book review, fantasy

Wedding of the Torn Rose by Brian A. Mendonça

After running away to avoid an arranged marriage to the Throatian prince, Princess Lydia is rescued from a monster by Kaine Khalia. In gratitude her father, King Ether, offers Kaine a job. However, events take a dark turn when the Throatians arrive for the wedding.

The kingdom of Darian appears to be a typical medieval fantasy world, but there are hints of interesting world building in the mention of a set of magic stones, the magic wielding Lucidians, and the blood sacrifice practicing Throatians. There is also political intrigue, with King Ether making alliances with the Leila Kingdom, the Throatians, and rumors of war with the mysterious Lucidians. Mentions of the Darian’s god, Asura, and the Throatian’s god who demands blood, add an extra level of complexity.

As I started with the second book in the series, I thought this first book was going to be very different than it turned out to be. Book two, Gravity of Obedience (click here to read my review), is told from the Throatian point of view. It details the months leading up to the wedding of Prince Thane and Princess Lydia, the wedding itself, and the immediate aftermath.

Gravity of Obedience gives lots of details about the beliefs of the Throatians, as well as containing lots of magic and action, and I found it a gripping and shocking read.

The Wedding of the Torn Rose is told from Kaine Khalia and the Darian’s point of view, and I expected something of similar depth and detail to the sequel, ending with the wedding. However, the events are similar to the sequel, detailing shortly before the wedding, the wedding, and the direct aftermath. This surprised me. While the action is interesting, I think the events would have had a bigger impact had I read this book first. There is so little detail about the land of the Darians, their god Asura, and their customs that I was disappointed in contrast with the sequel, which has fantastic world building.

I like the idea of telling the same event from two different perspectives, and again I think this book would have succeeded better had I read it first. Because I read it second, I would have loved a longer introduction to Princess Lydia, her siblings, the Darians, and more information after the threat from the Lucidians that forced King Ether to arrange a marriage with a country he knows so little about, purely because they could be a magical ally.

However, I can’t mark the story down because I read the books out of order. Kaine Khalia is an interesting character. The god stones sound promising. I know there’s lots more to this world because I’ve read book 2. I’m very interested to see how the author takes the story forward in the next book.

I award The Wedding of the Torn Rose

3 thoughts on “Wedding of the Torn Rose by Brian A. Mendonça”

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