Title: The Prince of Galerir (The Galerir Saga #1)
Author: Anna Lee
Publisher: MLR Press
Length: 65k words
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Series, Friends to Lovers, Dragon Shifters, Magic, Royalty, Warriors/Knights, Secrets & Lies, Sweet and Light
Rating: Pretty Good
Dragons, a usurper, a sickly king, and a hidden prince with his beloved knight all have plans for the fate of the kingdom of Galerir…
Long ago, magik was banished from the kingdom of Galerir. Yet when two young men who share a forbidden passion discover a dragon hatchling, they unwittingly set a course of events in motion that will change the kingdom and their lives forever. All Lord Tomas Roland wants is a life where he is free to love his knight, Griffin Dalison. Yet the chains of responsibility wind tighter around Tomas when it is revealed that he is the heir to the kingdom of Galerir. Tomas and Griffin must reach Galerir’s ailing king before a usurper has the chance to seize the throne. With Griffin as his touchstone, Tomas delves into the unfamiliar worlds of politics and magik. But will Tomas be able to keep his love by his side once he becomes the prince of Galerir?
I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, needing to get some other reviews done before I could read it, but when I finally got to it and started it, I fell into it right away. I was a little unsure of the direction at first, but once it really started moving, I could feel the momentum and I started to really enjoy reading it. It swept me right through the book and I never felt a lull. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, I had several things that bothered me some, but I still enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel whenever it comes out.
Griffin and Tomas grew up together as boys, then teenagers and now men, being prepared to soon accept their adult roles and responsibilities. Throughout, they’ve remained each other’s best friend, even though one is a lord and the other an orphan. Griffin, sent away as a boy to live and work for the nobility, has grown up with an aptitude for swordplay, and is poised to become Tomas’ personal knight. Tomas must do his duty as well. As heir to the estate that constantly keeps the border and magical threat from the other side at bay, he must marry and continue the lineage, something he’s been trying to put off in any way he knows how.
Both Tomas and Griffin harbor feelings for one another, but they’re not known to the other until Griffin finds a baby dragon in the forest where they played as boys. Dragons are supposed to be extinct and they’re afraid for her if they turn her over to Tomas’ father. Dragons are beings of magic, from across the border and were eradicated along with magic by decree of the King of Galerir one hundred years ago. So, they make a plan — they’ll convince Tomas’ father that he’ll marry the girl he was destined for if he can have one last adventure. Secretly, they mean to take the little dragon to the border in order to save her, and then run away together.
Their plans change when Tomas’ father reveals a very big secret, his mother was the sister of the current King, which leaves Tomas as the only remaining heir, kept away from the court after a blood rebellion almost ended the line of succession.
This was a very easy to read novel. At times I felt it was a little too easy, but its a stylistic choice and certainly there are readers who will like that the story takes a somewhat easier path in general than others. The characters don’t really have any angst, though the situation may seem like it calls for it. I would normally be happy about that, but I did get a little bit tired of how often these two reaffirm their love to each other. They’re constantly saying “Love You”, “Only You”, things like that and it felt a bit like any difficult parts for the characters were just diverted, rather than the characters having to experience them — or, I should say the reader having to experience them. Still, this was something that just wasn’t to my taste, and may be to others. Whenever the characters were alone, at the end of the day just talking, for instance, it got to be a little too sweet for me.
The plot itself really gets underway when the secrets come to light from Tomas’ father and it doesn’t let up throughout the whole book. There’s a nice pace and progression that kept me interested. I was waiting for … not violence or battle or anything like that, even a skirmish. But what I was waiting for from the first book was some sort of capping point, of climax in the story. Instead I felt like the story neither declined or inclined, but moved steadily towards the end, then stopped to be (I assume) picked up immediately in book two. That made this feel like one book that was maybe only cut into pieces so it wouldn’t be too long, and I wished, while reading it, that there had been a more natural ending. It felt like the story ended in the middle, rather than at an intermission, but as a fully functioning novel itself. I think I’m fudging up trying to get my point across, but I was waiting for some sort of tension that never came, and I’m hoping that it doesn’t carry on in the same way throughout the next book.
Most of all, that made me excited for the next book because I was left with a bit of a wanting, waiting to see what would happen. Besides that, I am excited to see what is next with the plot. Readers who like a sweeter and lighter fantasy would be interested in this, and I think that it is so far the best work I’ve read by Anna Lee 🙂