Monday, June 8, 2020

Sera Trevor - Consorting With Dragons

Lord Jasen of Grumhul has a gambling problem. Or rather, his father has the problem, but since he's gambled away everything that was rightfully Jasen's, it's become his problem, too. With no money and no skills to earn a living, his best bet for getting away from his father is to present himself for marriage at Court in the Draelands, the kingdom at the center of the Allied Realms. Jasen's courtly manners aren't the most refined (to say the least), but he hopes he's still capable of attracting at least a minor lord.
He isn't looking to cause a scandal, but that's exactly what happens when he immediately attracts the attention of both a powerful dragon and King Rilvor himself. The King serves as the mystical link between the magic of the dragons and humankind; since the death of his wife two years before, magic in the Allied Realms has suffered. He must take a spouse this year, and the fight for his favor has gotten downright vicious.
No one, including Jasen himself, thinks he's a proper match for the king. But the growing affection between them can't be denied. Jasen loves Rilvor, but he's petrified about becoming lord consort to a king. Unfortunately, the two can't be separated, and Jasen must decide if true love is worth all the trouble. 

Comment: I got this book after a recommendation by someone whose taste in books is somewhat similar to mine. I only knew this was paranormal and had a romance so I started reading without much awareness of what it would entail.

In this - not very long – story we meet Jasen, a young nobleman whose father has squandered the family’s wealth and that means he needs to travel to Court, where the event of finding spouses happens. This event is usual in the society and works for both sides: debutantes or young members who need to marry and the prospective partners they need to dazzle so they can be chosen. 
This year, the widowed King will also choose a partner for his magical abilities (that help to sustain control on the land itself) need to be shared and whomever the King picks needs to be the right person.
Jasen isn’t dragon touched, meaning, he doesn’t show any magical ability, and he would never be chosen  but things seems to change when he arrives at the palace and in his first day he is summoned as if in a trance to one of the dragons in residence. Jasen’s status becomes new but will he find happiness as easily as jealousy in Court?

This was mostly a sweet story but I did expect a bit more development or world building. I see the author has added to this story in another edition, longer and expanded and I can assume some of the things I wish could have been done here (mostly character development) were addressed there.
This version was written as part of the Goodreads M/M group challenge… I am not aware of the rules but perhaps page length was an issue.

Jasen is the main character and he does seem to be a likable character although I admit I wasn’t as impressed with his behavior at home, meaning that he had different partners – ok, without anything being serious and no one feeling bad about it – but his promiscuity, even if not hurting anyone, felt highlighted in a negative way. This also played a small part in how his relationship with the King progressed but it wasn’t a subject here; I suppose it might have been in the newer version.

Well, it’s not such a surprise Jasen and the King would meet and feel content in each other’s company, is there? I think this element was predictable and the slight patronizing the King has towards Jasen, the way Jasen is presented and described makes me think of him as a somewhat spoiled boy who had to learn otherwise because of his father’s behavior. Now he is portrayed as an adventurous young man when he is in the company of some characters but as an innocent and too much a special someone while with the King. 
The dichotomy felt too obvious and it ruined the romance a little for me. I mean, there was no surprise in how the two of them would end up bonding… the romance was very plain and easy.

The King was too much of an enigma. We only have Jasen’s POV so the King doesn’t seem as fleshed out and their scenes together feel a little too simple, not as complex as they could. In fact, as a whole, the story was a bit under done. I, again, can imagine some of these things being developed in the larger version but here the feeling I get is that was possible to present in a simplistic way, was it.

For whatever purpose this story was created – the author explains her inspiration was a reader’s letter and an image of dragons – I think the end result in this version was purely objective. Some details are interesting to know about; I liked the dragons and the little paranormal elements. It was also easy to imagine some landscapes and scenes from the descriptions. However, the overall effect was too predictable, including the villain’s actions close to the end, so I was not amazed as I expected. 

It was still a good enough read; don’t be mistaken, but not great.
Grade: 6/10

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