Forced into the trade negotiation by a political arm of his own government, Rayn has no desire to enter into any type of agreement with the empire he despises, let alone a marriage within the Imperial family. Putting his personal preference aside, Rayn does extend his stay to make it at least look like he is seriously considering the alliance. However, his enemies at home prove to have a long arm and be far more dangerous than the reserved, wickedly smart, and enticing Celeste. Forced together by circumstance, they must learn to trust one another and look past history in order to survive.
The third installment of Amy Raby’s sweeping romantic fantasy series, Hearts and Thrones, brings us back to Kjall several years after the event of the first novel, Assassin’s Gambit. It was lovely to see how Lucien and Vitala were getting on as rulers and a couple, and even more of a joy to really get to know Lucien’s sister, Celeste. One of my favorite things about this series has been the strong heroines and Celeste is no exception. Determined to not follow in his father’s footsteps, Lucien made sure Celeste was educated and did everything in his power to erase the pain of the past which weighs on her. She is incredibly aware of her position as an Imperial princess but has a strong sense of self. She is just a wonderful character. Rayn was a bit of an exception for me in that it took me sometime to warm up to him. I think Prince’s Fire does suffer a tiny bit in comparison to the other novels in the series because of this. I understand Rayn’s actions and motivations completely, I just did not like him right away and I was so fond of Celeste very early on so their romance did not feel as organic. However, once I was truly immersed in the story and Celeste and Rayn really start to communicate, those issue quickly fell to the wayside.
Raby’s world-building remains impeccable as does the political maneuvering that drives these novels. The romance and action go hand in hand and make for an all-encompassing read. I really appreciate all the details that Raby puts into her novels. There is history and language, lands with their own legends and religious beliefs. Like the other novels in the series, Prince’s Fire has a breakneck pace and sizzling encounters between the protagonists. All of this, along with wonderfully formed characters, make for truly enjoyable read. If you have not picked up this series yet and enjoy politically-tinged fantasy with a healthy dose of adult romance, I cannot recommend Prince’s Fire and the entire Hearts and Thrones series enough.
- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Signet (April 1, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451417844
- ISBN-13: 978-0451417848