Title: Errant Spark
Author: Ronelle Antoinette
Series: Elemental Trials #1
Genre: Fantasy Romance
In Egalion’s Imperial court, there is splendor and luxury, but it’s also a realm of treachery. Cloak-and-dagger political maneuvering threatens to destroy the peace of two thousand years.
Battlemage Jex Xander has a mouth that gets him into trouble; while in contrast, Enari Namelum speaks not at all. Amidst the mounting chaos, passion and romance should be the last thing on their minds, but life and the Goddess seem to have other ideas.
They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but at court you can’t tell one from the other…and they change at the flip of a coin.
Source: Free copy from Smashwords (at author’s request)
Despite looking forward to reading this book, I struggled to get into it. Most of this is because of the writing style at the beginning. There’s a lot of information to wade through and the constant switching between characters and a general viewpoint didn’t help. It had been a while since I last read the blurb, so I had no idea which characters I was supposed to be caring about and couldn’t find much to like about any of them.
Particularly Jex. Everybody wants to sleep with him, he’s quite chatty (and arrogant) and really, to be honest, I couldn’t find anything likeable about him.
I did like the littlest princess. She was the only one I found remotely interesting.
I was confused about why the Tor had all the power when he only got the title by marrying the Tora. I know she’s pregnant, but the fact that he was portrayed as the king completely in charge rather than a power-sharing consort rubbed me the wrong way. She looks after the children, he deals with all the tricky governing stuff, er, no thanks. I found the inheritance rules confusing too, but it was a minor thing.
I read the first third, then skimmed the rest because other reviews say it gets better. Sadly, for me, nothing else about it grabbed me enough to read properly. Enari is mildly interesting, but I never came to care for Jex and the political machinations didn’t interest me much either. I’m also kind of irritated that the prologue didn’t factor in at all. There are a couple of hints about it, but otherwise it serves little purpose beyond an old fantasy trope.
Overall, this book just didn’t work for me. Partly the style, partly the characters, but if you like traditional fantasy with some sex, a bit of romance, some magical things, demons and high stakes politics, then you hopefully might like this more than I did.
Errant Spark is out now.
Visit Ronelle Antoinette for more details.