Monday, June 16, 2014

Review: With Pride by Megan Derr

With Pride (Princes of the Blood #2)
Title: With Pride by Megan Derr
Series: Princes of the Blood #2
Genre: M/M Romance, Fantasy
Published April 16th 2014 by Less Than Three Press LLC
Length: Novel 65,000 words

Rating: 3 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


When his sister falls ill, Kristof is ordered to assume a duty never meant for him: become the Duke of Stehlmore and marry a notorious Prince of the Blood. It is one of the oldest honors and duties undertaken by his family, but Kristof feels only resentment that he must leave behind all he knows to serve an arrogant half-demon.

His resentment must be set aside, however, when evil is found lurking far too close to the castle—an evil that has many pieces, controlled by someone they cannot find and who always seems one step ahead of them. Someone who seems to think that demons are little more than toys …

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This is prequel to Of Last Resort and focuses on Hakon and Kristof. Kristof is forced to leave his homeland and marry a Prince of the Blood, Hakon. The wedding is stalled when it turns out he is allergic to demons and being near Hakon is painful for him. Attacks by demons have increased and the Princes discovered missing newborns that are sealed with demons. As they try to figure out the mystery and stop the demons, Hakon goes missing in action after a sea battle and pronounced dead.

Part 1 of the novel is about Kristof meeting Hakon and how their relationship improves. Kristof dislikes Hakon for being inconciderate and bratty but is still unwilling to marry him for the sake of duty. Hakon dislikes Kristof's arrogance and attitude towards the Princes of the Blood. However, he is also forced into this marriage. I don't think they have chemistry in this arranged marriage, but they can be the best of friends and they are starting to not hate each other by the end of the Part 1. The budding romance is well written and believable, but it doesn't progress further in Part 2.

Part 2 of the story is from Hakon's point of view and about him tracking down a mad priest. He enlists Erzsebet (a new character) to help. Kristof appears out of nowhere at the last, critical moment before Hakon was to die and saves the day. This part of the story can be better planned. I would like to see Kristof and Hakon working together to solve the crime and get to know how Kristof is functioning without Hakon (instead of being told this at the end of novel). Also, I dislike how Kristof's allergic reaction to Hakon just needs to be endured so he gains tolerance to the pain. I wish a solution is thought of for this issue or at least convince me that their love is worth a lifetime of pain.

I like this story less than Of Last Resort. There are more loose ends and the mystery is not as well planned. The mystery of missing babies being used to spawn demons turns into a mad priest eating fresh organs by killing the populace. There are too many ideas trying to merge into one that the story isn't cohesive and flowing.

Nonetheless, I enjoy this story and the adventure that Hakon goes on. This explains how Kristof and Hakon's relationship came to be in Of Last Resort. The world building is still amazing and the actions of the mad priest is chilling. I would definitely recommend this story for fans of the first book and of antagonistic marriage partners turned lovers.

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