same time playing things in a way that would convince everyone Theryn is on board with the decision.
While this is developing, Sir Atrum, always feeling he was different, finally finds out why and reunites with elements of his family. But can this mean that, besides class differences, there will be no way for the two of them to be together the way they most want to?
This is a fantasy story set in a fantasy world, which says a lot about the author's imagination and ideas for the plot and the world she wanted to create and develop. I actually enjoyed the world building, some of the ideas, the customs... this is not the best book I've read in this regard, but it's interesting, the beings, the differences between some people and others are interesting but it's not the subject at the center of the whole thing, it's just something that lets us have an idea of how society and culture were shaped.
The characters in general are easy to read but aren't there just because. The little we learned from them was enough to help us have an idea. The main characters were different, we are supposed to have a better take on them, on their emotions and personalities.
The two heroes were interesting enough but I was never in awe of them, neither when they were alone nor together. I can't say why I got this impression but although I was glad when they found happiness, their relationship or their individual personalities didn't seem as layered as they could to make them look people we would want to know in real life or to be close to...
Theryn is a prince and he has many good qualities but the main impression I got of him was he was too reckless and too young. Atrium had a better notion of his surroundings and what was expected but I can't understand his pining away for Theryn. Still, Atrium felt like the one with more depth in character and his wanting to know more about his roots and family was what intrigued me the most in this book.
Their relationship wasn't portrayed well, in my opinion. It was too easy, too superficial!
Apparently they have been friends since their childhood but now both think of the other with very different feelings but because they are prince and servant they know they can't ever be together so we are told they sometimes flirt but nothing more. I would have liked to see this more often, to have more scenes with the sexual tension between them. This way, when they became intimate it didn't feel that special or momentous... which is a pity because this would have given the story more flavor.
The plot wasn't complicated but it had many situations and scenes not always easy to follow only because , the way I see it, the author didn't explain everything well enough. When the book ends, things happened but I still felt we didn't have closure on every issue. The villain was sort of punished, out heroes found a way to be together but it's not really the most realistic ending, even considering this is fantasy. Oh well.
All in all, this was a good effort, it took time and imagination, there are several scenes/moments in the story things were good and fluid but the main character's romance and the lack of layers was something that stood out and made me think about what could have been done differently.