The Fifth Son

Blaine D. Arden
The Fifth Son
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Cayendi Press
Release Date
November 2014
BDSM, Fantasy Romance, LGBTQ

Second Edition

Includes 5 shaded black-and-white illustrations by Yana Goya!

A prince without power

In a land where magic is commonplace, Prince Llyskel has none. He can't command spells, he has never been taught to fight, and as the fifth son of the King, he will never rule. Everyone believes he's a weakling, most of all himself.

Powerlessness is Llyskel's problem—and his pleasure. In his secret fantasies, the prince dreams of nothing more than finding himself helpless at another man's hands… particularly the hands of Captain Ariv of the Guards.

Then Ariv makes Llyskel's dream a reality, and as the powerless prince surrenders to the soldier's desire, he finds his own true strength at last. But a web of royal politics is closing around Llyskel, threatening to tear him from his lover, and it will take all his newfound courage to escape…

Book Review by Annette Gisby (author,reviewer)
Dec 14, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
186 people found the following review helpful
A romantic fantasy with the touch of a fairy tale.

In all his life, Prince Llyskel has been sheltered by his parents and the guards of the palace due to his lack of magic. He has no way to protect himself and so his parents insist on guards accompanying him on every outing, even if he was just going to the river to paint.

He is not allowed to train with other warriors, in case they accidentally use magic on him, and so Llyskel has to content himself fighting with practice dummies, which bear no relation to the real thing and he fears how helpless he'd be in a real fight.

Painting is one of Prince Llyskel's pleasures, and one where magic is not required. But he has another, darker secret that he hasn't shared with anyone. Considered helpless due to his lack of magical abilities, Llyskel actually wants to be rendered completely helpless, by none other than Captain Ariv.

Llyskel has a crush on the captain and often daydreams about what it might be like to be taken in hand by the powerful warrior. But Llyskel fears that it will stay a dream, for what would the handsome captain want with someone so useless? Who can't even open a magical door, never mind anything else where magic was required. Magic is used everywhere in the palace, from the lights to the doors and Llyskel is reliant on others all the time.

But since this is a romance, the readers know that Captain Ariv is not as uninterested as he first appears. Add in a dash of court intrigue and a plot to abduct the prince and you have the makings of a very engaging tale.

This is a feel-good romance, very reminiscent of a fairy tale. At one stage, Prince Llyskel is even abducted and kept in a tower. Both Llyskel and Ariv were well-drawn, wonderful characters. The book is from Llyskel's point of view and you see his frustrations at the limitations of his life, and you can see why he would want to sneak off without his guards now and then.

We see Captain Ariv through Llyskel's eyes and he comes across as a strong man and a noble one. He would do everything in his power to keep Llyskel safe, but he doesn't confine him and he doesn't treat Llyskel's lack of magic as a disability.

The love scenes between them were hot and tender. Llyskel is captivated by the magical weapons called shooters that cast stunning spells, and he wants to feel that helpless and vulnerable. But since he has no magic of his own, the spell doesn't work on him. Ariv improvises and uses ropes to bind Prince Llyskel instead and the heat between them during that scene sizzles off the page.

I have a bit of a niggle with the world building; there isn't enough of it. Just enough to give you a taste of this magical land, but not enough to satisfy. Mind you, the usual fantasy books I read are thick door stoppers, not novellas. It is a complete tale, and we do get all of Ariv's and Llyskel's love story. I adored both of them.

If you're looking for a romance with a touch of magic and some court intrigue thrown in, this might be the one for you.
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