Story Score: 5
Presentation Score: 6.5
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
Blurb: If Shadowmere had a ruler, Balian would be king. He is the most powerful of their number, feared above all others. And the time has come to find his mate.
In the land of Wyverns, men compete for the hand of the princess and the riches of her father's kingdom. One among them stands out, for he is the most skilled ... the most dangerous, and Princess Kisah knows this barbarian warrior will be her downfall should he win the games.
Review:I like a good fantasy fiction read, and was looking forward to one that portended to be a bit spicy. The setting was nice and believable, the majority of the dialog flowed well, and even the old cliché of the haughty princess and the darkly mysterious, adamant suitor played well. The spicy bits were a bit disappointing. The thing about fantasy fiction (and erotica set in that vein) is that it should give the author license to play with words and actions relating to sex. That is to say—don’t tell me the usual names for anatomical stuff. You’re supposed to be pulling me into a completely different world, so there MUST be a different way to describe sex—the feeling of it as well as the act itself. There, it fell down. All the pageantry was a great setup for what should have been steamy “we’re-not-from-here” relations. In the end, those parts ended up being more pedantic than titillating.
Overall, I liked the book; until the end. The problem I had with the end is that it just ended. It was rushed. I got no further feel of the characters, even though there is a momentous event at the conclusion. I could not figure out if the author was setting up a sequel, was bored by the writing at that point, or did not have a real grip on how the characters would react to the situation. Rather than a “AND THEN?” feeling at the end, I was left with, “Um…that’s it?”
I noticed the 2003 copyright date, and wonder if there is a Book 2. It’s not that I’m dying to read it, but, I have to admit, I’d go for the first two chapters or so just to try to get an idea of what the author intended those final reactions to be.