A few days ago, I was kickin’ it writer style at the RT Convention in Las Vegas when I got a FB message from Grace Draven asking if I was interested in an ARC of Eidolon. After taking the time to be grateful that she couldn’t hear me squee through the internets, I replied that of course I would be happy to get one. And there went the rest of that day. And night. And a bit of the next day.
If you haven’t read the first book in her Wraith Kings series, get thee to Amazon and Kindle that shit immediately. (I know that technically Kindle isn’t a verb in this sense, but lower-case kindle is, so just roll with it.)
I had been counting the days for this book release. I’ve read and re-read Radiance, I’ve listened to Radiance, I’ve made sacrifices to the dark gods.
And the wait and human sacrifice were totally worth it. Eidolon was brilliant.
In a bid for more power, the Shadow Queen of Haradis has unleashed a malignant force into the world. Her son Brishen, younger prince of the Kai royal house, suddenly finds himself ruler of a kingdom blighted by a diseased darkness and on the brink of war. His human wife Ildiko must decide if she will give up the man she loves in order to secure his throne.
Three enemy kingdoms must unite to save each other, and a one-eyed, reluctant king must raise an army of the dead to defeat an army of the damned.
A tale of alliance and sacrifice.
I was already very attached to the main characters – Brishen, the spare Kai prince and his human wife Ildiko. Their marriage was one of politics, uniting two disparate peoples with extra royals they had lying about. Each species finds the other rather abhorrent. From their looks to their eating habits, they are really and truly very different. Brishen and Ildiko managed to look past that, though, and not only found a way to reach alliance, they found partnership and love.
Happily settled far, far away from the main Kai palace, home to Brishen’s family including his rather evil mother, their future is looking pretty darn good.
Until of course the aforementioned evil mother decides to level up. A horde of unstoppable demons are unleashed on the land – starting in the royal palace – and they destroy everything in their wake.
As the only surviving member of the royal family, Brishen must not only save his country, but become a king – and no Kai king can have a human wife.
This book kept my heart rate up and my ass on the edge of the chair. I read a lot of wonderful fantasy authors, and if you don’t have world-building skills, you don’t rate high on my list. Grace gets double points for not only setting her world up magnificently, but doing it from scratch.
I have the feels for Brishen and Ildiko and I was really, really worried about them while reading.
I enjoy the way Grace is able to portray not just the romantic relationship between our two main characters, but also their partnership and friendship. Anhuset, Brishen’s cousin, is perhaps one of my favorite characters in the book and I just want to get drinks with her and talk about men and weapons.
Grace does such a good job of making complete characters – not just the main characters, but those that, while important for the purposes of the story, are not ever going to step into leading roles; at least not in this series.
The only thing that I have trouble with is keeping track of everyone. To be fair, I’m pretty crap at names in real life, even when I’ve met a person a dozen times, so to expect myself to keep track of characters in a book is probably pushing it.
Grace is such a beautiful writer that it was hard to keep this narrowed down. In the end, the following really hit me right in the old feelers.
“If you were granted one wish, what would you wish for?” he whispered.…She swallowed hard past the knot of tears lodged in her throat and blinked hard to clear them from her vision. “I wish…” She inhaled and started again. “I wish for you to grow old with me.”
RIGHT? Who’s cutting onions in here?
Go. Go forth and read. You will not be sorry.
I received a free advanced reading copy of Eidolon, which in no way influenced my review. I’ve since also paid for a copy, because that cover, amiright?