Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Kaidos Vailinn is a Wander-born thief trying hard to overcome an unfortunate past when he’s approached by a gentleman offering him a large sum of money to recover a kidnapped prostitute for return to the King of a distant kingdom. Kaidos is surprised when he undertakes the mission and discovers upon trying to bed Veyl that not only is the prostitute in question the highest paid companion in the brothel, but also very much male.
Thus begins a journey of epic fantasy proportions. A King’s Ransom is a longish book separated into two parts. Part One was awesome—I adored it. Veyl and Kaidos are sexy, quirky well-developed characters that captivated me and had me thoroughly invested almost immediately. I was absolutely riveted watching them fall in love on their journey across the kingdom to an unknown end. As their pasts are revealed in all its delicious angst, they had me enthralled. Then about midway through came part two and everything changed.
At that point, the book shifted from a tightly focused love story to a sprawling Lord of the Rings style epic set within a complex world of elves, werecreatures, mages and demons in a kingdom of political intrigue. The storyline complexity bumped up to encompassed three m/m love stories, and to facilitate that there are several new POV characters introduced. None of them were bad, in fact, all were interesting and well-drawn. But I’d become so completely invested in Veyl and Kaidos, that this shift threw me.
The entire book is well-written with compelling characters, wonderful storytelling and world-building. Part two just wasn’t the story that I personally craved after having become engrossed in part one. Having the main couple separated for nearly the whole second part of the book had me itching to hurrying through all the other fun stuff going on in order to get back to the relationship of Veyl and Kaidos again. In the end, the brief time on-page after they were reunited left me wanting just a bit more.
Veyl and Kaidos are an awesome couple. I enjoyed them so much that my only niggle with this book centers around my annoyance at having them share the spotlight with any other couples no matter how interesting and fun they were.
Cover Artist: Cinchbug. I appreciated the cover more after reading the story than before.
ebook, 432 pages
Published February 1st 2014 by Smashwords
original titleA King’s Ransom