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A Free High Fantasy Romance Worth Reading

Love's Kiss - Sabrina Zbasnik

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 1,311,890

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Love’s Kiss is free on Smashwords.

As much as I love browsing through self-published books on Smashwords and supporting indie authors, I have to admit that I’ve found my fair share of duds.

So I was a little wary about committing to Love’s Kiss, a whopping eight novel boxed set! But it was free on Smashwords, so no way I was going to pass it up.

And it was so good!

If you follow me on social media (connect with me if you don’t), then you might have seen me raving about this boxed set a few times because I wanted to talk about these books before the review because I knew it would take me so long before I got to actually write the review. It took me over a year to read all eight novels in the boxed set.

Love’s Kiss is a lot to take in, but the first few books are about Lana and Cullen, two living legends in their own right. In a world where mages are hated and feared, Lana became a hero when she wiped out a zombie virus blight that was destroying the kingdom. She is known as the Hero of Fereldon.

Cullen is a templar who has been in love with her since he was a teenager. Templars guard mages in glorified prisons called Towers. They also track down blood mages, who have bound themselves to demons.

But he can’t help being in love with Lana despite it being forbidden for templars to have relationships with mages. I think. Honestly, there was a lot of world building and I had difficulty getting adjusted for the first couple of books.

After the first three books, the story shifts to focus also on King Alastair, Lana’s ex-lover, and then it even includes the next generation.

One of my favorite things about these books is that everything is equal opportunity. No one thinks twice about women being knights or soldiers, or being in positions of authority which is so refreshing. And Lana isn’t the only badass heroine in this story. The story is chock-full of badass women and I love it!

I love Lana and Cullen’s love story because they are so perfect together. Cullen is absolutely devoted to her and despite being one of the most intimidating people on the battlefield, he’s gets really insecure and shy around Lana, which is adorable.

However, my favorite character of the original two couples is Alastair. He is the least kingly king ever. When he’s being goofy and cracking jokes, it’s hard to remember he rules a kingdom. Which makes sense because he was never supposed to take the throne.

Alastair has a habit of hiding his true feelings under humor and even though the other characters moan about his lame jokes, he had me laughing out loud. I loved how unapologetically goofy he was.

His love interest, Reiss, is also really cool and I really liked how their story ended. It’s a happy ending but unconventional. However, considering the circumstances of their forbidden love and his job as king, it’s the best and most realistic ending for them.

My biggest problem with these stories is the plot. While the characters carried my attention, I had a lot of trouble understanding the plot and the world-building for the first two books. There was just a lot of stuff thrown at me all at once. Not only was there the politics involving the mages, the templars, and the Grey Wardens, but also their religion which played a significant role in the stories, if only for the colorful swear words. It took me several novels to learn the finer points of the world, like vellum is paper and a nug is a type of animal.

Not only that, but we were dropped into the middle of their stories. When we begin the first story, Lana is already the Hero of Fereldon, Conqueror of the Blight, and a few other things. Not only has she saved Fereldon a couple of times over, but she also went off with Alistair to hunt down the Lost King of Fereldon.

These adventures are referenced all the time, leaving the reader to piece together the backstory bit by bit.

Honestly, Love’s Kiss could use an editor and a wiki page that explains everything going on. But I only had to knock one star off for that because I enjoyed the characters so much. The boxed set made me laugh out loud and cry, yes, actually cry!

So I highly recommend it to everyone wanting a high fantasy romance. You can get it free on Smashwords, so what are you waiting for?

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2020/02/03/a-free-high-fantasy-romance-worth-reading