The Wolf and the King
Author: Tami Veldura
Title: The Wolf and the King
Genre: High Fantasy
Rating: One Petal
On the Author's Website:
Kaleb is under pressure from his closest adviser. Either choose a husband and take the throne of his people, the shifters of the world, or one will be chosen for him. But Kaleb doesn’t want just any husband. He wants to find his mate, the one man that the gods put in this world specifically for him. Richard thinks Kaleb is a fool to trust in myths, but Kaleb insists he’s looking for a forever love and he’s determined to find it.
Parker is a lowborn wolf shifter and not interested in bowing to any tiger, that is, until Kaleb parades by and their eyes lock. For a second nothing else exists, just the two of them and the knowledge that they are meant to be together. It’s fate. But the advisor pushes Kaleb on, and it’s up to Parker to find a way to reach his true mate.
Wolves have been oppressed by the tiger royalty for generations, but it’s Kaleb who fears the bond he and Parker share. Something or someone is scaring Parker’s mate into an arranged marriage he doesn’t want. Parker knows that Kaleb is his, but unless Kaleb can make a stand, they’ll be apart forever.
I received this book as an ARC via the author in exchange for an honest review.
As king, Kaleb has certain responsibilities, one of which is to find a suitable mate. His advisor has a list of candidates, but Kaleb wants to find his true mate. Unfortunately, true mates are a myth and his advisor is going to make sure Kaleb chooses someone whether Kaleb likes it or not.
This book had far too many flaws, the worst of which was the fact that physical and emotional abuse was used as a plot point. I have read plenty of books with on-screen abuse that handled it with delicacy and emotional depth that allowed for a very real and very terrible issue to properly evolve the characterizations. This story used the abuse as a crutch to push the plot, and that I find difficult to respect.
Kaleb's decisions hinged entirely on that abuse, which meant he didn't have a real personality. Parker, the love interest, wasn't given enough pages to flesh out his personality either. He's either having sex with Kaleb or locked in a cage, so readers barely get to know him. The plot was also limited with almost zero world building to provide any depth to the situations Kaleb and Parker find themselves. The only glimmer of potential in the entire story was the political schism between the tigers and wolves, but aside from mentioning in the beginning that the issue exists, the author appears to have forgotten about it entirely. Going into depth on that could have provided an opportunity for Kaleb and Parker characters to get fleshed out, given depth to the book, and provided a real plot.
The physical and emotional abuse of one of the characters was used as a plot-crutch, which was terrible, and overall the story lacked depth in plot, characterization, and world building. I therefore cannot recommend this book.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.