Lord of the White Hell: Book Two by Ginn Hale

Title: Lord of the White Hell: Book Two
Author: Ginn Hale
Publisher: Blind Eye Books
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Fantasy M/M Romance
Length: Novel / 340 pages
Rating: 5 out of 5

A guest review by Kassa


THE BLURB:

The story of Kiram Kir-Zaki and Javier Tornesal continues in this exciting sequel, which will be released one month after the publication of Book One.

THE REVIEW:

Lord of the White Hell is a 700 pg epic fantasy story filled with romance, danger, legend, lore, action, clashing religion, and the theme of following your heart. Thankfully this incredible story is broken up into two books so as not to scare readers but book two picks up exactly where book one left off. In fact I even went back and read the last few pages of book one so I’d know where book two was starting. So be sure to read the prior book (which you definitely should anyway!).

Book Two starts with Kiram heading back to school with mixed feelings. He realizes he’s in love with Javier but he’s not going to settle for a relationship with a man that’s secret, hidden, and eventually will be tossed aside for a wife and marriage. Kiram’s culture celebrates two men together and he’s not willing to give that up so he attempts to set aside his feelings for Javier and focus on his machine and schooling. Of course romance isn’t the only issue for these young men as the shadow curse within Fedeles is getting worse and Javier’s white hell may be both the cure and their destruction.

Once again Hale has delivered a fantasy masterpiece that is well written, compelling and so engaging you don’t want it to end. The complex fantasy setting crafted in the first book is continued here but since the majority of the world building has been done, the plot moves on to focus on the search for a cure and the romance between Kiram and Javier. Book Two focuses less on the complicated and intricate fantasy world and instead ramps up the action and adventure aspect. Here Kiram again as the third person narrator is racing to finish his mechanism, confident that it’ll cure Fedeles and free Javier from the family curse. The two young men also give into their attraction and thus there is more romance but no explicit sex.

The overall plot stretching through both books is simply stunning. It’s intricate, complicated, original, and quite absorbing. There are a few (very) minor stumbles where the pace slows or the level of detail gets too minute but really these are almost not worth mentioning. Instead the rich fantasy world depicted and meaty plot will capture your attention and never let it go. The great writing and prose choice helps offer descriptions and complex explanations without ever feeling like being lectured or overwhelmed with information. The skillful weaving of dialogue, action, romance, description, and characters comes to deliver one of the best fantasy stories I’ve read.

The characters are well crafted and incredibly fascinating. Usually reviews will talk about well developed characters and this is true here but one of the best things about this two book story is that each one is really eye catching. Not only are the main characters of Javier and Kiram fun and absorbing to read but when secondary characters drift in and out of scenes, I actually want more of them as well. For example Fedeles is simply wonderful. He’s technically a prop as he’s the vessel for the shadow curse and controlled by someone else but his development is subtle and nuanced so he shines on his own despite this. I actually wished there had been more of him in the second half. Additionally Kiram’s family bursts onto the scene and practically steals the focus while Javier and Kiram’s friends each offer something to draw your eye and engage your interest. This cast is essential to the rich feeling of the story, filled with not only world building but a network of characters with complicated, messy relationships but filled with emotion.

Surprisingly the pages seem to fly by with a good pace and consistent mixture. At 350 pages each (in fact I could have read books one and two back to back) I didn’t want it to end and really couldn’t put it down. The ending is satisfying and full, though slightly too quick. After a considerable build up, the final revelations of the evil villain and resolution seem too short. Perhaps that’s just because I didn’t want the story to ever end and there is a pretty solid ending for everyone involved. The only other minor quibble I have about the ending is that it’s a little too easy for the important players. This isn’t bad per se and I didn’t mind it while reading but when I think about it now I realize the young men got off a little easy, considering everything.

But really the few minor issues I have are just that, minor. Instead I can happily say this is a truly stunning and compelling story that sucks you in from the beginning. Book one is pretty heavy fantasy based and goes into a ton of world building detail – almost too much – that may not always suit fans who don’t love the genre as much as I do. However Book two definitely picks up with more action, romance, true love, miracles, and happy endings. The entire story is the best of the both worlds when put together and delivers a fabulous epic. This is definitely and easily two books I’ll read again and has put Hale on my must buy author list. Her incredible writing is something to experience and I’d put this story up against any “mainstream” fantasy story easily.

If you haven’t ordered this two book story – do so now!

23 comments

  • *waves* I finished this morning and I loved it! I definitely think Elezar deserved his own HEA. He’s such a complex character, and so fascinating!

    Plus…while the book ended , I still feel there is so much more to tell of that world! And…I want to spend more time with all the characters 🙂

    Reply
  • I think Elezar deserves a happy ending (and a story of his own *cough*)…

    I don’t know if anyone will see this, but I’m in the middle of reading Book Two and wanted to add my vote for more about Elezar. He fairly leaps of the page…he’s strong (and I’m not just talking physically) and yet he has flaws. So I second Kassa – he deserves a HEA!

    I love Fedels too 🙂

    Reply
  • Kassa–Although I really like Elezar, more than his brother sadly. I feel bad saying that but it’s true. I think Elezar deserves a happy ending (and a story of his own *cough*) since out of the group he’s the one likely to fight, kick, and argue his way to happiness. What a ride it’d be.

    Nicole–You know, it’s interesting, Ginn and I were just discussing this yesterday when were were talking about continuing the series. Elezar is my absolute favorite side character in this story, because (and I think I can say this without spoilerism) he is flawed, but noble and I think he’ll grow up to be a great hero. But we were thinking that he’d be the least-liked character in the book, since until I read your comment, no one but me (and Ginn, of course) had particularly liked him.

    I wondered aloud if it were possible to write a story about Elezar and, because she is madly creative, Ginn thought for a moment, and then gave me a scenario, which I have to say was pretty awesome. So thank you for your feedback on this. Maybe he’ll be the character she follows next after all.

    Reply
    • YAY! That’s awesome! I can’t imagine that readers react poorly to Elezar and he seems to have such a built in tension and brimming with a story of his own. I’m extremely excited to hear that he may be getting his own story and the series is continuing. I’m eternally grateful if something I said helped with this so here’s to the next chapter in the series, may Elezar be beloved.

      Reply
  • I bought my set early, and am glad it was issued in paperback first. (Just like Strange Fortune).
    I prefer books to ebooks, and BEB does a beautiful job of publishing.
    Plan to read mine over my vacation in the next few weeks, really great review!

    Reply
    • I agree the books are well well done, nicely produced. I’m excited to hear what people think of it. Be sure to stop by when you’re done with them..

      Reply
    • Hopefully the second book will be mailed pretty soon so you don’t have to wait too long. It’s worth the wait though…

      Reply
  • Now this sounds like a must have read! Thanks for the review, it gives a good insight, even though it’s bad for my wallet!

    Reply
    • I know rough on the wallet, but as the publisher says, perhaps request it from your local library. That way you can enjoy and get the word out at the same time.

      Reply
      • Ha the chances that a Dutch library has this book are very very very slim! 🙂 But I’ll just put it on my list and buy it at some point!

        Reply
  • Thanks, Wave and Nicole. That explains a lot.

    I’ll probably buy them in paper anyway. My husband loves fantasy novels. He’s fine with m/m. He’ll gladly make a place for them in his gargantuan collection. 😀

    Meanwhile I can do this as well, If your local library doesn’t have it, request it. … help us make our books available to more people. I hadn’t thought about that! Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

    Reply
  • Yay! A Fedeles fan! I wondered if that character would have an audience out there. He’s a top pick for me too although I must grudgingly admit that the side character with whom I, personally, most empathize is actually Elezar. But I don’t think anybody likes that guy but me. 🙂

    And Val, there won’t be an ebook released for a while, but I’ve been getting several orders of LOTWH from libraries, so if you’re in the US, you might be able to check the book out rather than buying it. If your local library doesn’t have it, request it. You help yourself not drown in books and help us make our books available to more people.

    Reply
    • I’m such a Fedeles fan. Although I really like Elezar, more than his brother sadly. I feel bad saying that but it’s true. I think Elezar deserves a happy ending (and a story of his own *cough*) since out of the group he’s the one likely to fight, kick, and argue his way to happiness. What a ride it’d be. And if Fedeles makes a few cameos, all better.

      Reply
  • I really want to read both of these, especially after these detailed glowing reviews, but I’m not sure I can stand to bring even only two more paper books into the house. 🙁 I know Blind Eye Books is committed to paper publishing. You think they might consider an ebook release of these titles later on as I think they did with Josh Lanyon’s recent fantasy novel? I would snap these up in ebook very fast if that were the case. 🙂

    Reply
    • Val

      I think these would be worth it in paper. Re Josh’s book, Strange Fortune, BEB didn’t release it as an ebook – Samhain did. BEB had the paper rights not the ebook rights. However the publisher did release its first ebook back in March – Wicked Gentlemen, through a collaboration with Weightless Books, but I doubt Lord of the White Hell will be an ebook for another couple of years. I don’t think Ginn is fond of ebooks – too many pirates. 🙁

      Reply
  • Wow Kassa, I don’t believe I’ve seen you this excited about a book before, and another 5 star rating and Recommended Read. 🙂 You do realize that your reputation as a tough reviewer is all shot to pieces now, with back to back 5 star ratings. LOL

    Seriously, this sounds like a true masterpiece. In fantasies I’m not really that interested in the sex – I want to read about the adventures and the world building and the characters and it sounds like Ginn Hale’s 700 page epic has everything that a fantasy lover would want. I guess I’ll be hopping over to BEB to order both books.

    Fabulous review as always Kassa and so much enthusiasm I can live the experience of the book just by reading the review. It’s obvious how much you enjoyed Lord of the White Hell – 700 pages of adventure in a fantasyland – that’s what I call heaven. Thanks for this Kassa.

    Reply
    • Thank you for suggesting I get to review this. It’s been a real pleasure for sure. I hope to pimp this out to everyone. A lot of readers (definitely myself included) complain there’s not enough of this or that in a book and really this has it all. I can’t recommend it enough. You can’t be disappointed!

      Oh and I realize I’ve lost my lid giving 2 books 5 stars. I didn’t realize they were back to back here on the site but wow. Banner month for me reviewing!

      Hope you enjoy these as much as I did and thank you again.

      Reply
      • Kassa
        It was an easy choice when I read the blurb. You, Jenre and I and probably Val are the biggest fantasy enthusiasts on the site, but I knew that you would do an outstanding job on the review, much better than I would anyway. Jen and I can only envy you for getting to read this series first.

        Yes, I’m really sorry that now you’re just like the rest of us mortals, handing out top marks willy nilly. Oh the shame!!! LOL

        Reply

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