*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced my review.*
This book was so sweet and cute! Just like the others, but maybe even more so. Definitely a comfort kind of read for me.
My favorite thing this time was Kamir. I adored him, and I even related to him in some ways because of some of his struggles and just because of some of his quirks and personality traits. For example, the way he rewrote multiple times the erotic letter he sent is totally something I would do. Not that I have ever sent an erotic letter through the mail, but, if I did, you can bet I’d end up rewriting it multiple times until it was perfect, haha. Or the way he saved the receipt of Jader paying his fine just for the memories—I too have saved strange things like that for the memories. Even the way dyeing his hair pretty colors was the one little pleasure he allowed himself during the tough times is something I can relate to. But I also loved how he kept his head up and kept trying despite all the struggles he had to deal with, despite feeling very alone in dealing with them sometimes. That is what I consider a strong character. And I admired him for his strength.
But even though this book was overall a cute, light read, it still managed to cover some more serious topics, like racism (Jader was an Islander who didn’t look like an Islander, so he got some prejudice for that, but Mainlanders looked down on Islanders, so he got prejudice from them too), emotional and physical abuse (Kamir’s parents and ex-husband), and what it actually means to be family (both Kamir and Jader had entirely different family-related issues they were dealing with).
I also have to admit that I feel foolish because I hadn’t realized until this book that this society doesn’t assign genders at birth according to body type. Instead, once each child figures out what their gender is, they declare it, and that is that. So by our standards, Kamir, and many other characters in this series, are trans men and women (or non-binary people), but to them, that concept doesn’t even exist. They just are what they are, and their body parts are irrelevant except for the fact that some people can give birth and others cannot (and they have a whole setup for situations in which neither partner can/wants to carry a child). In this world, all sexualities and orientations and genders are accepted by everyone. They also don’t have all the same gender stereotypes we have.
Speaking of which, I would kill to actually see all the outfits the characters in this series wear because they sound so amazingly gorgeous. I mean, I don’t even wear jewelry myself, other than some simple piercings in my ears, and it’s not something I tend to notice on others, but I think I’m being converted to a jewelry-lover just from reading about all the amazing jewelry the men in this series wear, especially the earrings.
So overall, this was another great book in the series that was maybe a little less funny with a little more heavy stuff but overall just as adorable with sweet characters, sweet friendships, and a sweet romantic relationship!
Fans of Books 1 and 2 in Megan Derr's Tales of the High Court series. Anyone who likes M/M high fantasy, lovable characters, humor, and sweet books that make you smile.