About the Book
Genre: Adult Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
Perspective: 3rd person limited, dual POV
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
Format: eBook – Netgalley ARC
Length: 206 pages
TW/CW: siblings death, parent death, murder, drowning, violence
Zaya expected to be the irresponsible youngest prince his whole life. But when his two older siblings are killed by an unidentified magician, he finds himself crowned king of Lushrain—the end of his liberty as he knows it. As part of his training, he’s sent to Heartwood for a month, the house of the sages high in the mountains. There, to his shock, the sages tell him he must learn about magic—which is illegal to practice, but has nonetheless been among Heartwood’s secret studies for centuries.
They assign Col as his tutor, a charming young sage with unusually strong powers. Zaya abhors and distrusts magic, and Col absolutely doesn’t want the job of attempting to change the king’s mind. But in their lessons and debates, they grow closer and begin envisioning a future in which a sage and a king might make a harmonious couple.
But the assassin still roams, seeking to hurt Zaya, and the budding love affair may be crushed by the secrets that Heartwood—and Col—have kept about this killer.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Per the author, this story was inspired by Merthur from BBC’s Merlin, so as someone who’s been a fan of the show for years I had to pick this up. This was a quick, enjoyable read that definitely made me want to check out more by Molly Ringle, because her writing is fantastic. I loved both Zaya and Col as narrators, and watching them fall in love was **chef’s kiss**. My favorite element of the entire book was by far the plant-based magic system, which was really unique and woven masterfully into the story for our heroes and villains alike. My only complaint: I wish this book was longer! There was definitely enough material to make it a full-length novel, or even a series…or maybe that’s just me wishing for more Zaya/Col adventures. All in all I really liked it, and would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a short but sweet M/M Fantasy Romance!
Thank you to Central Avenue Publishing via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Molly Ringle was one of the quiet, weird kids in school, and is now one of the quiet, weird writers of the world. She/her. Perv on the page, demisexual panromantic in RL. 🏳️🌈
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