What if the magic that could save your loved ones condemns you to death?
Rakish royal spy, Rustam Chalice, loves his life the way it is, so when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. To his dismay the spymaster prince teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin. And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.
Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god—and each other. When Rustam discovers he has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity, and his loyalty to his prince. For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.
The Prince’s Man is the first book in The Five Kingdoms epic fantasy series. If you like action, intrigue, and magic, spiced with a touch of romance, then you’ll love Deborah Jay’s vividly realised characters.Amazon.com
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Title: The Prince’s Man (The Five Kingdoms, Book 1)
Amazon Author Page: Deborah Jay
Publication Date: February 5, 2014
Genres: Sword & Sorcery Fantasy Ebooks, Sword & Sorcery Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
“The Prince’s Man,” begins with an introduction to the young Risada, as she listens in on a conversation between her parents. There’s trouble between the different houses in the kingdom, and Risada’s mother believes there is a spy in their midst. An assassin hiding in the shadows of the room steps forth and murders both her mother and father. From that day forward, Risada vows revenge on whoever killed her parents.
Twenty years later, the game is revealed when Rustam Chalice, an undercover spy in service to Prince Halnashead delivers to him the elixir of eternity, which of course gives eternal life to anyone who drinks it.
The political stability of the Kingdom of Tyr-en is at stake, and the veracity of the elixir’s power is questioned. The potion requires elven magic to be effective, and after the wars which ravished the kingdom, all magic has been banned. Additionally, the prince fears that whoever is selling the concoction is using the proceeds to fund some type of military action against him.
To save the kingdom, Chalice partners with Risada and together they save Elwaes, the captured elf, abused by Lord Melcard Rees-Charlay and Doctor Hensar, the resident physician for their domain. The poor creature requires immediate medical attention which must be given by his Elven community. Chalice and Risada set off after Prince Halnashead agrees on the journey believing the Elves will align with his kingdom.
The journey is long and treacherous. Along the way, the threesome is tormented by trolls, sprites, disgusting worm-like creatures, and many other trials and tribulations. Their journey heats up with the character addition of a water elemental who takes a liking to Chalice, pleasuring him in ways no human woman possibly could. The seducer becomes the seduced, and I would say Chalice has finally met his match.
There’s also high sexual tension between Chalice and Risalda, who manages to stay out of reach. But that wasn’t really the story. For me, it was Chalice’s connection to Elwaes and how he discovers his own magical abilities which transform his entire belief system. Along the way, this Casanova learns humility and acceptance, qualities that are sure to come into play in subsequent novels.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. In epic-fantasy, there are always new names, locations, and cultural nuances to be learned because of the world building. I took my time and immersed myself in this unusual and fascinating land. Be ready for the ending, because now I can’t wait to read the second book in the series, “The Prince’s Son: The Five Kingdoms: Book Two.”
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies
*I follow the Amazon Rating System*
Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.
Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time.
Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.
THE PRINCE’S MAN, winner of a UK Arts Council award, and an Amazon Top 100 Hot New Release, is her debut novel. The second volume, THE PRINCE’S SON is also available, with the third. THE PRINCE’S PROTEGEE, due out March 2019.
Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, is the first in a projected 5 book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES, and a stand alone short story SPRITE NIGHT is now available.
Deborah has also published a multi-author SFF anthology THE WORLD AND THE STARS, which includes her SF story, PERFECT FIT.
She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published under the name Debby Lush.
Facebook: Debby Lush
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