A curse threatens the Winter Kingdom.
A brother is turned to ice.
A rebel uprising is on the horizon.
Marble-maker Rye Cunnings is at the center of it all—and doesn’t know it.
He doesn’t know he’s the lost summer prince. Doesn’t know his blood can unlock Winter’s curse. Doesn’t know why the marbles he makes flutter with magic. All he thinks is that he’s crazy. That he sees things others don’t, like dragons and strange markings on his skin.
But when a dark dragon snatches away Rye’s only friend Milo, he is forced to face the crazy in his life and figure out a way to bring Milo back.
Help comes in the form of Cerdic Leit, a warrior who finds Rye to take him “home” to the Telluric Realm and their kind. All Rye has to do is follow him into Gatreau, the gateway to the four Telluric kingdoms, and all his questions will be answered.
In the hopes of saving Milo, Rye steps into this new and dangerous world. A world where he learns of the Tellurics and their Hansian foes. A world that is swept up in a bitter battle of justice and hate.
And a world that won’t let Rye leave again.
Bottom line is that young marble shop owner, Rye, thinks he's crazy. Madly so. He sees glowing marks under his skin, wakes up disoriented in the same graveyard from time to time, plus, he sees dragons for Christ's sake.
Then when an oddly-dressed man, Cerdic, shows up at his shop and offers to help him find and save his kidnapped friend, Milo, Rye reluctantly agrees to accompany his latest imaginary friend on an adventure through a portal.
But neither the man nor his home, the Telluric realm, are fictional and Rye finally begins getting answers to long-held questions about his mysterious past.
And so begins this new fantasy series of magic, royalty and dragons. Think Disney's Frozen meets a bit of Harry Potter, if you will, but with mystical 'keys' vs. actual wand-waving spells.
This was such a fun read and very compelling, with intense world and character building, so I really can't wait to see where the author takes the story next, now that the groundwork has been laid and the fantasy world built.
As primarily an M/M romance reader, the one aspect of this first book that I found lacking was any actual on-page *feelings* expressed between the three different sets of potential love interests.
There really wasn't even much in the way of internal dialogue regarding feelings in this story. Yes, many of the characters were fighting for their lives for much of the story; however, not even including many internal thoughts toward the object of their would-be affection just felt a bit too intentional in the avoidance on the author's part. That felt off to me.
I'm praying that the romance 'key' is unlocked in the next book and we're given some genuine feels to go along with the never-ending action, but this initial book was highly-entertaining and a definite must-read for M/M fantasy readers.
4 stars for a strong story, but near void of actual romance in this first book of the series.
My copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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