Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
The sudden death of the Gryphon King throws the kingdom of Mythos into uncertainty, and Crown Prince Luca rushes both his coronation and an arranged marriage to a man he’s never met. Eirian is young and idealistic, and while they both want what’s best for their people, their philosophies couldn’t be more different. While Luca believes in honoring tradition, Eirian is determined to infuse modern values into their kingdom of magical creatures. When given the choice between loyalty to his husband and his own crusade, Eirian makes a decision that might doom their marriage.
Still, Luca is committed to making their union work, and that means forgiving his brash consort. But when Eirian becomes the target of a deadly conspiracy, Luca must act fast—or forever lose the chance to explore their burgeoning love.
I don’t honestly remember reading anything from Jenn Burke before but if The Gryphon King’s Consort is typical of the tales I can expect from this author, then I’m off to search for other stories to read. It’s full of gryphons, all sorts of magical beasts, political intrigue, an arranged marriage, and happily, a romance that leads to a love that’s forever after. I mean these beings live a long, long time!
Be still my heart!
A story from Dreamspinner Press’ Dreamspun Beyond line, Burke does a lovely job of laying down a complete alternate universe. She delivers on the history of the hidden world of magical beasts revealing themselves to humans, the resultant wars and the peace accord that survives to present day. Also the factions within the Mythos kingdom, the Modernists and the Traditionalists. It’s a neat believable divide albeit complete with magical beasts (which I adore btw). Also, a touch I appreciated is the connection a King has with his people. It’s something I wish more heads of state had these days. That scene was marvelously touching and pulled the reader further into Luca’s character and his new role as King.
Even the author’s take on gryphons and their ability to shift into different creatures is wonderful and used to great effect here within the storyline, along with all the other hosts of magical beasts/beings we meet here and the rituals or parts of their cultures that Jenn Burke has created for the story.
And all that serves as a foundation and stage for her two main characters, Luca and Eirian (as well as some memorable secondary characters). I felt both men/beings were so well done. The story is told from both perspectives and works extremely well that way. The reader can see what the emotional cost of an arranged marriage is as far as trust, lack of friendship, personal knowledge and even missing simple comradeship can be between two people. Especially when the affairs of state seem determined to keep them apart.
This is, quite simply, a slam bang fantasy romance! One you can immerse yourself in and be quite startled at how quickly you’ve come to the end. I loved it and was sorry to see it over. If you are a lover of fantasy and romance, here’s a story for you!
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson. I like the cover, definitely catches your eye.
ebook, 210 pages
Expected publication: December 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press