Rating: 4. 25🌈
Alliance is a new polyamorous M/M/M fantasy from author Cari Z, the first in a series.
I enjoyed the book and my introduction to all three main characters, Symon Parador (mage and reluctant groom), queen’s brother, Prince Petur (shifter with multiple shapes, also reluctant groom ), and Deyvid, a warrior/bodyguard who’s been made null to all magic (and who happens to be Petur’s not so hidden love for years).
Cari Z weaves the three person POV between these characters, starting with my favorite, Symon. It’s he who gets the shocking news he’s immediately to be married to Petur, then the equally unpleasant element that Petur’s got a long time love . Nothing says Symon will be happy or welcome in his new life.
Symon becomes, through his deep, passionate and empathetic spirit that the author has created for him, a person we connect to. His journey to his new life with the Prince’s guards lets the reader and guards form a foundation of knowledge of him that makes Symon a great favorite here.
I only wish that I had more of a glimpse of how Symon looks as a whole, beyond his eyes, jewelry, piercings and great magical abilities. We get individual snapshots but never a whole picture. That’s frustrating. Clothes? Hair? Everything that would help flesh out the man and culture he came from.
Oddly, it’s Deyvid, the warrior who’s also the long time love of Petur that’s next in powerful character embodiment. Deyvid’s a character who is second in coming across as being the most fully formed. We see him. From his figure to his face which always carries a faint aroma of a stain , we can see him. His background and personality feels the most layered next to Symon’s, his personality the more complex, and his personal back story is certainly full of angst, deception, betrayal, and damage.
I have the weirdest feeling that the author just loves writing him because the chemistry Cari Z creates for him , starts with Symon, and then Petur. But it’s Deyvid who’s the glue here of the triad.
Finally there’s Prince Petur. He’s not a character who has a great appeal to begin with. There’s little interaction with others, what we see is quick, sexy moments with Deyvid, and solo moments of intense concentration on his own inner plans and suspicions. When we do see him meet up with Symon, someone we’ve come to love, it reflects poorly on Petur.
Of the three, he’s the weakest link. The one with the least amount of information offered to the reader, the lack of background on the shifter species he belongs to is frustrating, as is the world building here as a whole.
I hope that the next story, Endurance, will build out on the universe so lightly framed out here.
Also on the monarchy and kingdoms that have their political roots at the heart of the arc espionage’s threats. That too was not fully established.
Alliance: The Triad Series: Book One by Cari Z is an entertaining fantasy novel. I felt the triad romance was unbalanced towards two of the men who had most of the narrative time , most of the chemistry, and frankly, were my favorites. Prince Petur wasn’t given the same page time as the others so when he espoused that he now loved Symon, it wasn’t believable. It didn’t have the necessary time to become real.
If you want a fantasy with enemies to lovers romance with a triad of three interesting characters, and ongoing mysteries, this is a good place to start.
A recommended read!
The Triad Series:
Alliance: The Triad Series: Book One
One wedding. Two grooms. Three lovers, preparing to fight for themselves, and their kingdoms.
Symon Parador is a prince in name only until the day he’s bartered away to the neighboring kingdom, to marry their queen’s brother, Petur. A mage in a nation full of shifters who distrust his magic is bad enough, but even worse is the fact that Petur is already as good as married—to an assassin from the north named Deyvid, who’s immune to all magic.
He doesn’t expect to love either of them, but Deyvid’s surprising kindness is too addictive to run from, and even Petur’s ferocity is lightened by his sly sense of humor. Sy could see himself falling for them…if any of them survive the sudden onslaught of attacks against the royal family.
Entwined in a dangerous game of survival, love, and loyalty, the cost of saving his lovers may be Sy’s own life.
Alliance is a polyamorous M/M/M fantasy with enemies to lovers, graphic violence, snarky humor, and explicit sexual content.