The Lodestar of Ys

The Lodestar of Ys I read this back when it first came out, as a free gift to us during one of the M M group writing events, but just did a reread and realized I never reviewed it The early chapters skip forward over time, through change and loss, to the heart of the book that brings our two princes together Celyn and Sjurd meet in a simpler time when Celyn is still a youth, and Sjurd is a soldier but with less weight on his shoulders They loathe each other at first sight As an implacable magic swallowing Empire advances on both their kingdoms, time and maturity and loss change them Then they find themselves in a position where the logical answer for both their kingdoms is for them to become betrothed Sadly, they still loathe each otherI really enjoyed the characters, the world building and the progression of this story The end would have to be considered a bit of an HFN our main characters are solidly in love, but their world is far from truly stable I would happily buy a sequel to this at any time, but I am grateful for the free gift of this story which includes two little epilogues down the road in the revised book It s solid enough for me to be willing to leave these two young men there, still side by side Recommended for those who enjoy high fantasy and don t mind a bit of a tentative plot ending. In the reading world, we often talk about expectations Hype Those things that drive us towards a book but sometimes hurt our actual experiences of it.The good news is that the opposite can work FOR you, and that was the case with this one It really wasn t fair Not fair at all He wasn t quite sure what was so unfair, but something definitely was Or wasn t. It was almost exactly a year ago when I added this to my tbr, and I have no idea why I did at that time Who knows how long it might have languished there, or if it ever would have surfaced at all Then, a friend was in a dry spell DRY, I TELL YOU she hadn t read anything for over a week The horror , and I had just finished my last read, so we spontaneously started comparing our shelves for something we could read together And fortunately, another couple of friends jumped in as well So, there you have lovely surprise 1 about this reading experience.Sometimes when something is free, it can carry a stigma of worthless And really, I should know better by now, because some of my favorites have been free exhibits 1 2 3 4 I tend to go into them like eh whatever, it will at least be worth the price I paid for it, right And that, my friends, was the most delightful surprise of all The Lodestar of Ys is a charming and well written story, with characters that wriggled into my heart And when I say well written, I mean not only was it edited better than many professionally published novels, but also the narrative was so engaging that it held my interest from soup to nuts Ahem, sorry It s always impressive when someone writes high fantasy that manages decent world building in only 50K words, and evenimportantly, in a way that isn t at all dry Fucking Sjurd would be like kissing a lightning storm terrifying, exhilarating, and so very worth the risk. Other pleasant surprises this world was free of gender and sexuality inequalities These things were just details, no better or worse Also, minor spoiler view spoiler although the two MCs were initially attached to other people due to arranged marriages, those other people weren t vilified, and the way they were disposed of worked well for the story hide spoiler Sjurd Is Convinced That Celyn Of Ys Is The Most Irritating Man Alive It S A Good Thing That Celyn Is Engaged To Sjurd S Brother, Not Him, Because Sjurd Loathes The Brat, And It S Quite Mutual When An Elopement And The Threat Of Invasion Force The Two Princes Together, However, They Have No Choice But To Marry And Fake True Love To Keep Their Countries Safe Can Warrior Sjurd And Diplomat Celyn Find Any Common Ground Word Count ,This Story Was Written As A Part Of The M M Romance Group S Love Has No Boundaries Event Group Members Were Asked To Write A Story Prompt Inspired By A Photo Of Their Choice Authors Of The Group Selected A Photo And Prompt That Spoke To Them And Wrote A Short Story This novella is certainly creative, but the first half really dragged for me There s just a lot here evil empire, magic, ogres, flying ships and yet no electricity , alliances, war, arranged marriage, battle, executions The romance most definitely takes a backseat to the world building and action political plot I enjoyed the enemies to lovers trope but wish the MCs had gotten together sooner like prior to 80% This would have been 2 stars had it not been for the last couple chapters, which finally finally had Celyn and Sjurd connecting. This is gay romance meets high fantasy Literally high as half the setting is a series of floating islands way up in the air over the ocean It felt almost but not quite steampunk This enemies to lovers romance is deceptively simple as it s actually full of delicately handled themes like PTSD, the politics of invasion, and the handling of refugees The setting is spine tingling and glorious, and the romance is delightful As an author, Durreson tends towards shorts and novellas, and my only complaint is that I wish this were longer with perhapsdeveloped side characters But that s a very minor quibble. 4.5 stars I thought this was a pretty stunning fantasy read, especially for being a short novel and free Lovely world building, concisely written to include so much so well without feeling jam packed This is very much an enemies to lovers story of two princes from two kingdoms who, to align against a common enemy, are forced to marry The tension was drawn out well, and at 50%, I was left wondering how that Romance Book ending was going to come, but that made the journey for cheery diplomat Ceylan and grim soldier Sjurd evensatisfying as their walls very very slowly came down.The setting details were gorgeous, especially as the two travel from floating island to floating island for a marriage trip that will publicly solidify their union.I thought it was a great read, and it had all the trappings of a rich m m fantasy novel, but at probably half the length At 46,000 words I definitely could have read , but mostly because I loved the world the author built, as well as the characters and their relationships Definitely one of my favorites from the year s Love Has No Boundaries story event I ll have to keep an eye on this author She wrote in her blog about her first fantasy novel coming out from Dreamspinner early next year I look forward to checking it out.The full ebook version of this story can be downloaded for free here.ADD The author has some follow up side stories on her blog here, here, and here. If this is the kind of book I can expect to find after a week long pause from reading, I might start takingof them Especially since it seems that I can get unexpected buddy reads out of it I was kidding Just kidding Put away that straight jacket, thank you.Pretty much the opposite, really, this book was exactly what I needed to be reminded of why I love reading The writing was excellent, with just the right kind and amount of humor, the world building truly amazing, and the plot perfectly executed I really liked how all the characters were portrayed, the main ones and the secondary ones, and I loved how the relationship between Celyn and Sjurd developed On the last note, make sure to read the two extra chapters at the end, Homecoming and Hounded They are already included in the Kindle and Smashwords files, but not in the one on the M M Romance Group s site You can also find them separately on the author s site They are a lovely addition to the main story, you don t want to miss them.I almost did, and that s another thing I need to thank my BR friends for Apart from saving me from myself, I mean When I was blissfully thinking that, since I wasn t in a book slump, it was healthy to stay away from my books for so long Thank you for coming to my rescue, Moony, Shile, and Teal, I promise to take better care of myself in the future. An entertaining feel good story, but a bit draggy and childish the writing style as well as the characters and plot as well I missed depth overall The institution of marriage never held much appeal for me So unfortunately, the main characters having to visit dozens of countries and marry over and over again, didn t make me swoon and smile about fond memories of white, princess dresses and childhood dreams of Walt Disney romance. 4.25 starsMCs Celyn and Sjurd Gaaah i can t express how excited i was when i saw the MCs names, they are unique All the characters in this book have very unique names It is so refreshing This book was a pleasant surprise Thank you Elena for picking this book for us I would have missed out of some good stuff The writing is fantastic, for a book less than 200 pages, this author who is new to me took me to another world with her amazing writing It flowed smoothly and effortlessly The dialogue was engaging and the humor so on point, found myself loling hard, Celyn got a mouth on him The world building is magical, i loved experiencing this world through Sjurd and Ceyln eyes The characters amazing, no exaggerated evil beings, evil bitchy women GAAAAHHH I love love that The trope is somewhat enemies to lovers, i found it believable and not forced Sjurd and Celyn got chemistry Ok Basically what i am trying to rumble on and on about, is that this little gem is worth reading Highly recommended Get theor Smashwords version, those gots bonus chapters Thank you Elena, Moony and Teal for the impromtu buddy read It was worth it. How is this book free onSeriously, it was soooo freaking good and I loved every single second reading this book And the cover, OMG Love it This book was written for the MM Romance group s love has no boundaries event and it was really creative and awesome The world building is just fantastic and magical And MCs are sooo witty and exceptional Loved it so much Celyn is the nephew of King Pryderi of Ys and he has long accepted that he s going to end up being a political pawn and get married off to some noble family for political advantage And just at the age of 14, he was betrothed to the younger prince of their neighboring country Axholme and he couldn t be happier that His fianc was sweet, kind, loving and shy, totally polar opposite of his annoying and irritating brother of the crown prince, Sjurd He really have great pity on the poor soul who has to marry the crown prince as he think he s the most barbaric, crude and irritating person he s ever known Sjurd is the crown prince of Axholme and the commander of the entire royal army All he knows is fighting and defending for his country and now he s on a ship, playing politics for the engagement of his little brother And he really hates the brat prince of Ys his poor brother has been betrothed to, arrogant, proud, vain and talkative Seriously, how can a person talk that much all the time All he wanted to do was smash that smartmouth of Celyn and spank his ass scarlet The people of Ys are crazy pacifist and this brat needs some serious disciplining Poor brother of his, he has to tolerate this arrogant brat for the rest of his life Both countries have a common enemy, the Empire, and it is coming for all of them On this side of the ocean, only these two countries are left from the invasion of the Empire and stand free Both princes are betrothed to others but one s fianc e ended up giving up her life fighting for her country and one s ran away with his secret lover and which threw these two archenemies together for a political marriage Ys and Axholme desperately need the alliance of each other and there s no other solution than marrying off these two princes of the countries to solidify their alliance How can these ever arguing and bickering two princes can fall in love Can they hope to find true love from this arranged marriage of political benefits The character building of these two MCs is phenomenal, especially Celyn, you can t help but falling in love with how quick witted and smart and sassy this prince is And Sjurd, the fierce and brave and kind prince although he really pretend hard to look tough I really love how he sacrifices everything to keep his country and loved ones safe And who knows, our tough prince is an inner romantic And no matter how much he tries, Celyn seems to be always there whenever he s in his most vulnerable times The world building, OMG, dreamy, and fantastic and magical I mean floating islands, flying ships and magical flowers That s really awesome The relationship between Celyn and Sjurd is not insta it s quite built up and natural They ve known each other for over 10 years and never thought of each other as lover potential The banters between them are just gold, hilarious and witty And when they finally admitted to be falling for each other and make love, Oooooo, that making love scene was pure fireworks Sensual, sexy, titillating and very hot And that s not all, not only they have a very merry HEA, there are two bonus short stories at the end of the novel which leads up to 5 years after their marriage And there s a good amount of angst in this story too, oh how sweet and torturous that angst was Kept me on the edge all the time I just love everything about this story And I still can t get over the fact that this was free There s another short novella in the series and I can t wait to read that one Favorite excerpts from the novel Fucking Sjurd would be like kissing a lightning storm terrifying, exhilarating, and so very worth the risk.For the first time, he wanted this wanted this courageous, bad tempered, infuriating man who had kissed him so sweetly in his own quiet garden.Funny how shut up could sound so like I love you from this man I don t need to be jealous You re mine Agreed, Celyn said.Whatever the morning brought, whether it was disaster orsmall irritations, he could be strong, because he knew, and would always know, that Celyn loved him.5 magical, sassy mouthed and fierce princes lover stars

Amy Rae Durreson is a quiet Brit with a degree in early English literature, which she blames for her somewhat medieval approach to spelling, and at various times has been fluent in Latin, Old English, Ancient Greek, and Old Icelandic, though these days she mostly uses this knowledge to bore her students Amy started her first novel a quarter of a century ago and has been scribbling away ever since

[EPUB] ✵ The Lodestar of Ys  By Amy Rae Durreson –
  • ebook
  • 138 pages
  • The Lodestar of Ys
  • Amy Rae Durreson
  • English
  • 13 September 2019

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