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on Sep. 29, 2014 :
I read this book right after Bloodraven, and although I didn't feel so enthralled by it as with Bloodraven, I really loved the writing and the plot of Dynasty of Ghosts and enjoyed the reading a lot.
I think Ilya has a complex boyish personality: shy, virtuous and humble but also strong willed and sometimes even brutally honest. He's depicted as a very young and vulnerable person, both physically and mentally, but I liked that at the same time he is never too dependent on the prince, and he is almost pessimistic about their relationship. Ashe appears quite arrogant at the beginning of the book, but at the end he's just too good to be true... I also thought Ilya's resistance to Ashe was really too long and tough to sound true, but the writing is so good that you are happily willing to sacrifice a bit of verisimilitude for it.
Also, I think some of the typos have been corrected, although a few are still there. Anyway, they didn't really get in the way for me...
And the ending... Yes, it leaves a lot to the imagination, or enough loose ends that would justify a sequel.
In my mind, Ashe marries lady Lurena instead of his betrothed, but the marriage is arranged between Lurena, Ashe and Ilya, only to keep up appearances. Ashe is the king and lives with Ilya in Summercroft, while Lurena ends up being a really good queen and a great strategist, eventually giving them a heir with big blue eyes and beautiful, multihued hair.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
on Jan. 12, 2013 :
I loved it. I liked Illya and Ashe better than the characters from Bloodraven though it did end kind of suddenly. It was less violent but a compelling story. I will admit it can be hard to ignore the typos at times. I will definatly be reading another from this author.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
on Dec. 31, 2012 :
Mild Spoilers: A very enjoyable read. The two leads are wonderful and the ghost plot line is original and engrossing; the world is very fully drawn and richly developed. The story was not nearly as violent as Bloodraven, though there is a brutal rape scene. The book is crazily long: my Kindle puts it at over a 1000 pages. To be honest, I thought it far longer than it has to be for the story it tells, though Nunn is such an engaging writer that it doesn’t drag. Surprisingly, given the length, several of the story lines actually felt unfinished: for example, what happens with King Drane and the Guntharians, with Ashe’s father. I kept expecting Illya’s family to arrive, which they never did. I would have loved more on the ghosts.
Instead we mostly get the courtship between Illya and Ashe, which takes hundreds of pages to reach fruition. The two leads are so likable that you don’t mind at all, and the sex when it finally arrives is wonderful. But I couldn’t help feeling it could have come at any number of points earlier, including when they are prisoners of the Guntharians or during their escape, and have been almost as satisfying.
Bottom line: I really enjoyed the book, but it did not have the same impact on me that Bloodraven did.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Aug. 04, 2012 :
I loved it like always I really love this author !
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on July 24, 2012 :
Absolutely loved this! I feel like blood raven had a more satisfactory ending but other than that I think I actually preferred this book.
It is so hard to find a great book in this genre, this is brilliantly written with all the great sex scenes m/m, non-con you could want but also includes a story with believable characters(sort of)and an interesting plot. I am blown away. I am now busily downloading all her other works! :-)
(reviewed 28 days after purchase)
on July 16, 2012 :
I finished reading BloodRaven and had to download and read this one immediately. I just lost 4 days of my life -- but so worth it! Fell in love with Ilya immediately and Ashe grew on me as the story progressed, as I'm guessing was the author's intention. I too found the typos a bit distracting, but I think most people won't even notice them. Overall, it's one of the best stories I've ever read in this category (M/M erotic romance).
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)
on March 18, 2012 :
Love this story I remember vaguely she began a sequel to it a while ago really wanted to read it ah well
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on March 02, 2012 :
This is the second PL Nunn book I've read, the first being Bloodraven (about a week ago). I enjoyed this one more than Bloodraven mainly because of pacing, but otherwise, I thought they were very similar in enjoyability. If you enjoyed Bloodraven, I'd guess you'd enjoy this one as well.
The positives about this book: It's really exciting! The storytelling is very good and not all of the characters are static. The pacing, I found very organic. Nothing could feel rushed in a book of this length, but it didn't feel dragged out either. There were a couple of story arcs--not just one--so that contributes to the length of the book. It's basically two books in one. I really had a lot of trouble putting this book down, and lost a lot of sleep as a result. And I don't regret losing that sleep!
Also, and this is important, the sex was well-written. I thought the sex was stellar in Bloodraven, but I wasn't sure if that was just because it hit most of my kinks. This book's sex doesn't hit most of my kinks, and it was still moving.
Overall, I felt that the book's positives made it worth reading, and I definitely felt it was worth the $7.50 I paid. If you're questioning, just read the sample. The book's overall quality does not go down after that part (except possibly the editing), so if you like the sample, you'll like the book.
This is a long list, but overall, only enough to remove one star for, IMO. In case Ms. Nunn reads reviews--which seems unlikely, given the fact that corrections haven't been made based on prior reviews--I'll put my constructive criticism here.
First, the editing was REALLY BAD. Worse than in Bloodraven, though that might be because Bloodraven was shorter. The grammar errors were rampant and distracting. As Sue mentioned, the 'breath' 'breathe' thing was a doozy. But there were lots of other systematic errors. Like using 'sat' instead of 'set', and she consistently misuses 'lay' (transitive) instead of 'lie', and a little of the opposite, which is rare in books, I've found--actually, it's rare even in fanfic. Also, as in Bloodraven, the present tense 'lead' is used instead of 'led'. You kind of get used to the systematic errors, though. But the random misspellings that are fixed incorrectly, changing 'an' to 'that', or missing the 'e' in 'slide'. Syntax errors. Extra words in sentences, missing words in sentences, 'ing' instead of 'ed'. Just horrible editing. Which is a shame, because this was a good book and deserved to be edited. Still, better to have put out the book without editing, than to not have put it out at all--that's how good it is. I would have been very disappointed if I'd bought a hardcover version, though. Like angry disappointed. I'd be embarrassed having it on my bookshelf. That's how I feel about a lot of Anita Blake novels, actually, but that's a digression.
My other major gripe, though, is that Illya is not a man. This was kind of the case in Bloodraven with Yhalen as well, but I felt it was slightly less egregious. Illya is a 15-year-old girl--a very shy, kinda emo 15-year-old girl. He has no physical strength, almost no mental strength, and is completely submissive in everything, unless he's being petulant. I realize there are gay guys like this in the world, but they are a very small minority, and even the extremely effeminate ones don't exhibit all of these girly mannerisms. Even when Illya gets aroused, it's in a swooning, 15-year-old girl kind of way, instead of a lusty, single-minded guy kind of way. Luckily, he's quite likeable, since he's not a fashion victim and he's not gossipy; but if you're into mm erotica because you like men, then this might not work for you. The Prince is much better in this respect. No complaints about him.
Stylistically, I have gripes with Ms. Nunn's use of hair (or more generally body language), though I have a feeling this might be a manga thing. I'm coming from a place where I've never seen real yaoi that I liked, so if you love it, just skip this whole paragraph. Anyway, Illya is constantly hiding behind his hair, or his lashes. People are constantly raising eyebrows or arching them or whatever. Peering up from under their long eyelashes. It started bugging me in Bloodraven, so now I was fairly frothing at the mouth over it. There's one real (human) female character in the book, and I think she does this stuff the least. Illya's the worst, and it, of course, contributes to his seeming like a 15-year-old girl.
Okay, enough with the gripes. I really did enjoy this book, and I'm definitely going to look at more of Ms. Nunn's stuff.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
on Dec. 25, 2011 :
I followed the writing of this online and later purchased the book in physical form. Only the digital format left to buy (which I did now), to always carry with me. Worth every penny I ever spent on it.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 15, 2011 :
I read this one after reading Bloodraven so I had high expectations and I wasn't let down in the slightest! I was captured immediatly and I loved it just as much as I loved Bloodraven.
I have to say; Future readers, beware, once you've started you can't leave until you've finished reading!
(reviewed 70 days after purchase)
on Nov. 14, 2010 :
I agree with everything Sue said in her excellent review... particularly about the paranormal aspects of the book; it's not a typical "in-your-face" ghost story. Although I found Illya's personality to be a little trying at times, as Sue said, the characters learn and grow throughout the story and my initial hesitations soon cleared up. I very much enjoyed this book and my biggest complaint is that there isn't a sequel!
(reviewed 65 days after purchase)
on May 06, 2010 :
This book is long - nearly 270,000 words long, but it never drags or seems long-winded. At $7.50 it's a bargain, especially for a book of this quality.
Following Illya and Ashe across a believable, well-described fantasy world through battles, captivity, escape and back to Ashe's home is augmented by Illya's strange but enticing personality. The paranormal edge to the book is very well done. It's exciting, spooky, but never over the top.
Initially I loved Illya - hard to imagine you could not - and thought little of Ashe, but as the novel develops so does he, and at the end I was rooting for both of them.
The only whinge I have is that PL Nunn needs to appreciate the difference between the noun 'breath' and the verb 'breathe', a common error that should have been picked up in editing. Editing seems to be a missing element in many e-books, and this is minor compared to some I've read, so it doesn't detract from the 5-star rating.
I will be looking out for more by this writer, am about to do it right now.
Sue, Lincolnshire, UK.
(reviewed 20 days after purchase)