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Sons of Lyra: Slave Princess by Felicity Heaton

March 30, 2010

In choosing something to read for the first ATFE review, I decided to pick one of the first things I purchased from Fictionwise, a little thing I picked up because I was experimenting with ebook shopping and it jumped out at me from among the least expensive of FW’s multiformat books. So I just want to take a moment, before moving on to the review, to mention Fictionwise because it is my favorite place to buy. If you’re a deal hunter–the kind who tends to spend more than you intended because you just can’t pass up a good sale or coupon–uh oh, look out, shopping at Fictionwise will probably be as fun for you as it is for me. I don’t want to go into detail about how the site is set up, but the rebates, the email coupons, the special sales…I’ve gotten tons of great deals from there and I have a couple boxes of paperbacks from my keeper shelves that I can now take the used bookstore. If you haven’t shopped there, give them a shot.

Ok, now back to our book. This was Sons of Lyra: Slave Princess by Felicity Heaton, and it’s part 1 of a quartet of short stories about the princes of a planet called Lyra. I can’t get into much of the specifics about the story itself as it’s a short story of just over 16K words and I don’t want to retell it. We start with our prince of the hour and ship’s captain, Balt, who is just trying to get his supplies purchased and loaded at an outer-space backwater trading post. He’s already annoyed because he doesn’t speak the local lingo and his POS translator gadget is broken. So what he doesn’t need is for the skeevy merchant he’s dealing with to more or less force him into accepting a pleasure slave as his gift with purchase.

I have two criticisms of this story, one real and minor, one me being greedy. One is that for some reason I couldn’t figure out, the author didn’t use the Balt’s name for a long time. So at the beginning there’s some rough spots in the writing from pronoun confusion with Balt and the merchant, and just too many pronouns altogether as no-one has a name for a while. But once we’re through the beginning and into the journey that minor flaw goes away. My second criticism–more please! It’s not really a criticism as the story is written in such a way that it’s not like you feel anything is left out. But the characters and the writing are engaging enough to I would have been more than happy with a longer story.

I really enjoyed this read. Ms. Heaton created two very likable characters and gave them just the right amounts of push-and-pull, vulnerability, and strength. I’ll have to call this spicy, as a sizable bite of this romance is a love scene that has some explicit language and imagery–but nothing I would consider uncommon or kink. The resolution was a very nice idea that I didn’t see coming, and the story ended very pleasantly, giving me a happy feeling as I closed the book. As there aren’t all that many stories–published traditionally or otherwise–that have really stirred me lately, this one was worth more than the 99 cents I paid for it. I’ll definitely be reading more of the Sons of Lyra series.

Three and a Half Cookies for Sons of Lyra: Slave Princess by Felicity Heaton. Check it out at her website for an except as well as available formats and where to buy.

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