Series: Prince and Trader 02
Author: R.G. Green
Length: Novel (214pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22nd July 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: Passion has blossomed from the lifelong friendship between Kherin Rylle, the second prince of Llarien, and Derek Resh, a trader employed by the crown. But left on his own in the border city of Gravlorn, Kherin soon draws the anger of the Defenders and his own brother as charges of cowardice and treason are thrown at his feet. Meanwhile, the increasingly dangerous attacks of the northerners bring more than the threat of war to Llarien’s border. Rumors of an ancient northern magic promise a danger far greater than war, and Kherin can’t say the rumors aren’t true.
Only now, he has to learn the truth on his own.
Derek left Gravlorn in search of answers for the unexpected happenings at the border, and although Kherin is determined to keep what they found together, growing tensions, hidden jealousies, and unforeseen revelations about the northern lands threaten to take away everything he has worked to gain. As the border grows more dangerous, Kherin faces the reality that courage and honor may not be enough to end the northern threat, and love may not be enough for Derek and Kherin to find happiness.
Review: This story is part of a series and must be read in order. Kherin, the second prince of Llarien, is left behind in Gravlorn to continue his duty as a Defender against the threat of the Northerners when Derek, the Royal Trader, sets off for the port town Dennor to discover more about the Akhael and the Northerners. Kherin is left alone to face dissent in the ranks of Defenders, the malicious rumors of cowardice and treason and anger from his own brother, while facing increasing attacks from across the river. Derek discovers the truth about the Akhael and the Northerners and brings Dar, the scholar, back to Gravlorn with him but growing tensions, jealousy and visions of revenge makes the border a dangerous place.
This is a great conclusion to the Akhael magical threat and Kherin and Derek’s relationship dilemma. Kherin finds himself wading through trouble caused by jealousy and self-preservation after Derek leaves, he still isn’t sure what will happen with Derek in the future but he clings to their brief moments together and Derek’s words of wisdom to see him through the trouble. Derek realizes that what he has with Kherin is worth fighting for, but first they have to put an end to the Northern threat and his time in Dennor makes him realize the threat is greater than any of them thought. The revolutionary stirrings in Dennor are trying to pick up speed and Tristan, ex-royal stable lad, has revenge on his mind.
I loved this story not only because of the Akhael storyline but also because Kherin has to look his past in the face and accept his faults and actions, and learning how to appropriate blame to those who deserve it. The world building to this story was laid down in So It Begins, but the storyline is built upon with us finding out the horrifying truth about the Akhael. Derek and Kherin resolve their feelings for each other, Kherin knowing what he has always wanted and determined to get and Derek knowing that now he has had a taste of bliss no one will keep him from his happiness, not even the Kings disapproval. We see the Defender’s splitting into factions as Kherin puts his foot down, and we see the bitterness as certain people cause trouble and dissent.
We see this story from both Kherin and Derek’s perspective, it is split between them as they are separated doing their duty. We surprisingly see growth in Kherin as he begins to accept that his actions don’t just affect him and we see his maturity develop with his interaction with others. The bond between Kherin and Adrien is still very strong even as they become at odds, their brotherly love is exceptional, and there are scenes between them that take your breath away. The relationship between Derek and Kherin is where Kherin gathers most of his strength; Derek has managed to temper Kherin without even really trying. Their love for each other is strong and they are magnificent together and not just in bed.
I recommend this story to those who love fantasy, danger, discovering the truth, deep love, accepting ones actions, jealousy, revenge, some hot sex and an ending that is both wonderful and well deserved.