Author: R.G. Green
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Prince and Trader: Book I
For hundreds of years, the kingdom of Llarien has maintained a defense against the barbarians. Now, activity at the border draws attention from Kherin Rhylle, the less-favored younger son of the king. Kherin suspects a deeper purpose behind the attacks, but his father refuses to grant permission to travel to the border, despite Kherin’s obligated tenure as a Defender. Not even unprecedented deaths or the serious injury of Kherin’s brother, the crown prince, can change the king’s mind.
Then Derek Resh, kingdom trader and Kherin’s closest friend, convinces the king to allow Kherin to travel with him, and an unexpected journey to the border proves the threat real—while an unexpected intimacy with Derek makes Kherin realize that his feelings go deeper than the friendship they have shared for most of his life. But even that turns devastating, as Derek won’t pursue anything more intimate when the king’s disapproval is certain.
Grasping at straws, Kherin is caught between a danger he doesn’t understand and the desire for a deeper relationship he can’t have. And then there’s the magic that threatens to return after being banished hundreds of years ago….
And So It Begins is an appropriate title for this book. After finishing the book you are left with just the beginning of the story. As I write this review I am trying to decide if I liked And So It Begins or not.
The story is set in the fantasy kingdom of Llarien and is centered on Kherin Rhylle and Derek Resh. Kherin is the second prince of Llarien, who at the beginning is stuck in the castle library with a broken leg instead of defending the Llarien borders. Derek is a trader who travels throughout Llarien gathering information that he provides to the king. Derek is valued by the king, but the relationship between the King and the second prince is strained and tension between them is intense.
Kherin’s brother Adrien is wounded in an attack and Kherin and Derek set out for the border that he was defending. Upon their arrival they discover that his injuries are more than physical and a mystery. We also learn that the Northerners are threat but we don’t know why. Kherin and Derek have always been best friends and the fondness between them is revealed during their journey and their time spent in the border city of Gravlorn. Along the way the sexual tension builds between them, but the perceived wrath of the king keeps getting in the way.
This installment of the series is focused on building the fantasy world that is the setting for the series. You are introduced to the dynamics of the Llarien population and the mystery of the opposing Northerners. The pace of this book is slow while you are given time to learn about the characters with the plot being developed along the way. If you are expecting closure at the end of the book you will be disappointed. I have yet to read the second book in the series, but I expect it will pick up where this installment left off.
So did I enjoy the story? Yes, R.G. Green put a lot of thought into the development of these characters and the world they live in. I will say that when I turned the last page the story felt incomplete and I am hoping that the next book in the series, Find a Way, will fill in the blanks.