Radiance by Grace Draven is the book of the month for Vaginal Fantasy. I am beginning to despair over the choices made for that particular book club. It’s not that Radiance is bad exactly, it’s just a ridiculous piece of fluff that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense once you start to think about various plot elements.
Brishen Khaskem is a prince of the Kai and Ildiko is a human noble woman of a neighboring kingdom. The kai and humans find each other to be repulsive, but the two are bound by an arranged marriage designed to cement the newly forged treaty between their two peoples. A neighboring human country, one constantly in skirmishes with Ildiko’s kingdom isn’t particularly fond of this arrangement and Kai’s mother puts Disney witches to shame with her evil machinations. Can these two overcome their racial distaste for each other, the plotting of various political groups and find love in each other’s arms?
Honestly the romance element of the novel is really quite sweet. It’s easily the most enjoyable part of the novel. Watching the romance bloom between these two was quite believable. It’s a love built on mutual respect and admiration, and that’s really the best kind of romance.
However the racial distaste for each other that the Kai and humans have doesn’t always make sense. It’s mentioned briefly that the two species have intermarried at other times, but the two parties almost come to blows during the marriage vows of Brishen and Ildiko. It’s conflict created for the sake of conflict, and to show how awesome Ildiko is. And there are a couple of things like that peppered throughout the book. Once I started to think about various conflicts they fell apart beneath logic.
It’s an ok novel and I breezed through it quickly enough. It’s certainly a harmless, fluffy book. But I’m not particularly feeling the need to pick up the next one. It’s a 2.5 star book for sure, enjoyable but only if you don’t think about it. My main complaint is that it feels very much like someone fell in love with the Drow elves of D&D and decided to write a novel about them, without calling them drow.