Author: K.M. Penemue
Title: King of Diamonds
Genre: High Fantasy
Rating: Three Petals
On the Publisher's Website:
Rhen makes his living two ways: performing card tricks for passing crowds, and thievery. Every four years, Vis-a-Vis, a four day festival, celebrates life and happiness, where all classes can be equal behind their masks. It's a prime opportunity for thieves, but Rhen's plans change when Lelan, his former lover, says they need to talk.
Though still feeling bitter with Lelan for leaving him, Rhen agrees, because if there's one thing he's good at, it's playing the odds.
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I liked this story, but I didn't love it. The beginning scene is probably one of the best scenes I've read in a while. The description of Rhen's emotions and his slight of hand ability with the card trick, as well as the reaction of the little girl he was tricking and the crowd he was performing for was excellently written. Even the moment when Lelan appears and the tone of the story changes was wonderful. I really liked reading it. However, after that scene the story went downhill.
For the rest of the book I felt like I was missing a prologue. There is so much history between Lelan and Rhen that I was only given glimpses of, including what sounded like a truly dramatic breakup two years prior, but those glimpses were not nearly enough for me to actually understand and appreciate this story about their reconciliation. I would have preferred to have both parts of the story to read so the impact of the ending really hit home. Instead I was only halfway invested, which detracted form the story a lot.
The short story format gave the book an easy to read feeling that worked with the simplicity of the plot, but I can't help wishing that there was more depth and therefore a longer story. I kept waiting for something to happen. I was given a wonderful scene with Rhen's slight of hand abilities, so I know he's an accomplished thief and card sharp. His abilities are used again briefly at the end, but I really feel that a lot of potential for some very interesting scenes with him was squandered.
I do recommend this story. It was short and well written, with some very interesting scenes of thievery and slight of hand. The story did need more depth and perhaps a prologue to allow the emotional impact to really set in for the reader, but overall I did enjoy reading it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.