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Review: Radiance by Grace Draven (Wraith Kings #1)

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Radiance by Grace Draven // VBC ReviewRadiance (Wraith Kings #1)
Grace Draven
Published: Jan. 13, 2015 (Grace Draven)
Purchase: Amazon
Review source: purchased

Reviewed by Amanda

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Idilko knew her only value to the Guari king was as a political pawn. So it’s no surprise when she’s married off to Brishen, the spare heir of the Kai. He’s terrifyingly ugly–grey skin; sharp, pointy teeth; dark, glowing eyes.

Brishen doesn’t find Idilko any more attractive. She’s disgustingly pale and the whites of her eyes remind him of his horse. But from the very beginning, the pair like each other, and a friendship is formed. The more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings become, and friendship becomes love.

But someone isn’t happy with the new trade alliance forged by the marriage and will do whatever it takes to break it down—and tear Brishen and Idilko apart.

Radiance was one of those books that kept popping up on Twitter a while ago. “Have you read it?” “YES. YOU MUST READ IT.” And so on and so forth.

You should heed the YOU MUST READ IT proclamation.

The story just checks all the boxes and rings all the bells. Idilko and Brishen start off by insulting each other—not to hurt the other, but in jest—and it lays the foundation for a fast and caring friendship. The friendship allows them to get to know one another without the pressure to consummate their marriage (Guari, who are human, can’t get pregnant by Kai, who are…not). She thinks he looks like a dead eel; her skin reminds him the color of a bitter mollusk.

Their romance starts slowly and it’s sweet, seeing how much they care for one another. I loved them together, how they’d tease each other, the care they took with the other when things got difficult. Idilko in particular shows her strength early on, willing to do whatever she has to do put the Kai at ease. When they finally fall into bed, it’s hot and passionate and thoroughly grounded in their feelings for one another. There’s minimal angst (yay!) and lots of banter. Their honesty was refreshing and one of my favorite parts of the story.

But their new life together isn’t an easy one. Sabotage, violent skirmishes, and rumors of pissed-off nobles make Brishen’s part of the kingdom a dangerous place to be. Add in Brishen’s mother, the Shadow Queen, who really doesn’t like his new bride, and you’ve got a region edging toward war, with Brishen and Idilko smack in the middle of it.

Fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining, Im so glad I picked up Radiance, and I cant wait for the next book.

Sexual content: sex

5 Responses to “Review: Radiance by Grace Draven (Wraith Kings #1)”

  1. susan emans says:

    Great review! Wonderful book!

  2. Alison says:

    I loved this too. I’m chomping on the bit waiting for the next one.

  3. Elaine Robson says:

    Agree 100%. One of the best authors (and books) I’ve run across in a very long time. Her characters are wonderfully drawn, her universes intriguing and lush. Thank you for the wonderful review of the awesome book! I, too, am anticipating the next in this series.

  4. Amy says:

    This is one of those books that keep popping up everywhere I look. I know I need to get on the ball and read it already and your review just further solidifies that fact. Great Review! I’m off to finally buy this 🙂

  5. Sarah says:

    Arggghhhhhh was just at the book store today, ugh wish I had checked this website before I went cuz I would have liked to get this book. Ugh darn.

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