Radiance was one of my favorite books of 2015, and I have been eagerly awaiting more of Brishen and Ildiko’s story since the moment I finished this series’ first installment. This sequel is a little different, but it has to be. This is no longer a story of two members of vastly different species falling in love. That’s already happened. Now it’s the story of what comes next for them. It’s still a fantastic book, though, and it continues the thread of how this Kai man and human woman not only manage to love one another through their differences, but how their union is accepted among their people.
If you haven’t read Radiance, by the way, go do it now.
So you may remember, Brishen’s mother is super-evil and very powerful. But as this story begins, she has pretty much messed up the world by opening a breach between dimensions and let in a horde of powerful beasts that can’t be killed by mortal weapons. The galla decimate the royal city, and only a fraction of the Kai are able to escape. Thankfully, Brishen and Ildiko are far away at their home. But the attack impacts them quickly. They are thrust in the roles of rulers, forcing them to follow a dangerous path to fight their enemy. And if that weren’t enough, the crown threatens their marriage, since Ildiko can never provide her husband an heir.
There is never any doubt how fiercely these two love each other. But this book is all about whether duty can or should supersede that bond. Ildiko sees the writing on the wall long before her husband does. And that is the source of so many feels. She would do anything for this man –even give him up– to support him… to help him lead his people. I love how she manages to be so strong despite what it means for her emotionally. It never felt like she was trying to be a martyr. It wasn’t maudlin –and it could have been, in the hands of a lesser author. It was just part of what makes this character so … worthy of her amazing husband.
As much I adored Ildiko, I had just as much love for Brishen. He won me by his unwavering devotion to his wife. No. Matter. What. He clearly values his people and is willing to sacrifice his very life for them. But he won’t give up Ildiko. Win. Win. Win.
I did miss the newness of their love story a little. But this was a really good book. There’s a good secondary storyline with a trio of survivors from the royal city. I found myself hoping for a little love connection between the nanny and her male guard. Plus, there is some great sexual tension between Brishen’s cousin Anhuset and their human ally, Serovek. There is still so much great stuff to mine here, and all of these characters gave the story depth amidst the action.
Another winner from Grace Draven. Would definitely recommend these books.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Grace Draven
Release Date: April 18, 2016