Monday, May 28, 2012

Lis’ Review: The Fifth Son by Blaine D. Arden

Blaine D. Arden
The Fifth Son
Storm Moon Press, March 9, 2012 | 60 pages

Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here

Llyskel is the fifth son of a King, but, unlike his brothers, he doesn't have a career in politics or the military to look forward to. In a world where everyone possesses magic to some degree or other, Llyskel is powerless, unable to perform even the smallest magic-based tasks. All his life, he's been under constant guard for his own protection from the magical world around him, much to his annoyance. The only time Llyskel feels free is when he paints, where the only spells he needs are the ones he weaves with brush and paint, capturing moments of beauty and giving them immortality on canvas.
Llyskel harbors a secret wish, though, a dark desire that haunts his nights. Only Ariv, a captain in the King's army, seems to sense the truth of Llyskel's needs. The pull he feels to Llyskel is unavoidable, and the passion between them undeniable.
But Ariv isn't the only one interested in Llyskel. The Queen of a neighboring country expresses her interest in the boy's talents, but her true intent goes far beyond a love of art. And what she asks may be too high a price for any of them.

Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Fantasy, Magic, Courting, Overprotective Parents, Painting, Prince-Napping

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3

Reviewed by Lis:

Originally, I received this book as an ARC deal, however, I never expected to get a job on a remote station in the Northern Territory of Australia. Furthermore, the owner never told me that my only access to the internet would be through the kid's school computer (they are educated through School of the Air). That in itself wouldn't be much of a problem, were it not that the computers are monitored by the school and the access was limited to an hour on the weekend. As a result... no review writing for Lis. Especially not on a monitored school computer. Imagine the shock they'd get if they read about all the yummy hot man smexing I've been reading about.

However I'm back now and I'm here to tell you why you should definitely read The Fifth Son.

The Fifth Son is a fantasy/fairytale story with Llyskel, the fifth and youngest son of the king, and
Ariv, a captain in the king's army, in the lead. Llyskel is different from everyone else in the kingdom. Not different as in having purple hair where everyone has black hair (he doesn't) or being tall where everyone is short. No, Llyskel is different in that he has no magic in a world where everyone has magic. A very frustrating thing as he is not allowed to go anywhere without a guard. In fact, he can't even open any doors on his own.

Not that he lets that stop him from sneaking out to paint lovely scenes of waternympfs. On one such outing he is caught by Ariv, who caught him sneaking out. It's a little embarrassing for Llyskel as the hot manly captain has a starring role in many of Llyskel's fantasies. Fortunately the attraction goes both ways. However, there is more to Llyskel and Ariv getting all hot and bothered, because there is more to Llyskel than meets the eye and Ariv is just the man to help him discover who he really is.

Much like The Forester, I really liked this short, but well fleshed- and filled out story. The writing is exquisite and captures the surroundings well. It makes that the writing fits both the world the story is set in as well as the characters and the fantasy feel of it all.

Both Llyskel and Ariv are likeable characters. Llyskel takes up more focus in the story, which is a bit of a shame, because I most definitely would have liked to have seen more of our strong, capable captain, Ariv. Llyskel is sweet, but a strong character. Throughout the story the reader will sympathize with his frustration over how he is treated by everyone else and the overprotective smothering. While I like my characters to be kick-ass, Llyskel was just right.

Ariv is strong and capable and caring in contrast. He is also the more mysterious of the two. This because there is not much focus on him and the reader sees Ariv through Llyskel's eyes. Nevertheless his is a strong character with his own voice.

All in all this is a recommendable story. While not overly long, it suits the plot. Go get it!

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