Three dark speckles in the dust. Roark’s blood. Probably from the blow to his head. He was injured. I press my fingertips to them and the ley line bays like a hound, flinging itself forward. It wants me to let it loose. It wants to hunt and chase and find Roark. It wants to rub against his glamour because nothing else in the world feels as good, and it wants me to be happy.Excerpt from The Prince of Air and Darkness by M.A Grant
- 4 out of 5 stars
- Kindle Edition
- 310 pages
- Expected publication: February 25th, 2019 by Carina Press
- Edition Language English
- Series The Darkest Court #1
“I don’t want to see him again tonight. But part of me craves it because he’s the only person who calls my future like it is. Who calls me like I am.”Excerpt from The Prince of Air and Darkness by M.A Grant
The Prince of Air and Darkness is a book with a lot of promise. It felt like in much of the story the author was getting a feel for their characters and the story up unto the end where it all fused into a coherent story.
The story centers around two men at a college for otherworldy non-humans. Both the fairy courts young people attend this college in hopes of making friends and fostering diplomacy. The first man is named Phineas; he is a rare person indeed. He is one of the few humans in history who can channel a ley line though himself and wield power, or die trying. Previous humans that could use a ley line snuffed themselves out like a roman candle. His roommate and frenemy is Prince Roark, son of Queen Mab and all around pain in Phineas’s ass. Phineas has lived longer than all of his predecessors but is starting to wear down from the barrage of attacks from supernatural beings and the strain of the simmering energy always coursing through his veins. After six years of sharing a space, the men have come to a bit of a detent, although Roark feels compelled to save Finn repeatedly from monsters frequently putting himself at significant personal risk. Finn feels compelled to be around Roark as much as he can. Their back and forth and sexual tension culminates in a great love story between the two of them.
On a very positive note, I love that the writer wrote the two lead gentlemen as people rather than stereotypes or tropes. The Author’s attention to detail about their personality shaped the two leads and built them as well-rounded people which helped solidify their relationship for me. Also, The authors use of dialog was well done. It helped with the plodding pacing and kept the story moving forward. Additionally, I enjoyed the supporting characters and would like to see more of them; the leads’ roommates included a sensitive bridge troll and a satyr. That is fun! I hope that in the future the author gives them more story time. I think it would enrich the often confusing setting and pacing.
I found myself getting lost often in the beginning to the middle of the story. The jumping back and forth through personal past moments betwixt both main characters was difficult to understand in parts. As the story progressed, though, it smoothed itself out as the reader obtained more background information. The pacing was also languid and plodding in the beginning and middle of the story, and it felt too drawn out — too much dancing around each other. Many times I felt like shaking the damn characters and shouting at them. The dancing around each other did add a certain degree of tension between the two leads that eventually led to a beautifully done romance, but till that point it was frustrating. Because of this, I lost my connection to the characters at a few points.
M/M romance is not often written, should be written more, and should be done this well. Pacing and point of view issues notwithstanding this is a well-done love story. It is an excellent first book that is shaping up to be an even better series.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my open and honest review.
About the Author
M.A. Grant has always loved reading and writing, but fell in love with the romance genre when she started working at an independent bookstore in high school. After meeting her husband in college, they began a steady northward migration and are now happily living in the rugged beauty of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. When she’s not calling out to passing ravens or making a cup of tea, she’s writing dark and moving stories.