The Painted Crown
Author: Megan Derr
Title: The Painted Crown
Series: Unbreakable Soldiers 2
Genre: High Fantasy
Pairing: M/M, Ace, Bi
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
Prince Istari has spent his life reviled: his parents wish he had never been born, the royal court of Belemere avoids him for fear of angering the king, and everyone else is kept away by his notorious reputation as a deadly sharpshooter. Now a hostage of peace in Tallideth, he is subjected to their hatred as well—even that of Regent Vellem, who once considered him a comrade in arms.
Unexpected solace comes in the form of Lord Teverem, a sad, quiet lord who assumed the title when his brother was killed in the explosion for which Istari's father is to blame. He is kind and sweet and a sorely needed bright spot in Istari's life—until Istari meets his family and learns of a dangerous family secret with unexpected ties to Istari's past, a secret that could drag Tallideth and Belemere right back into war...
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Prince Istari grew up in a household that didn't want him. Both his birth father and adoptive father shunned him and his mother wasn't exactly loving. Then Istari was sent as a hostage to ensure peace between his home country and Tallideth, the country that won the recent war, and is shunned there as well. He doesn't think anything good will ever happen in his life until he meets Lord Teverem and Lord Teverem's adorable children with the terrible secret.
I thought Prince Istari was perfectly written. I could feel his pain from his injuries and his hurt from feeling so alone. His growth from a lifetime of pain to a man with a purpose was amazing to read. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with the children where Istari was painting. They were adorable together and made the book really soar.
However, the plot outside of Istari's growth was weak. The rest of the plot was based on the children, one of whom may or may not be the heir to another country. The politics and kidnapping attempts that ensue were interesting, and I liked how it helped enhance Istari's growth, but for some reason it didn't feel fully fleshed out.
I really liked Istari's characterization. His growth from being very depressed to having a purpose in life was perfectly written. The rest of the plot was weak in comparison, but overall I did enjoy reading this book and I do recommend it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.