Author: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Lord Vellem is desperate to escape. His father hides from his problems in alcohol, his mother hides from her misery in drugs, and his brother fled to the relative safety of the royal palace. Vellem found solace in the Royal Army Corp of Engineers, but true escape from a life of violence remains out of reach.
Then his brother provides him with an unexpected chance: marriage to a prince of their country’s oldest enemy to help bring about peace once and for all. The marriage promises Vellem not just a fresh start in a new land, but a challenge to his famed skills in building roads and bridges.
But before he can settle into his new life, tragedy strikes, and Vellem isn’t certain he’s up to rebuilding the ruin left in its wake.
Review: Vellem is a soldier. A soldier in the King of Belemere’s Engineers. He’s respected by his men and known as a fair and capable leader. His father is a drunk and violent man but he’s a noble man. Vellem is chosen to marry one of the prince’s from a neighboring country as a means to create peace between their countries who were once enemies. Vellem has no idea why someone as insignificant as he is worthy of marrying into a royal family. He’s sure it’s his skill as an engineer and is happy to have the unlimited resources to help both of their countries end the fighting and prosper. Vellem looks at it as his duty. He hopes for the best but knows this marriage isn’t to be one of love. Just before he’s to set sail to meet and marry the Prince the assassination attempts begin. It’s very obvious somebody does not want the truce between countries to happen but which country is at fault? And how will they stop them?
This book was very well written. Rich in details and lush in character development. It’s a tad on the tragic side but nothing heartbreakingly so. It’s more of a practical thing that people die because of those that crave more and more power. We follow Vellem through his battles. His actions in response to the many tragedies that alter his once thought insignificant path to the marriage of a Prince never meant to rise to the thrown. Vellem is hard on himself. He’s constantly feels like he fails in situations others admire him for. Vellem strives to be a good and worthy man who does what needs to be done. His Prince isn’t prepared for what’s thrust at him either and has to learn to be strong. The large cast of characters were easily followed. Each had their own voice and purpose within the story. A few different story lines for future books are set up in this one. Adorable pet dragons! There’s a ton of action and battle scenes. The love story is slower because they’re strangers at the time they meet. No insta love thank goodness. Through their struggles they learn to lean on and trust each other. While I really liked this book there was a detachment I felt from the story. It’s a wonderful story I got lost in but considering all that happened you’d think I would have felt more for the loss dealt to the characters in the story. I wanted the guys to find happiness as a couple but more than anything I wanted the bad guys to pay. Some did. For others the story continues. I’ll for sure be reading the next one!