Radiance by Grace Draven is the first book of hers that I have ever read and Oh My God it was amazing. Hilarious and heartwarming, this NA/Adult Romance novel is like nothing I’ve read before and is a book that will stay on my favourites shelf for quite some time.
This book was released on 13th January 2015.
This review may contain mild spoilers for this book (What I consider spoilers might not be what you consider spoilers but I thought that I’d put it out there just in case). READERS YE BE WARNED!
THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE
Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.
THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.
Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.
Be still my heart! This book has got to be one of the cutest romance novels I have ever read and, not to mention, it was completely unique. I have never read a book even remotely similar to Radiance. On top of all that awesomeness is the simple fact that it was utterly hilarious as well. To say that my expectations were blown away is a vast understatement. To anyone who is looking for a break from the often very similar stories in the YA genre, I super recommend giving this book a go.
I discovered this book when the artist Charlie Bowater posted about it on her Instagram and recommended that people go and read it. Naturally I looked it up on Goodreads and thought that it sounded a bit like a Beauty and the Beast type tale except from both points of view. I could not have been more wrong. Radiance‘s plot is so for removed from any Beauty and the Beast retelling I have ever seen that calling it such would be a blatant lie.
The basic story is thus: Ildiko, your basic human princess type person, is married off by the king to Brishen, a Kai (Humaniod but with glowing yellow eyes, grey skin, sharp teeth, and claws), in order to cement an alliance between the two kingdoms. Problem is, each race find the other completely repugnant, in both mannerisms, customs, and appearance. On top of each of them having to look past each others physical appearance, their marriage is seen as a threat which, naturally, causes issues.
I adored both of the main characters right from the beginning. Ildiko & Brishen’s reactions to one another, and the conversations they have, left me in hysteric laughter. On top of that, their marriage is just adorable and puts most of the other romance novel relationships I’ve read about to shame.
Just when I thought I couldn’t find anything more to love about Radiance, in came the writing style. The world building in this book was brilliant and properly engaging. There was no big data dump at the beginning or super horrendous amounts of detail, just enough was included to make the world in the book come to life.
A POINT THAT I WANT TO STRESS is that this book is most definitely in the New Adult/Adult Romance genre. Compared to other romance novels that I have read this one is as tame as a kitten but I definitely think that it is something people should consider before reading it. If you can’t handle sex scenes then I can’t help you.