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The Painted Crown (Unbreakable Soldiers) Paperback – 5 Dec 2016
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Top customer reviews
And that’s what I’d expect from a Megan Derr book – characters I can really care about. Istari is definitely one of those. He’s a hostage, he’s wounded, he’s emotionally scarred, he had an awful childhood and his adulthood has mostly been spent being valued only as long as he kills people. He’s heartbroken and worn out, but isn’t bitter or angry even when he might be entitled to feel that way. He’s just tired, and I loved Teverem and his trio of cheeky kids for bringing some light into his darkness.
Okay, if I’m honest, as sweet as Teverem is, he isn’t a particularly dynamic character. This book is all about Istari, doing this and that and saving the world in his own way, while Teverem mostly stays in the background, getting dragged here and there by fate. I still liked him, but he’s quite passive for most of the book.
Yet this didn’t take away from the romance for me. The very fact that Teverem is prepared to just be there when Istari needed him was pretty much what Istari needed most, so that worked beautifully. I also liked that this isn’t an insta-lust tale, thanks to Teverem being demisexual and Istari more ace-leaning (he rarely feels sexual interest, except for a few certain people). Both of which means that their romance is slow-burning and grows out of their existing friendship – and is somewhat complicated by an arranged/political marriage. I also loved the children, particularly the girls. They’re great fun.
Overall I really enjoyed this. It’s emotional at times, but also has a bit of action here and there, even if some of it got a touch repetitive towards the end. I loved Istari and found the world this is set in politically complicated and intriguing. I haven’t read the first book in the series yet, but I followed along with this one easily enough. I’ll have to catch up on that book soon and will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next one.
(Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.)
This one was no exception loved the way the characters developed and fell in love with each other and some of the side characters were brilliant.
If you like a bit of historical fantasy with some m/m romance thrown in definitely read this.
Reading the first book will set up some of the back story but is not essential to the understanding of these characters or this story.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Prince Istari is between a rock and a hard place--a prisoner of peace, he is kept safe, though hardly free. His father is responsible for a horrific crime, one that shadows Istari's experience, leaving him isolated, emotionally and mentally. The secondary characters that orbit the prince are another classic trademark of Derr's work--they are real, vibrant, and enjoyable, even when acting like jerks.
Teverem is a treat. Nuanced and with depth, Teverem brings some weighty history to the relationship, as he assumed his title when his brother was killed in the same explosion for which Istari's father is responsible. Usually an insurmountable roadblock in any other story, it is merely one thing in a line of issues that the author sets up for the characters to navigate.
Derr has an amazing capacity for creating new worlds. Her creation skills in regards to setting, environment, and how those two things influence and impact characters and plot is on a level I can only call instinctual talent. Instinct further molded by skill that ensnares the reader and leaves them captivated until The End.
This book is emotional, the characters sympathetic and endearing, and the plot is intelligent and engrossing. Another favorite series and book.
This is a great addition to the series. I love the worlds this author creates and the tales spun around these worlds.
As with the previous book this world is perilous to everyone and each turn sees another problem. Told entirely from Istari's POV we get to understand his childhood and how that shaped the man he is today, never believing the good anyone sees in him. I enjoyed his interactions with his team, which showed the light hearted teasing.
The relationship between Istari and Teverem was done well.
Looking forward to the next book