Review: Radiance by Grace Draven

Cover fro Radiance by Grace Draven

Title: Radiance 

Author: Grace Draven

Series: Wrath Kings #1

Pages: 297

5 out of 5 stars
5 stars – I loved it!

Well I absolutely loved this! 

“You find me ugly, don’t you?” Brishen had faced abominations on the battlefield without flinching, leaped into the thick of the fighting against creatures born from the nightmares of lesser demons. Not once had he been tempted to run away in fear. Now, his leg muscles rippled with the urge to flee. He clenched his teeth instead, prayed he wouldn’t start a war with their newest ally and answered honestly. “Hideous,” he said. “A hag of a woman.”

“And you,” he said. “You don’t think me a handsome man?….Well?” She exhaled slowly. The space between her eyebrows stitched into a single vertical frown line. “Had you crawled out from under my bed when I was a child, I would have bludgeoned you to death with my father’s mace.” 

Brishen and Ildiko were wonderful! I absolutely loved these two from the very beginning. They may have had an arranged marriage but they went into it as partners. I loved how honest they were with each other from the very beginning. Their slow building relationship was wonderful and the perfect friends to lovers relationship. Brishen may be a scary looking figure, at least to a human, but he has a heart of gold that he shows to Ildiko.

“You might have a face to turn my hair white, but your honesty is handsome.”

Ildiko was a beautiful woman who was just trying to make the best of the situation. I loved seeing how fierce she could be when she needed to be and how protective she became of Brishen. What surprised me about Ildiko was how she would tease Brishen with eye tricks and the eel and hag comments. They had such a sweet relationship and I couldn’t put the book down because of it. 

“And what do you think of your dead eel in the daylight?”…. “He pleases me greatly. The handsomest of eels.” His high cheekbones angled sharply under her palms. “So says this hag.” “Who is most beautiful in the darkness.”

One of the things that I liked about this couple was that there weren’t any huge culture shocks that caused strife between themI know it’s expected when two different races come together but sometimes that tension takes away from my enjoyment of the couple, so I really enjoyed how stress free Ildiko and Brishen’s relationship was. I think it also helped that they were honest with each other from the very beginning and Brishen went out of his way to make sure any extreme differences were discussed in private. 

Overall, this was a wonderful romance and a very interesting world. I can’t wait to see what happens next for Ildiko and Brishen, especially after that cliffhanger.

Trigger Warnings: Brishen’s mother killed his baby sister because she had a physical disability (described); abusive motherr; kidnapping and torture; 

Goodreads | StoryGraph | Amazon

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