*I received a free ecopy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
First things first, this book is a collection of three different stories, all of which revolve around the same main characters, compiled together into a total of roughly 300 pages. Although each book is available separately, they are also available combined, and that’s what this review is for. Now that that has been cleared up…
Wow, the world-building in this book was incredible! Until recently (at the time of this review), I was mostly a fan of urban and not that big on high fantasy, but had I not already been becoming a high fantasy fan, I think this book would’ve done it. The world was so intricate and detailed, and it was those details that truly made the book what it was. All the characters were elves and they all had different talents/jobs (e.g. the protag was a “truth seeker” which was similar to a detective/cop but with magic and a different legal system) as well as different types (e.g. the protag was also a cloud elf and had wings), they used different vocabulary (e.g. instead of ‘teen’ they used ‘stripling’), they had different ways of doing things (e.g. a special ceremony each year for finding romantic partners), etc. Everything—the society structure, the clothing, the medicinal products, the magic, the character appearances—was taken into account and was all so vivid. And the way it was written, simple yet eloquent with the perfect style and word choices, worked so well. Even I, someone who hasn’t had that much experience with these kinds of worlds, only struggled for about the first 6% and then managed to grasp the rest easily and just sink right in. But even in that first 6%, I was still enthralled already. And with each story, I only got more immersed as I learned more and more about how their world and society and culture worked. So I absolutely loved that aspect of the book.
I also found all the mysteries interesting. I was completely intrigued and invested in each one, and they all felt like they were solved and dealt with in a super realistic way, at least in terms of what was realistic in the world of the book. There were clues, searches, interrogations, etc. There was some magic used, but not in a way that felt like cheating.
The characters and relationship dynamics were good too. Honestly I was confused by the blurb, so I’m just going to explain it really quickly. Kelnaht used to be in a relationship with Ianys and is still in love with him, and he also harbors hidden desires for Taruif, but Taruif is not allowed to communicate with anyone because that’s his punishment for something he did 20 turns (years?) ago. But then Kelnaht finds out that Ianys and Taruif are having a secret relationship. So poor Kelnaht had old wounds reopened and rubbed raw in the beginning, and I loved getting to see the tension and pain between him and Ianys. My only complaint is that the tension didn’t last long at all because the three men settled into their menage rather quickly and easily and there was a case of instalove between Kelnaht and Taruif. However, even once they did all get together, they still had outside obstacles to overcome, like Taruif’s punishment putting the other two at risk and a situation involving Ianys possibly losing custody of his daughter. And even though I tend to like seeing more conflict within relationships in books, I also like seeing healthy relationships and being able to say awwwwww sometimes, and their sweet, sexy, supportive relationship did tick off both those boxes.
So overall I truly enjoyed this book and was completely sucked in by the detailed elf society and the intriguing mysteries, and it made me happy to see the characters overcoming their obstacles and having such a sweet relationship!
Anyone who likes M/M/M relationships and who wants to be transported to an entirely different, detailed, intricate elven world.