Publication Date: 04/01/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Signet Eclipse
(Received for an honest review from Signet Eclipse)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Amy Raby on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
Hearts and Thrones
1. Assassins Gambit
2. Spy's Honor
3. Prince's Fire
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, Prince's Fire, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature
As the sister of the Kjallan emperor, Celeste cannot choose where to bestow her heart....
The imperial princess has been offered in marriage to the Prince of Inya as part of an alliance needed to ensure Kjall’s military prowess. And despite having been hurt in the past by men using her to gain power, Celeste finds herself falling for the passionate fire mage.
Prince Rayn has no intention of allying his country with the militaristic Kjallans. But his political enemies at home may be the greater threat. The princess’s beauty and intelligence catch him off guard, throwing an unexpected and dangerous hurdle in the way of his plans.
As a deadly political plot threatens Rayn’s life, the attraction between Celeste and Rayn ignites into a sizzling affair. But to save her people and herself, Celeste will have to discover if Rayn’s intentions are true or risk having her love burn her yet again....
Amy Raby is an up and coming name in fantasy/romance. Her Hearts and Thrones series, combines rich world building with engaging, three-dimensional characters. Readers who are fans of fantasy will liken this series to The Game of Thrones. Prince's Fire is the third book in the series, and features a political marriage of convenience. Princess Celeste must marry Prince Rayn in order to forge an alliance between their countries, but matters of the heart are often as complicated as politics. Raby treats readers to descriptive passages that will delight the senses and passionate romance that will heat the blood. A wonderful addition to the series.
What I liked:
I have always been a fantasy fan in one form or another, from books, to tv and movies. However, I generally don't get a lot of opportunities to review fantasy, so when they come along I get really excited. Amy Raby's Hearts and Thrones series is one that I kind of wrote off in the beginning because I believed it to be very similar to Game of Thrones. But when I got Prince's Fire to review I saw that perhaps they were not as similar as I thought. Yes, they both deal with a fantasy world, there is war, there is political machinations, etc. etc. But where Raby differs is in the way she writes her characters.
Often with Game of Thrones, I feel the characters are bit dispassionate, concerned only with what will benefit them and not others. Raby's portrayal of Prince Rayn was totally different from what I expected and reminded me about what I enjoy about good fantasy. The realism. This may be a fictional world, but the underlying ideas are the same. Princess Celeste has body image issues. Prince Rayn is determined to protect his people. Transpose it a little bit and these are characters who could and do exist in our own world.
Celeste had been through the wringer a bit. She was used and abused and had the scars to prove it. But she was still strong and determined. She didn't want to be the political bait to draw in the Prince of Inya, but her brother, the emperor had other ideas. I liked the fact that she didn't let an arranged marriage become a prison for her. She allows herself to see Rayn as more than just someone she was forced to wed and that made all the difference. Raby creates a character to soldiers on despite past adversity and begins to see herself as worthy along the way. A great character.
What can I say about Rayn. He was a true prince in every sense of the word. He wasn't a spoiled brat that was only looking out for himself. He saw his father's issues and knew he had to protect his people. He doesn't want to join with war driven Kjall, but he finds Princess Celeste to be a lot more than just a part of the treaty. I loved the way he cared just as much for her as he did his people. He wanted to do the honorable thing where both were concerned. Raby has given readers an example of what true leadership entails. Sacrificing your own goals for the good of others. Well done!
What I didn't like:
There was quite a bit of passion in this one. The build up was a little slow, but in light of both characters worries about the other it was somewhat understandable. I just would have enjoyed more time with them as they explored their feelings for each other. Certainly not a bit flaw.
This is descriptive fantasy that not only details the world but the political climate the characters are a part of. I think Raby does a wonderful job of giving readers characters they can become invested in and a passionate romance as well. A series I am glad I didn't gloss over.
Prince's Fire is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Amy Raby is literally a product of the U.S. space program, since her parents met working for NASA on the Apollo missions. After earning her Bachelor’s in Computer Science from the University of Washington, Amy settled in the Pacific Northwest with her family, where she’s always looking for life’s next adventure, whether it’s capsizing tiny sailboats in Lake Washington or riding dressage horses. Prince's Fire is the third in the Hearts and Thrones series, following Assassin's Gambit and Spy's Honor.
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