Tale of Two Kingdoms
Order of the Black Swan, Book 6
By Victoria Danann
DISCLOSURE: The E-Galley was provided by the author for review. No remuneration was exchanged. All opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
I enjoy and support Victoria’s work and have joined her “street team.” This doesn’t mean I gush praise without merit. I am expected and required to offer my readers an honest opinion. The promotional information is presented for your convenience. I do not receive a commission and am not an affiliate for any online merchant.
Release date December 8, 2013 AS PART OF Black Swan Collected Tales (Volume 1, Books 1-6)
Will release as a single title after the first of the year.
Appropriate for 17+
Duff Torquil is heir to Scotia, the kingdom of Fae, who have been at war with the Elves for two thousand years. Fae and Elves are both species who have evolved to respond to one fated lover with whom they will mate for life. Duff Torquil’s predestined mate is perfect for him in every way: beautiful, smart, polished, strong willed and a talented psychic who works for The Order of the Black Swan. The only problem is that she’s Aelsong Hawking, the only daughter of the royal house of Elves.
December 9 ONLINE RELEASE PARTY: https://www.facebook.com/events/582284305179828/
The entire box set, which will retail after December 15th for $18.99, will be available during release week for $0.99 and can be pre-ordered at that price from either Smashwords or Kobo. Buy links to Amazon, B&N, and Apple (iBooks, iTunes) will be available release week. Subscribe to the mail list for a reminder.
Check out the Giveaway below my review — A copy of My Familiar Stranger and a groovy Order of the Black Swan Key Chain!
I have Victoria back on Sunday for a guest post and the contest will continue through then.
After discovering Victoria’s series via a book tour last spring, I have become quite ravenous for the Order of the Black Swan. The series has everything including action, love, paranormal species and abilities, political intrigue and now our very own star-crossed lovers.
Let me pause briefly to remind everyone that this series is actually presented in serial format and best read in order. Victoria recommends it and so do I. To facilitate this the first book in the series is permanently free for nook and kindle. And next week the deal on the boxed set of all the current books in the series for .99 is pretty amazing.
While I will attempt not to spoil any of the series, it will be nearly impossible to discuss this story without giving up some goods on the others.
In this book pretty much the only Order employees we see are Ram, Ellora, Glen and Litha. A TALE of TWO KINGDOMS really belongs to Aelsong and Duff. Other characters only appear in so much as they serve the story here. Rosie and Glen appear at the start, and their actions probably will come back to us in a future book. But the lack of a huge cast is very useful in focusing the storyline.
Duff, Crown Prince of the Fae kingdom of Scotia and Aelsong, Ram’s sister, and a princess of the Irish Royal Family of Elves meet in a prior installment in the series. When the two are mated it’s apparent that there’s more happening here than a random act of nature, it is a biological imperative. Forbidden access to each other the mates will surely perish.
But, what do you do if you’re royal and the heir to the throne and your mate is the “enemy?” In our HUMAN past daughters’ of royal households were the fodder of treaty negotiations. But, apparently that isn’t the way of the fae.
Consciously or not, Victoria has done something clever: The taxonomic classification of fairies and elves in our world is pretty loose. Often in our stories the fae refer to almost any kind of magical being like elves, fairies, brownies, hobgoblins, dwarfs, and such, but sometimes they are regarded as separate species. Often both have pointed ears. I think it is interesting and fun that Victoria plays on this identity confusion in trying to identify the roots of the war between the fairies and elves.
After all, when Ellora needs blood in a previous story there is only fairy available and it works fine. This all on its own tells us something, no? Victoria is pointing out our own laxity on defining these species. If they aren’t distinct, why can’t they be the same?
The more human aspect of the relationship — the driving need to be together and the steps the couple takes to become a couple makes for a very romantic “fairy tale” set within a modern world where even fairies and elves have a hard time believing “fairy tales.” It points to our need for magic and our disbelief in it.
Other bits were extremely well done. While Victoria’s voice is always different and unusual, in this narrative of a modern fairy tale she excells. The sometimes expository nature of her writing is not overly done and it works in this kind of story-telling. It put me in mind of a fairy tale.
There is a bit about creator beings stepping in and being assigned Earth as a sort of social engineering project was the weakest part. I understood the need for it but the execution confused me. Some of the loose ends — like Rosie’s and Glen’s doing were frustrating. But, the over riding message is that the lives of individuals do matter and can make a huge difference. And, that Love — romantic, familial, friendship-based, is a very strong force in the universe. It can be both selfish and altruistic. Lack of love brings out the worst in people and true love can bring out the best.
I really love this series like an old friend now. I am thrilled about the Omnibus offering and hope you take advantage of it. For me, this is a must read.
US Only, 18 plus
One Winner of One PRINT copy of MY FAMILIAR STRANGER and a Key Chain!
Use the rafflecopter form Terms & Rules are on the form. Entry stipulates agreement to all the terms.
Ends 00:00 hours EST December 12, 2013. Winner will be emailed and have 24 hours to reply.
COME BACK for the Guest Post Sunday and comment then for another entry.
a Rafflecopter giveaway