Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Royal Airs by Sharon Shinn (review)


4.5 out of 5 stars

Royal Airs (Elemental Blessings) by Sharon Shinn is part of the ‘Elemental Blessings’ series that deals with the complex society in Welce and the events that are taking place after the death of King Vernon and the various startling revelations about his offspring. A lowly gambler named Rafe inadvertently becomes entangled in the affairs of the royals and discovers that the society they move effortlessly in is remarkably labyrinthine and filled with pitfalls. Little does he expect to become a personage of interest but not only are his blessings very atypical but the princesses he becomes acquainted with cause his life to move in entirely unexpected directions that almost match the uniqueness of his oddly mutilated ear. The Regent Darien continues to play his very deep games but unfortunately, leaders of other countries add their complications to the mix and the political structure in Welce may very well be in for a major upheaval once again.

This lovely fantasy novel is an excellent addition to an intriguing series and provides a view of other ways the use of the elements can alter events as is demonstrated by the various primes in this society. I love the way the action gradually builds from the events that transpire during a canny gambler’s sojurn in a favorite tavern one night and grow to become a societal upheaval. The unveiling of Rafe’s character is contrasted with the rapidly escalating events that start swirling around him until he is virtually at the eye of a storm that will have lasting effects. It is mesmerizing to watch him discover great passion in his life although he seems to have remarkable abilities of recuperation given the number of injuries he accrues. The developments that surround his background and shape his future seem a little too contrived but I definitely admit that there were some unexpected repercussions. The combination of fantasy, romance and action makes this a wonderful series and I am delighted that there is a certain degree of resolution yet plenty of room to expound upon multiple dangling threads and I look forward eagerly to reading more about the remarkable inhabitants of this world.
© Night Owl Reviews
I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review.

The first book in this series is the delicious Troubled Waters (Ace Fantasy Book) and my Night Owl review (one of my relatively rare 5 out of 5 stars) is at this link.

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