Thursday, June 3, 2021

Megan Derr - The High King's Golden Tongue

Prince Allen has trained his entire life to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious mother, who has made their kingdom one of the wealthiest and most influential in the empire. For the past few years he has trained to become the new consort of the High King. The only thing no one prepared him for was the stubborn, arrogant High King himself, who declares Allen useless and throws him out of court.
High King Sarrica is ruling an empire at war, and that war will grow exponentially worse if his carefully laid plans do not come to fruition. He's overwhelmed and needs help, as much as he hates to admit it, but it must be someone like his late consort: a soldier, someone who understands war, who is not unfamiliar with or afraid of the harsher elements of rule. What he doesn't need is the delicate, pretty little politician foisted on him right as everything goes wrong.

Comment: I had this book in the pile for some time now but finally decided to give it a go. I'm quite happy I did, because I loved pretty much everything about it except, perhaps, one single detail.

In this fantasy story, we find a kingdom whose king is still in mourning but state affairs, impending war and other scuffles, politics and the everyday working of so much to do make it necessary for high king Sarrica to marry again. After some screening, prince Allen is sent after a lifetime of being turned into someone who can manage everything to do with how to manage a kingdom and especially after the last two years which his tutors dedicated to perfect him into being the king's consort. However, when they finally meet, Sarrica isn't impressed with Allen, believes him a useless helper for he believes he would need a soldier like his previous consort. It will take a dire adventure and its repercussions to convince these two the other isn't only the appearance they provide and that, perhaps, they are suitable after all...

I had read other things by this author before and, in general, I had a great experience. That is why I believe, despite the not always appealing covers - not the case with this series! - her work has the possibility to be something I'll appreciate well. I was again proved right with this book, and except for one detail, I feel it ticked all the boxes to be something I love in a romance story.

I was immediately immersed in the story as soon as I started it. I liked Allen a lot, his whole background, his personality, his need to do well, make his parents proud while trying his best to fulfill the role he had been readied for while still being a little hopeful he might find contentment in his potential marriage. I think the author's characterization takes central stage in how she outlines her characters. I also liked Sarrica, especially how he tried to be a honorable ruler.

In fact, the two best things about the author's work - as far as I've seen in the books I tried - are the eye for detail, in the sense everything has a sense, a purpose and the characters and situations are developed accordingly (instead of, let's say, the characters being led by their hormones) and another thing I like is how things take time to happen, how the author stages and plans and the plot and the relationships follow a certain pace, a certain road into something e can end cheering as having been done well.

Allen and Sarrica's relationship doesn't start well but with time I was being convinced they are a match, they could be a good couple, complementing one another and stronger emotions could arise from that too and not just physical attraction. Actually, this was done slowly, they got aware of each other's strengths and vulnerabilities as time went by and that made it easier to accept their emotions and choices were being made in a solid manner. Yes, some little things could have been done better between them but honestly, this only made me appreciate the pace more.

I liked the world building, the several details imagined into this story. The author doesn't only offer a romance or a plot, I think she does plan her stories rather well. Or words come easily to her, I just know I didn't feel bored and wanted to keep reading so I wouldn't have minded an even bigger story. Even the secondary characters had interesting roles, there's a secondary romance too...

It's true I found one detail to be not to my liking. It doesn't cause any issues within the plot, mostly because of how the society portrayed works and how the characters have this intrinsically good personality, how they respect one another even when they joke and banter each other. Personally, I could do without that detail for it certainly didn't detract me from enjoying the story.

I can see it might not work for everyone but I could ignore all the possible critics and I don't care about it because I simply had a good time reading and I really enjoyed the somewhat simplicity of things, especially because the characterization won me over. I'll definitely read the other books in the series.
Grade: 9/10

No comments:

Post a Comment