Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review: Eidolon (Wraith Kings #2) by Grace Draven

Kai Prince Brishen, the dead eel, and his human wife Ildiko, the pink mollusk, are back! Eidolon, Wraith Kings #2, by Grace Draven continues the story that began in Radiance, the first book of this fantasy series.

At the end of Radiance, the Queen of Haradis, in her bid for power, opened the gates and unleashed the galla. Demons from the underworld that devour all those in their path. Eidolon begins at this point, with the Royal palace at Haradis, the royal family, including the Queen, the King, Brishen's brother, and his heirs, succumbing to the galla. A lucky few escape, including a couple of palace guards with a baby, and make their way to the river where safety awaits as galla cannot cross running water.

Back at Saggara, Brishen and Ildiko are leading an extremely happy life as a couple in love. The daily routine and happy relationship comes to a sudden holt when news arrives that Brishen is the only survivor of the Kay royal house. The King is dead. Long live the King! The new Kai ruler finds himself in a tough position. First, to save his kingdom the galla must be defeated. Second, the neighboring kingdoms must be prevented from declaring war against him. The answer to both problems is to seek an alliance in order to defeat the darkness threatening to annihilate them all. Still, the galla are dead, and the dead may only be killed by the dead. Desperate measures through ancient magic will have to do. The change of circumstances, however, also affects the relationship between Brishen and Ildiko. Will the Kai accept a human queen?

In Radiance, although political/court intrigue and fantasy elements are well-integrated, romance is at the forefront of the story. In Eidolon, Draven focuses on the fantasy and political/court intrigue aspects of this world, while integrating the romantic elements. Romance is still key to decisions taken by the protagonists, however, conflict and angst are introduced to the blissfully happy relationship already established between Brishen and Ildiko.

This couple faces all conflicts with strength and vulnerability. Ildiko continues to be a strong character. However, Draven shows Ildiko's insecurities in this installment, and as a result, she emerges as an even stronger woman and partner at the end of the story. Brishen openly acknowledges his need for Ildiko. I admire his character for the sacrifices he is willing to make and the almost-unsurmountable dangers he faces for his people. But also, for the sacrifices Brishen is unwilling to make in his personal life. He is a real hero, and this is a great couple!

The world-building for the Wraith Kings series continues to evolve with this installment. I really enjoyed how the Kai's culture is further explored through political / court intrigue, and by strongly expanding the fantasy aspect of this series through magical elements and plotting. The Wraith Kings make their appearance in this book, but you'll have to read the story to find out the who, why and how. Additionally, personal relationships between main and secondary characters, as well as individual contributions made by secondary and tertiary characters, are key to the success to this story.

So, did I like one book more than the other? No. I loved Radiance for the fabulous romance. I love Eidolon for the fantasy, the world-building, the plotting, the way Draven portrays darkness and light, the resolutions, and yes, for the continuing romance between Brishen and Ildiko. Highly recommended.

Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1)
Eidolon (Wraith Kings, #2)
The Ippos King (Wraith Kings, #3) Releasing in 2017

8 comments:

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, even if it wasn't as great as the first book. I really want to read this series soon. I buy the ebooks and load them on my reader, but when the time comes to read a new book, I tend to forget recommended reads. I need to keep track better. This series is going on the top of my new list!

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    1. Ames, this is really a great fantasy romance series. Radiance is just excellent romance set in a fantasy world. And I say that once you read that first book, you will be hooked! I love Brishen and Ildiko.

      PS: we have to get reorganized when it comes to recommended reads. I used to keep a list of recommended books in a hidden page at this blog -- and crossed the titles off once I read them. It worked for a long time, but I haven't kept it up for the past few years.

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  2. Is there going to be another book in this series?

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    1. Hi Erin!

      Yes! There will be a third book coming out in 2017. It's called The Ippos King. I just don't know the release month or date. I will be reading it.

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  3. Thanks for the review Hils. I read Draven's Master of Crows and enjoyed it. I have both of these but will probably wait and read these when the third book comes out.

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    1. Leslie, you will love this series! Such great romance in Radiance… such a great world. I don't blame you for waiting though. :)

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  4. I kept hearing you mention Radiance... and didn't realize that Grace Dravens has 2 series. Now it all makes sense LOL.

    I'm glad the hero wouldn't compromise on his personal life. Might not be reality, but it suits my romance reader heart LOL

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    1. Nath! Sigh… Brishen is so romantic. That whole relationship and series is so romantic… you'd love that first book. (hearts)

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