Tavia Lark’s Perilous Courts became a new favorite based solely on its first book, Prince and Assassin. That story had a depth of layering to its storylines that began with Whisper, a infamous Hound of the Kennel. That’s a group of highly prized assassins owned by blood curse , since they bought or stolen at a young age, by a Blood mage. Their fees afforded only by the richest of men or rulers.
His background and that of some of the other Hounds provided a pathos and dimension to Whisper and the story that gave both his mission and romance a heft narratively speaking and made the novel sing with promise.
Prince in Disguise moves from Prince Julien to the youngest of the three princes of the Kingdom of Silaise. That’s Prince Bellamy. He’s had a problematic history, having been kidnapped by his biological father when younger, and prone to headaches brought on by magic. He’s been away and now been sent for due to illness among his mothers. That we knew from the first story.
We get a reminder of his history and recap here, which is good because Bellamy wasn’t a big element in that story.
I throughly enjoyed this book. While lacking the depth and layers of the first novel, the sheer chemistry between the two main characters and the addition of a blinkmink as well as dragons more than compensates for it.
It’s a rousing grand tale!
Bellamy is completely different from Julien. Lark is able to bring us a young man who’s illnesses and trouble in adolescence has made his mothers and older brothers overprotective and solicitous to the point he’s rarely alone . Until a weather related accident and a curious pet insures that he is.
Bellamy goes from scared, naive, unprepared Prince to a determined, self aware, brave individual in love. And we buy into it because we’ve been there for the growth.
The same goes for Rakos Tem, dragonrider of House Dire. I can’t go into particulars because his situation is central to so many storylines but who he is, the development of their relationship, and his personality is just as remarkable.
Plus didn’t I say there were dragons?
My only issue here is that the dragons, their true nature and bond with their riders isn’t fully explored here as I would have expected or hoped for. Especially for such a exciting and popular element.
The dragon fights are plenty great though!
There are a few weak story threads that could be tighter and I hope that their potential will be used in another story.
Prince in Disguise (Perilous Courts #2) by Tavia Lark has much to recommend it. A couple with fantastic chemistry, a blinkmink, dragons, and the potential for more to come. Plus we got to see Whisper and Julien again.
Next is Audric’s story and Bellamy falling in love has put him in a bit of a bind.
I can’t wait to see what happens.
So far , it’s been a great journey. One I’m highly recommending! Read them in the order they are written.
I’m still hoping Lark will give us more on the Hounds of the Kennel. They have never left me for a second.
✓ Prince and Assassin #1 (Prince Julien and Whisper )
✓ Prince in Disguise #2 – (Prince Bellamy and Rakos)
◦ Prince and Pawn #3 – Jan 30, 2033 (Prince Audric and Corin)
Rakos isn’t really a farmer. Bellamy definitely isn’t a minstrel.
Sheltered, sickly Prince Bellamy dreams of adventure—but not like this. Captured in enemy territory, his royal identity will get him killed. When his dangerously attractive fellow prisoner asks who he is, Bellamy claims to be a minstrel.
Except he can’t carry a tune to save his life. He panicked, okay?
Rakos was a dragonrider until betrayal landed him in chains. Now, he knows two things for certain: he can’t trust anyone, and he wants his dragon back. When the fragile minstrel asks who he is, Rakos claims he’s a farmer. When Bellamy begs for help reaching the border, Rakos refuses.
Until he can’t resist how much Bellamy needs him.
Stormy nights and deadly masquerades forge Rakos and Bellamy’s unlikely partnership into something more. Something exhilarating. Rakos treats Bellamy like a person, not a weak, untouchable prince, even as he protects him.
But Rakos’s enemies are circling in, and that very protection might be Bellamy’s undoing.
Prince in Disguise is a high fantasy gay romance, with double secret identities, Only One Bed, and a teleporting ferret. The Perilous Courts series is best read in order, but each book follows a different prince and his Happily Ever After.
Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.