Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
In deepest space the ruthless Federation lays waste to one rebel colony after another, leaving comrades-in-arms Van Orskey and Tayn Kassik without family, without a home, and without hope.
With nothing left but each other, they run contraband and smuggle fugitives from the safety of their ship, the Cormorant—with the occasional clandestine mission for the rival Coalition thrown in. Their heists have not gone unnoticed, though even the bounty on their heads doesn’t prevent them from being a thorn in the enemy’s side at every opportunity.
Pissing them off? Big mistake.
From the day of his birth Prince Jorvik of Akiak learned duty, wisdom, and honor from his father, leaving him ill-equipped to withstand betrayal by his Federation-puppet uncle. He has no love for the greedy off-worlders who plunder his world’s natural resources and enslave his people. To defeat his foe, he needs the cunning, fearlessness, and touch of treachery only outlaws can offer.
Two off-world mercenaries make unlikely partners in Jorvik’s quest for vengeance, but the more he learns of them, the more common ground he discovers. In each other’s arms they find passion, heat, and maybe, a reason for living—until their common enemy threatens to tear them apart.
To survive, they must take on the corrupt Federation.
I am such a fan of both science fiction and this author so I really enjoyed the Consorts of the Red King by Eden Winters. A fast paced novel of political intrigue, intergalactic piracy and interplanetary takeovers, this novel also comes complete with hot sex, even hotter men, aliens, and an intriguing concept of a triad. All in one story.
The beginning is startling, with an event the reader is not exactly prepared for (and not one I am willing to give away). But it sets off the series of emotional maneuverings and dynamics to follow between long time partners Van Orskey and Tayn Kassik. As with all of Winters books, her universe building and back histories are complex and often are revealed in stages. Here we gradually learn about Van and Tayn, their past, about the ship they inhabit, and the organization they now work for.
It’s a convoluted structure that all starts to unravel for the pair from the first desperate job they take. Consorts of the Red King is one of those stories that any details mentioned end up being spoilery so none given here. In fact, the opposite, I wished for more. Although I could clearly see the world of the Red King, I wanted more of it because from the elements revealed, they enticed mental pictures that craved more definition.
There is a roaring climax here to satisfy anyone. Powerful, emotional, and yes, so worthwhile. Loved it. The perspective of the story is told through the eyes of the three men/beings you see pictured on the cover. Yes, it works. It’s needed to pull them together emotionally as a triad, and for you as a reader to accept them as such.
The author states that it took her four years to write this story and it shows it in the details. It’s a wonderful, well written, rousing tale.
My only quibble is that ending. It feels as though you aren’t exactly done. That you read that last sentence, and expect to turn the page and continue on. It even sort of states that their journey isn’t complete (I can’t tell you why). But at the end, the story feels that way too.
According to the author, it might be some time before we see any sequel, so we, and these characters will be waiting on the ending they deserve. Until then its a HFN.
If you love Eden Winter and scify, don’t hesitate to pick up Consorts of the Red King! Hot men, fast paced action and love among the stars! Oh my!
Cover art works perfectly for the story.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 364 pages
Published October 26th 2019 by Rocky Ridge Books