This lovely fantasy novel is an excellent addition to an intriguing series and provides a view of other ways the use of the elements can alter events as is demonstrated by the various primes in this society. I love the way the action gradually builds from the events that transpire during a canny gambler’s sojurn in a favorite tavern one night and grow to become a societal upheaval. The unveiling of Rafe’s character is contrasted with the rapidly escalating events that start swirling around him until he is virtually at the eye of a storm that will have lasting effects. It is mesmerizing to watch him discover great passion in his life although he seems to have remarkable abilities of recuperation given the number of injuries he accrues. The developments that surround his background and shape his future seem a little too contrived but I definitely admit that there were some unexpected repercussions. The combination of fantasy, romance and action makes this a wonderful series and I am delighted that there is a certain degree of resolution yet plenty of room to expound upon multiple dangling threads and I look forward eagerly to reading more about the remarkable inhabitants of this world.
“Royal Airs” by Sharon Shinn is part of the ‘Elemental Blessings’ series that deals with the complex society in Welce and the events that are taking place after the death of King Vernon and the various startling revelations about his offspring. A lowly gambler named Rafe inadvertently becomes entangled in the affairs of the royals and discovers that the society they move effortlessly in is remarkably labyrinthine and filled with pitfalls. Little does he expect to become a personage of interest but not only are his blessings very atypical but the princesses he becomes acquainted with cause his life to move in entirely unexpected directions that almost match the uniqueness of his oddly mutilated ear. The Regent Darien continues to play his very deep games but unfortunately, leaders of other countries add their complications to the mix and the political structure in Welce may very well be in for a major upheaval once again.
Master storyteller Sharon Shinn created the thrilling and enchanting world of Welce in her acclaimed novel Troubled Waters. Return with her to that elemental universe in this tale of secrecy, romance, and a battle for power?
Josetta is a princess of one of the Five Families. But she is far from the throne, so she is free to spend her days working in the poorest sections of the city.
Rafe Adova, an outcast since he was born, lives the life of a career gambler in those slums. He has no ambition other than cheating at the card tables?until the night he decides to help a girl named Corene, who looks like she’s stumbled into the wrong bar.
She, too, is a princess?sister to Josetta, who finds her with Rafe. He fascinates her. Josetta has never encountered anyone like him?someone seemingly devoid of elemental blessings.
He is drawn to her, though he thinks they are unlikely to ever meet again?but their connection grows strong when she nurses him back to health after he is assaulted by foreign mercenaries. And when they learn the reason he’s being hunted, they know that the truth about his history could endanger not only their love but also their very lives