Title: The Engineered Throne by Megan Derr
Genre: M/M Romance, Fantasy
Published November 13th 2013
Length: 346 pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher
Lord Vellem is a man desperate for escape. His father hides from his problems in alcohol, his mother hides from her misery in drugs, and his brother fled to the relative safety of the royal palace. Vellem eventually found solace in the Royal Army Corp of Engineers, but still could not entirely escape. Then his brother provides him with an unexpected chance, and now Vellem's marriage to the young prince of a neighboring kingdom is only months away.
The marriage promises not just a fresh start in a new land, but a challenge to his famed skills in building roads and bridges. But before he can settle into his new life, tragedy strikes, and Vellem isn't certain he's up to rebuilding the ruin left in its wake.
Purchase Link: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/
This book is set in a pseudo-historical world with dragons. Two kingdoms, previously at war, are now attempting peace by marrying a prince and a hero together from the two sides. Vellem, a war hero and an excellent engineer, is marrying Perdith, the youngest prince who has no hope of ever being king due to the long line of older brothers. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes and all the royal family members died in a bombing except for Perdith. Now Perdith and Vellem have to figure out how to manage a kingdom, make their marriage work in the long run, and figure out who is responsible for the bombing.
The drama and plot are very intense. I love the awesome world building that's so characteristic of Megan Derr. The family tensions and distrust between the two kingdoms are well written and very engaging. Vellem has to deal with being an outsider and trying to run a kingdom with basically no help while Perdith is in a coma. After Perdith recovers, he initially distrusts Vellem and refuses his help in ruling the kingdom. After deaths from both of their families, they mellowed and really try to work together to defend their kingdom from further attacks and find the culprit.
All the characters in the book have unique voices and personalities. Vellem's character stands out the most. He keeps saying he's not as special as people think but he's special enough to marry into royalty. I love his ideas and strategies with running the kingdom and warring. But when it comes to trying to ransom a fake prince, he turns to Perdith for help. In general, he's a very level headed person and the best person to turn to when things go wrong. So it's really a blessing that he married into Perdith's kingdom and exactly when the kingdom needs his help.
I can't really say if Perdith and Vellem are a well matched pair because the romance between them is too rushed. It feels like the characters exchanged some gifts, went through some misunderstandings, and then jumped into a sex crazed phase.
While I enjoyed the book, there are some issues with the editing, which caused some minor confusion throughout the book. Overall, this is a great book with a well planned plot and intense family drama. Fans of Megan Derr's work and the fantasy genre would enjoy this book.
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