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Phoenix Unbound. The Fallen Empire (Series). Book 1. Grace Draven Author Katharine McEwan Narrator (). cover image of The Undying King. Read "Radiance" by Grace Draven available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. ~The Prince of No Value~ Brishen Khaskem. Radiance Available ebook formats: epub mobi pdf rtf lrf pdb txt html Grace Draven is an author and Louisiana native living in Texas with.
A young Gauri royal member set of to become a wife to a KAI prince.
She's become a duchess, a Kai hercegese. BUT her position as a spare will remain the same. He never imagined an arranged marriage with a human woman to seal a war and trade alliance between Bast-Hardis and Gaur. She'd held tight to that philosophy: My kin will grow used to you and you to them as well.
Dreadful in appearance, lethal in combat, Brishen was all that was cordiality and dignified royalty in every interaction with her. I think we all seek companionship, wife. Sometimes it's physical; sometimes it's much more Loneliness is an empty void. We look for that friend in the light Will you be that for me, Ildiko?
That beacon in the void? While Brishen didn't find her beautiful, it was obvious to him the Gauri men did. Still, he didn't regret this union. Ildiko was unique and witty, and he enjoyed her company. An intuitive sense of the vibrant soul and great heart that lay behind the ugly exterior? While Ildiko had the heart of a warrior, she was untrained, untried, and unprepared to fend off an attack from a determined assasin.
He'd lay down his life for her, protect her with sword and axe, teeth and claws if necessary. Want to sink so deep into you that neither of us will know where one ends and the other begins.
What do you see? I see radiance. His need for her ran like molten streams just under his skin BUT just when they found each other within each other, the malice doesn't sleep, there are devious plans forged in front of their eyes, in their presence Simply phenomenal story, captivating characters I am eager to continue with Brishen and Ildiko's story as they are about to encounter another task to dwell upon, survive and find each other all over again BR with milady Denise special thanks to Kazy who generously pointed out this book to me Brishen wilted, relieved she took no insult in him so bluntly validating her assumption.
M "You find me ugly, don't you? Might as fact, I'll demand a re-do on our relationship and our first meet better be as beautiful and moving as Brishen and Ildiko's. Like, so beautiful and moving that our love story gets shared among millions of people and we become a hashtag. I have my reasons, okay?? We'll just blame school because I blame it for everything. For example, my dark circles and the fact that I don't get the 8 hour required sleep.
So, what made me write this? Other than the fact that I had to google kittens to give me some motivation, but I needed you guys to know how much I adore this book.
Radiance , was a pleasant surprise. I found myself completely enthralled by the characters. I would adopt them in a heartbeat but like I can't even afford books right now so they kind of have to wait awhile. I never expected to pick this book up and discover it to be so addicting and enjoyable. I tried to read as slow as possible but honestly I'm not guilty about reading this in one sitting.
I'm supposed to do these things.
It's the only requirement of being a full time procrastinator. Let's break down my thoughts about this book?? Well, It's about these two characters, Brishen and Ildiko, who are in an arranged marriage to form a political alliance between the Human and Kai kingdoms. Both characters do not bring any significance to their own kingdoms hence why this marriage was formed.
They were brought together by their own kingdoms but will discover they are destined for each other. You think it's going to be a happy book about love? Nah, not even close. Well, it is about love and also a kind of a typical plot with conflict, drama, and a bit of magic but yet so refreshing at the same time, does that make any sense? Read it and find out: We were unimportant, you and I. We weren't supposed to mean anything to anyone. Do you ever just read a book and you're so consumed by the characters that you forget to focus on the actual plot???
I did that and found it to be a bit I tell you, these characters are that captivating. You don't have to be with someone pretty, because honestly what's the point? I rather be with someone ugly with a beautiful heart than someone who is pretty with an ugly heart. And you'll learn that lesson in this book because I did.
I was NOT feeling it.
Promise me you'll not get yourself killed or maimed out there. I think I loved these characters more than my own siblings. I never expected to invest so many feelings into this book like excuse me, is there something on my forehead that says "I love to suffer"??
I suffered beautifully. It's not doing its job. You know what book will fulfill that??? This book. Can we have a moment of silence and just appreciate him?? I've been an absolute sucker for Brishen since the beginning because he is funny, loyal, courageous, kind, understanding, friendly, kick ass, and other qualities which would take me 3 years to list.
He is a precious blueberry muffin and I'd totally eat him. That was such a bad joke pls ignore me. He is perfect in every way and just I should just become a collector because that's all I do in my life. I just collect book boyfriends left and right. She was like a breath of fresh air and also loyal, hilarious, bad ass, sarcastic, and understanding. I loved her from beginning to end. She wasn't those typical characters that just chill and only exist to be annoying af. I just I've adopted to many characters but one isn't going to hurt, right???
Yeah I'm serious that's all I'm giving you about them. Just Good luck. It's not like you were given a choice. I didn't even make it past chapter 1 before I declared my love for these characters. She entangled her legs with his and hugged his arm to her waist. That's all I can say about this book unless you have 3 years to spare because I can go on: But I hope you will give this book a chance and maybe love it more than me… Fantasy Romance.
This handsomest of eels. It's so hard for me to find good fantasy romances that I can enjoy. What I loved about "Radiance" is Draven's natural voice. She packs so much into this short novel while constructing an interesting world without it being complicated. The h 4. The hero and heroine also do something unusual. They begin as friends, displaying a mutual respect for one another.
Their relationship steadily evolves into something more. They play the game of court politics; out-maneuvering their opponents. And I must say Ildiko's monster-in-law was a formidable player. The tension crackled when she was on the pages! My favorite parts are the scenes showing their physical and cultural difference.
Both Brishen and Ildika are very attractive people No matter that each considers the other ugly this is becomes a moot issue. I loved how their perceptions altered! And I loved how Draven made eyes a humorous issue. After dabating on whether to round up or down, I've come to the conclusion that this story packs so much I had to go up. I continue to go back and re-read certain scenes. I see how this novel could have ended with a happy ending mother-in-laws not included , yet I'm glad Draven left it open.
View all 14 comments. Mar 15, Deborah Obida rated it liked it Shelves: Buddy reading with Kiah, my March Tbr twin. After more than one week of proscastinating this review, am finally writing one, a short one. Well this book wasn't what I expected at all, don't get me wrong it was a fun read and I really enjoyed the romance. In fact the romance is the only thing I liked in this book, the politics was kind of meh to me. The world building is average, it was neither great nor bad, just okay.
I really liked that the author didn't make the couple fight all through the book, like it happens in most arranged marriages, instead they seek to understand and get to know each other, which is the mature thing to do. Despite all this am not sure I'll be continuing this series, I liked the way it ended, before the epilogue though, I just don't care about the politics or the coming war. View all 8 comments. Sep 22, Gavin rated it liked it Shelves: This was an enjoyable fantasy romance.
The pace was fairly sedate and for the most part pretty light hearted. Brisen and Ildiko are "spares" in their respective families royal lines. A marriage is arranged between the pair as a way to seal the alliance between the kingdoms of the Kai and Gauri. The alliance is needed for both in order to keep their warmongering neighbours the Beladine at bay.
The problem is that the Kai are not human! The Kai and the humans have subtle, but glaring differences i This was an enjoyable fantasy romance. The Kai and the humans have subtle, but glaring differences in appearance that result in the majority of each race finding the other repellent or scary or both.
I liked both Brishen and Ildiko as characters and they made a great couple. I loved the slow burn nature of the romance.
They liked each other as friends at first and grew over time to love and desire each other. Outside of the romance not a ton happened, but there was hints of political strife and some interesting magical happenings. This aspect of the story was more interesting than super engaging. All in all I enjoyed this book without being fully engaged by the story.
Audio Note: Gabrielle Baker did an acceptable job, but nothing more. She had an irritating lisp and her cadence was a bit weird at times. She did do a decent job with the characters voices. So far this is fantastic! In true Grace Draven style, it has me sucked in completely. I can't wait for the rest of the story! Radiance is a serialized fantasy romance rich with world building, great characters and her trade-mark humor. For more info about what this is, click here.
We read this as part of a monthly "theme read" in my romance book group. The subject was slow-burn romances. I love slow-burn romances, when it's done well, that is, and when I saw that this was a fantasy romance, I was even more excited. More so, because most of my friends loved it, and one of them compared the author to R. Lee Smith. Don't be thinking that this is alien-smut, though. For most of the book, it's actually quite chaste.
Ildiko is a "Gauri" human woman and Brishen is a "Kai" man something I imagined as being like a "dark elf". The two are lesser nobility, and are being married to forge an alliance between their kingdoms.
They actually meet first in a garden, and both are charmed by each other despite the animosity between their two races. Even though neither finds the other attractive though both are considered the ideal form of beauty for their own race but ugly to each other's races , they know that they've got a good deal, and appreciate one another's humor and kindness.
The best thing about RADIANCE, for me, is that it's about two very kind, humorous, nice people falling in love with one another not because of their looks but because of their deeds. The relationship that develops between them is at first amicable and platonic. When Ildiko goes to court with Brishen, he's impressed by her bravery and her determination to conform to his people's ways, and in return attempts to help her get through the worst ordeals like eating scarpatine pie - picture a chicken pot pie, only made with giant scorpions instead of chicken, and the scorpion is still alive.
Draven also portrays culture shock well, with both characters feeling lonely and frustrated with their faux pas. I think that probably put some people off the book - especially those who like super happy, picture perfect endings.
It didn't bother me as much, but it was enough to put a damper on my previously untempered joy. One of the people in the romance group also pointed out that the epilogue will confuse you if you don't want to read the sequel, as it doesn't really add anything to the story which ends on an HEA note and is pretty much solely intended to set up the sequel. The characters and the writing were great, and for a story where pretty much nothing happens except for the characters interacting with each other - this is largely a character-driven piece - the world and the characters are developed enough that it was still a interesting read.
View all 10 comments. A Romance that doesn't make me cringe, gag, roll my eyes or giggle at the absurdity of it all! A Romance that begins with platonic relationship and gradually develops into something beautiful and deeper!
Although Radiance doesn't make it into my list of "Favorites", it definitely deserves all of my 5 stars! Because it's one of the very few books in this genre out there that focuses on building the emotional connection between the two characters way before they even consider physica FINALLY!
Because it's one of the very few books in this genre out there that focuses on building the emotional connection between the two characters way before they even consider physical attraction.
Maybe I haven't read enough Romance books to make such a statement to begin with, maybe your taste for Romance is different from mine, maybe I've been too tired of reading books where the male lead is mean, manipulative and abusive towards the heroine, but I don't care!
I give Miss Draven two thumbs up for giving me something unique and wonderful! Let me tell you how different Radiance is from all the Romance books I 've read so far. There is one. Will I read the next book? Will I reread this book? Probably not. Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised, but Romance really isn't my thing to begin with.
Although Radiance was a mix between Romance and Fantasy, I need even more action, world-building and excitement from my books. Will I recommend to friends? Sure thing! If you feel like having a break from all the alpha-male fictional characters out there, give this one a go.
I don't know. The Cover IS really beautiful and I wouldn't mind having it on my shelf.
But since I'm not planning on rereading, I'll wait for now. Jan 11, Svetlana rated it liked it. Sep 12, Angela rated it really liked it Recommended to Angela by: Just wow.
This is an incredibly good book, and I had a really hard time putting it down to deal with very necessary tasks, like: The very best part of this book is the two main characters, Brishen and Ildiko how the hell do you pronounce her name?? Every time I see it in the text I took 5 seconds to try to reason Wow. Every time I see it in the text I took 5 seconds to try to reason it out before moving on.
I'm quite sure I'm saying it wrong in my head. Brishen is the spare prince of the Kai. Ildiko is the niece of the Gauri king. Both are unimportant in their respective kingdoms. Left aside to be used as pawns in some negotiation or another. A negotiation, it turns out, that finds them wed to each other.
I don't think there's anything particularly spectacular about either character alone. They're both nice, kind, honorable people.
They face life rather than bemoaning their circumstances. They don't take their frustrations out on those that are undeserving of them, and the genuinely try to be good.
In fact, it's kind of hard to find a flaw with either of them. But that's okay. Because the true love that I have here is them together. Together, Brishen and Ildiko are amazing. They are one-hundred-percent honest with each other. Their love is built on friendship and mutual care and respect, not attraction and the desire to have sex at every other turn. They learn each other, they are honest with each other, and - to start - they find each other hideous.
He clenched his teeth instead, prayed he wouldn't start a war with their newest ally and answered honestly. He didn't even know her name, but he liked her and didn't wish to hurt her. Assured she wasn't planning to flounce off and send a pack of offended relatives after him, he turned the same question on her. For all I know, you're hiding the face of a sun spirit in that hood. The woman's eyes rounded. Because their marriage is to secure and alliance there's obviously some other machinations going on in the book, but really this is the story about Brishen and Ildiko growing to love each other.
Two outcasts that find true love and companionship in each other. The slow burn of their budding relationship was so refreshing. Without attraction and sexual desire mucking up the works, they form their relationship organically - on friendship and respect. Who'd have thought that could work so well?
Don't get me wrong, I love the attraction and sexual tension as much as anyone and you get some of that here too, don't worry , but can't there be a time and place? Can't our characters have something more to fall back on than This book says, emphatically, YES! I said that this is really the story of Brishen and Ildiko's falling in love, and that's probably where my only real complaint lies, too.
I love their story. A LOT. But I do wish that we'd gotten more of the world, more of the threatening war, more of the politics, more of the cultures of both peoples. And then we get to the ending. After such a sweet moment between our heroes, that epilogue hit me over the head and shocked the hell out of me! Where did that come from?? Things just got real!
I NEED to see what happens next. Eidolon , please. View all 9 comments. Jun 13, Denisa rated it really liked it Shelves: This book felt something like this I absolutely loved it! It was exactly what I needed right now.
It felt a lot like a fantasy, it had a pretty interesting world builder although of course, the focus was the romance and the plot was so much more interesting than I expected. I absolutely loved the names except Ildiko, that one sounded strange in my mind , think it's one of the few times when I actually thing "wow, this name sounds so damn good! Still, what I appreciated the most was the story. It even had some politics and wars in it! And well, you all know I kind of like my blood with my romance Great book, I'd recommend it to anyone who's in the mood for a different kind of romance book.
Nov 30, Roshani Chokshi added it. Immersive, sweet, and a sensitive portrayal of how love breaks down boundaries of perception.
Bonus points for the fact that this has a marriage of convenience trope. View 1 comment. I so needed to read a book like this. So cute, so lovely. It starts with the classic hate-love relationship. And just like my friend, Karin, I really loved it!! It was a while since I read this sort of book. But I loved every moment of it. Brishen, a Kai prince most marry a Gauri noblewomen to seal a treat between both races.
Ildiko always knew that it was her fate to marry for politics. Luckily for both, there's an instant understanding between them. Althought they look different like night and day, both want this marriage to work. There I found one of my favorite booktubers, Fangirl Musings, did a review on it and I was totally sold.
I went straight to site and bought me a copy. Here is the link if you would like to watch it. Certainly nothing as wretched as a sun spirit. He slid the hood back to his shoulders. She inhaled a harsh breath and clasped one hand to her chest. Her mollusk skin went a far more attractive shade of ash.
She remained silent and stared at him until he raised a hand in question. The space between her eyebrows stitched into a single vertical frown line.
It was a sweet, totally different and emotional read that has me running straight back to site to get book 2! Brishen was the 2nd born prince of the Kai kingdom and he was not human. They were to be married to form an alliance between the Kai and Gauri. The thing I was most drawn to in this story was the fact that both the hero and heroine think each other ugly.
Like scary ugly lol. Brishen was so sexy. I don't care that he had grey skin, solid white eyes with no other color in them, and blades for teeth and nails he was damn sexy! He was so protective and respectful of his wife Ildiko.