[Review] King of Blades, by Nicola Cameron

Nicola Cameron's King of Blades (Two Thrones #4) feels like a bridge episode in the the Two Thrones series. After the first two books sailed along scrumptiously to establish an epic setting, the third (and still my favorite), Lady of Thornes segued to side characters and a charming romance. King of Blades goes back to King Matthais and Queen Danae, along with other characters fans of the series know well.

The plot of the book is a little weak. There seems to be an ongoing, slow-burn attempt to upset and embarrass Danae's brother, Crown Prince Darius, even as Darius is attempting to do the settle-down thing and convince his boyfriend that they're mutual husbando material. The other major plot, a comedy of errors involving an old girlfriend of Matthais, is resolved a bit too neatly in order to escalate Darius's predicament.

The real story here is the ongoing thread of Luna, Matthais's bastard granddaughter, and Danae's pregnancy with royal twins. (If this were one of those old Harlequin-style romance novels, there would be a pram on the spine.) Cameron has been setting the children up for some sort of major conflict, with "a storm is coming" prophecies hinting in every book so far, but other than some interesting development's with Luna's waterbending Aqua Mage talents, the book doesn't focus on them.

Still, I have no major complaints. Cameron writes the most amazing love scenes, and she gives one here to Lars and Darius that rings very true and I am very here for it. Her banter between Matthais, Danae, and Matthais' old university-day friends, now a happily married couple of their own, is witty and true to character. Everyone has a unique voice, which is fairly hard to do, but Cameron does seem to have the skill. If you're a fan of her work, and a fan of the Two Thrones books, this one is as excellent as the rest.

Earlier: [Review] The Outside, by Ada Hoffman

Later: Alien Heart by Emma Taylor [review]