Source: Purchased from Gulf of Maine Books
Pub. Date: February 2, 2021
Purchase Link: Amazon
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Why did I choose to read this book?
Honestly I need to read more science fiction. I know there’s always an argument about what is sci fi and what is fantasy and what is both, but if it’s space then to me, it’s science fiction. I had heard so many things about this book as well, and if it comes highly recommended by ~the internet~ and is an author’s debut novel I like to give it the Angry Angel Books endorsement if I can.
What is this book about?
This book is a loveable, political mess. Arranged marriages meant to hold together treaties and alliances seems pretty archaic for this planetary setting, but that’s how it begins: Prince Taam of the Iskat Empire is killed and his arranged marriage to Jainan (for a Thean treaty) is reforged with Kian, a cousin of the prince. After their rushed marriage, things start to leak out about Taam’s death, and the investigations begin to hone in on Jainan. Kian actually likes and is attracted to Jainan, while Jainan is so obviously traumatized that he can see only duty and the avoidance of conflict with Kian (and a little attraction there too). From there the best I can do is tell you that there are varied tangled stories that get unwoven and exposed, and there are secrets the Empire tries to keep hidden that Kian and Jainan sometimes purposefully, sometimes accidentally expose.
If you enjoy a messy bitch with an excellent ending, that’s this book.
What is notable about the story?
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I love a story that treats LGBTQIA+ and gender identity (including non-binary) as NORMAL. Just people being people in their day to day lives. Now granted, there is trauma here, but it isn’t borne out of someone coming out or revealing they are actually such and such – the people in this story are who they are and it’s awesome. I will read every good story with these attributes and communities being normalized.
Was anything not so great?
I want to be clear that this is not a criticism, but a clarification concern. Jainan’s behavior through the first half of the book will feel repetitive to many people who haven’t shared his experiences. To those of us that know what we’re seeing, it’s obvious right away, but I would be afraid that some people might put this story down because Jainan’s behavior doesn’t make sense or is too repetitive when there is a reason he’s acting the way he does. Please don’t see this as a flaw, stick with the story and you’ll learn something about human behavior.
What’s the verdict?
5 stars on Goodreads for this adorable, messy, lovely, cute book. Go find it and read it. It’ll be worth your while.
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