Fifteen years ago, Prince Graham of Ardglass barely escaped from the ancestral castle with his young life. Rescued by a magical creature and spirited off to a faraway valley, he grew into a strong, capable man—never shirking his duties on the farm, but forever bitter over his father’s betrayal. But just when he has finally come to terms with being lost and staying lost, a visitor arrives in his valley and changes everything.Todd's rating:
After a lifetime spent lost in his beloved books, Prince Emory awakens to find his villainous aunt working to usurp the throne of Fontaine. When she sends him on a dangerous quest, he’s certain the journey is a trap, but he’s not willing to accept defeat without a fight.
But a fight is something Rory is unprepared and untrained for, until he’s saved by a handsome, unassuming farmhand and his snooty, smug, and surprisingly talkative unicorn.
If I had to tell readers one thing about this book, it's that they should *NOT* expect this story to be anything even remotely like TJ Klune's "The Lightning Struck Heart".
I started reading not exactly *expecting* the book to have that same type of "TLSH" energy and humor, but I had definitely *hoped* for at least some of it, which was decidedly not the case here.
Prince Graham (aka Gray) fled his homeland at age 11 to avoid certain death, after being betrayed by his weak-minded father, King Gideon.
For the next 15 years, Gray lived in hiding, with his only consistent companion being Evrard, a pompous, know-it-all, talking unicorn, who helped keep him safe.
That was until Prince Emory (aka Rory) came to Gray's sanctuary on a dangerous mission for his duplicitous aunt, Sabrina. One which was most likely a trap, laid to help further her quest for power.
And then hilarity ensued.
This was more your typical "princes meet, princes learn to rely on one another, princes fall in love, then princes fight to reclaim their birthright" type of fantasy tale, and not a comedy or farce.
While I did enjoy the book, eagerly following along to see what was going to happen next, I wouldn't really consider this an overly "exciting" read.
Yes, there were instances of action here and there, but I found myself feeling a bit marred down with a ton of details in regards to the MC's feelings about their plight, which were continually being rehashed chapter after chapter. So the pacing of the 400 page book was a bit slow (and long) for my personal tastes.
I was actually sold on the slow burn romance between Gray and Rory, which was a plus, and the reader was given a bit of steam, too, but only occasionally.
I expect that a lot of readers will thoroughly enjoy this book, as long as they know going in to *not* expect "The Lightning Struck Heart", simply because there was a talking unicorn.
I'd rate the book at just over 3.75 stars, which would've been higher, except for the length and pacing.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review
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