Radiance by Grace Draven

RadianceWhy I read it:  This was recommended by many Twitter friends so I bought it.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE

Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.

THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  My Twitter friends were right.  I liked Radiance very much.  The conflict is mostly external and the romance is really quite delightful.

Ildiko and Brishen both knew they would be expected to marry for political alliance rather than affection and both are resigned to their fate.  Nevertheless, each has some misgivings about marrying someone from another species.  This is the first inter-species romance I have read and I appreciated that the first look at “other” was from Brishen’s point of view.  It was the humans I was seeing as different and the descriptions were apt and amusing but they also served to relax me into the “other” of the Kai (the species to which Brishen belongs).

Captive Prince by CS Pacat: An interview with the author

Captive Prince CS PacatPenguin Australia contacted me recently to ask me if I’d review Captive Prince, which releases today.  I first read Captive Prince Vol1 and Captive Prince Vol2 (now renamed Prince’s Gambit) back in March 2013.  I reviewed them both together then and I loved them.    Here is a link to my review. Even though it’s about the first two books I don’t think it’s too spoiler-y but I can’t vouch for the comments and links.  The books received lively discussion at the time and there were many wonderful and spoilerific discussions.

I loved the books and I’m so excited to see a m/m fantasy series being released into the mainstream.   I wanted to promote the series, even though I rarely do promo here. (The author is also Australian for extra bonus points.)  When Penguin offered an interview, I agreed and then I wracked my brains for interesting questions.  I had help from Janine Ballard from Dear Author and Brie from Romance Around the Corner.  Thank you ladies.  Your questions were the really good ones.

Thank you also to CS Pacat who made all of the questions look really clever. Thanks also for your comprehensive answers and good luck with the books! I hope they sell bazillions.

And now, without further ado, the interview:

I read Captive Prince Vol1 and Vol2 when it was first released electronically (and loved them). Has much changed in the Penguin version?

The biggest change is that the additional “bonus chapters” that came with the first release will be included in the paperback edition in the US, and in the ebooks in Australia.In every other regard, Penguin wanted to respect the original editions as much as possible, so the changes are minimal, just a sentence tweak here or there.

You clearly had an overarching plan for the trilogy and one of the joys of reading it was seeing things recast as new information came to light. You obviously knew all the backstory already but you didn’t want to let on too early.  How tricky was that to pull off for you? Or, was it just organic? 

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