Well, be warned friends when you start this novel, almost 350 pages long in small characters, don’t expect to arrive to the end and be finished: that Song of the Fallen Book 1 is a fair warning, this is only book 1 in a probably longer series about the same two main characters, Prince Freyrík, a human, and Ayden, an elf.
The starting point of this novel, a human Prince who takes as captive a warrior elf, chaining him in his own bedroom in exchange of the safety of the elf’s sister, Ella, reminded me of the old savage romance, and I was thinking, well, I’m ready to read once more a breeches ripper, hot sex in a fantasy medieval setting. But 100 pages after the hot sex had not yet happened, as it hadn’t after 200… more than 2/3 of the book was indead spent to let the two men know each other, and as in an old fashioned courtship, the sex arrived only when the two men respected each other and were ready to trust and love.
Actually the reader has a clue right at the beginning of the story, when Freyrík reassures his captive that, even if he is a prisoner, and confined in the Prince’s bedroom, he is not at risk of being raped. Freyrík has no need to rape men, or women, not only he has more than one wife consort, he has also male willing lovers, and I had the feeling that he was more interested in having a day relationship with Ayden, made out of friendship and respect, than a sexual one. Now don’t get me wrong, Freyrík is attracted by Ayden, but he has not sexual urges to posses him: sometime, in those old fashioned savage romance, you wondered if the men were sexually deprived since it seemed that for them it was absolutely necessary to have sex with the women otherwise they would go insane. Freyrík instead is sexually sated, he has no “need” of Ayden in that way, and he is more interested in conquering the elf’s trust, something that is even more difficult than conquering his body.
On the other way, Ayden plays the role of the tough elf, not interested in anything that is human, but oddily I found him funny sometime, like he had a friendly and light mood that wanted to awake Freyrík from his boring life. So, strange as it sounds, I read Freyrík as a lover and a gentle soul, and Ayden like a playful one, and both characters were forced in a situation, being enemies, that no one of them really wanted. When Freyrík plays at being the ruthless ruler, he is doing it out of his people custom, he doesn’t really feel like that; same Ayden, that inside the bedroom is more like a scared teenager than a seasoned warrior. Both Ayden than Freyrík have two personalities, public and private, and apparenlty their private personalities can be lover while instead the public ones should remain enemies.
As I said, be patient, since the romance in the story will arrive later, or at least the romance of lovers; I didn’t mind much, I like also the slowly friendship and trust blossiming between them, so much that when the sex arrived, it was more realistic, even if it was a fantasy setting. Another thing readers have to be warned of is that, as much time was given to the friendship to develop, not the same was for the love: I think most of this part of the story will be developed in the following book, this one was only an appetizer.
Amazon: Counterpoint (Book I of Song of the Fallen)
Amazon Kindle: Counterpoint (Book I of Song of the Fallen)