Series: The Elven Lords, Book 1
Series: The Elven Lords, Book 1
Genre: Fantasy Romance, Historical Romance
(c) July 2010, Sourcebooks
Rating: 4 stars
Available at Book Depository (print) and Powells (print).
Kathryne Kennedy pens an ambitious tale of love, romance and sacrifice against the fantastic background of magic in an alternate reality of eighteenth century England. Sometime ago, the barrier between Elfhame and Earth was broken, and seven elven lords--bored with peace--migrated and carved out different sections of England for them to rule over. They engaged in war games, where the king was the prize, who has become something like a puppet, signing whatever papers the elven lords gave him.
Lady Cassandra, a human, joined the Resistance, a group of people who longed to free England from the elven lords' rule. Her mission was to kill the Fire Lord Mor'ded, and in order to get close to him, she married his son, Dominic Raikes, a half-human, half-elven, a cold, stern man who didn't seem to have a heart. Yet, she couldn't know that she roused feelings in Dominic he thought was long buried and dead. But a greater evil awaited them in the palace at Firehame, the revelation of which would turn their world upside-down...
First of all, I was captivated by the cover. It's scrumptious, especially the picture of Dominic. He reminds me of Orlando Bloom as Legolas (The Lord of the Rings) *to-die-for* *yum, yum* and for the first time in my book-reading days, I had a firm visual of the hero in my mind as I read the book.
In the story, the first half anyway, Dominic was cold and stern and uncaring, even toward Cassandra. But it's a facade to deceive his father, for Dominic has suffered a lot of losses in the past when his father perceived him to care for something or someone. So, he was of a mind to keep his distance from his wife, even to the point of making sure everyone around them saw he prefers his mistress, in an effort to protect Cass even as the ice around his heart melted the more he was with his wife. Oh, I just love the angst here, the way Cass suffered from jealousy (Dominic also got bitten by the same bug later on) and struggled with it as she reminded herself of her mission.
Both Cass and Dominic are vividly portrayed, and their characters underwent growth that was catalyzed by the other. Once Dominic admitted his feelings, he was quite sweet and romantic with Cass, though this didn't come easy for him, for his half-elven blood made him cold and he had long been suppressing his half-human side. Still, he tried, and sometimes, that's all we want from a hero.
Cass was the perfect heroine for Dominic, being bold and brave, especially in things she believed to be right. I like that even after Dominic confessed that she'd become important to him more than his life, she didn't morph into Dominic's shadow living only for his love, but she remained her own person.
The dragon-steed Ador is one fascinating secondary character, serving as mentor/guide/oracle to Dominic. However, I feel that maybe he knows too much and prompts Dominic too much.
The twist toward the end caught me by surprise, yet now that I think about it, the author dropped enough clues throughout the story that point to that possible ending. Still, it was a lovely surprise and an unusual ending.
The Fire Lord's Lover is an amazing start to what promises to be a wonderful series. You can't miss this!
If his powers are discovered, his father will destroy him...
In a magical land ruled by ruthless Elven lords, the Fire Lord's son Dominic Raikes plays a deadly game to conceal his growing might from his malevolent father-until his arranged bride awakens in him passions he thought he had buried forever...
Unless his fiancée kills him first...
Lady Cassandra has been raised in outward purity and innocence, while secretly being trained as an assassin. Her mission is to bring down the Elven Lord and his champion son. But when she gets to court she discovers that nothing is what it seems, least of all the man she married...
Then Dominic and Cassandra together uncover an unspeakable evil, one that threatens the destruction of the magical realm they would give their souls to save...