winged reviews
Adult, Review / June 21, 2016
Radiance by Grace DravenRadiance
Author: Grace Draven
Series: Wraith Kings #1
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date: January 2015
296 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy
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Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.


Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

“You might have a face to turn my hair white, but your honesty is handsome.”

Radiance starts out pretty strong. The characters were emotionally mature and charming.
Their first meeting actually managed to have some swoon, despite the fact that they found each other  physically repulsive. Their reasonable temperaments and lack of self pity or wallowing over their situation was refreshing. I was pretty sure I was going to love this. However as the story goes on, though we are told the stakes are high and much is made out of the awkwardness that comes when these two cultures blend,  there didn’t seem to be enough momentum or actual plot. I never believed in the urgency or lack of safety. read more

By: Diane