For quite a while, I really thought Hazard had blown it with this book. The story didn’t sweep me away in the same way the first three books did. But it’s worth hanging in there, it really is.
Synopsis: Eridan was rescued as a child from an assassination attempt and has been raised in High Hronthar by an order of telepathic monks. He’s unaware of his true identity as the second prince of the Fifth Grand Clan. He only knows that he’s been claimed as an apprentice by the most powerful man in the Order, Castien Idhron. Castien doesn’t deal in feelings. He’s manipulative, without scruples and he will use his knowledge about Eridan’s identity for his own purposes. Eridan is his exact opposite, lively and emotional. Yet, their minds are more than compatible, and their bodies too. And as they grow closer, Castien begins to feel. But it all comes crumbling down when Eridan’s brother shows up to collect him and everything is revealed.
This read differs from the other ones in the series in that only one of the main characters get a voice. It’s a single POV all the way, except for the few chapters where a third party gets a say. Eridan is the main storyteller, and he’s exceedingly emotional and so very endearing. His pairing with the unfeeling Castien is kind of hard to swallow.
Sure, you get to see some of Castiens feelings (shallow as they may be) through Eridan’s and Castien’s mind-link, but still, it’s not really enough to get to know him, never mind grow to like him. And yes, there’s a perfectly fine explanation for Castien’s limited emotional capacity, but in my eyes, he was no way near deserving of Eridan’s love. At first.
For the first 60% of the book or so, I just became more and more irritated over how cold an unfeeling Castien was. A lovestory can be written in many different ways, but it does need love to work after all. And Castien was just this stone cold a-hole who never showed a softer side.
But then, at the time where Eridan and Castien started shagging, the tone shifted. Sure, Castien was still a cold SoB, but now there was something more there. And from that point on I was enraptured by the story.
So hang in there. It’s worth it. So, so worth it.