Title: The Prince of Winds
Author: Tali Spencer
Cover Artist: Shobana Appavu
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Buy LinkAmazon:
Length: novel (168 pages)
Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Larissa
Review Summary: a fantasy story that fell short due too badly written dialogue and unbelievable characters, but with interesting mythology mixed in that just failed to keep my interest.
Blurb: Rimmon may be an eagle warrior, but he’s never known war, and he’s never known love—until his kingdom’s army is destroyed by Ekari, the demon of winds, and he is captured by Melkor, one of the Iron Horde that has been killing off the world’s gods. Those gods have cursed Melkor and his brothers to be conquerors and never to be loved, but Melkor, hoping to overcome his fate, carries Rimmon off to his island. There, he heals Rimmon’s wounds and teaches him about sexual pleasure, earning the young warrior’s trust and fanning the flames of an attraction both men yearn to embrace. But the curses of vengeful gods are difficult to break, especially when Rimmon discovers Melkor is the demon who destroyed his home.
Review: When I picked up The Prince of Winds, I thought it would be a story along the lines of Jill Knowles’ Concubine. A story with dark elements, but enjoyable and even romantic and kinky at times. The Prince of Winds was neither. The plot had a lot of potential and the start was good with good writing and world building, but it soon went downhill after that. The trouble with this story was not so much the world or the plot elements, but the characters. To me they were unbelievable and flimsy and very very very flat, devoid of good characterization or reason behind their action.
I’ll start with what worked for me.
The Good Bits:
There is a great deal of mythology surrounding this story and it was inventive and nicely done, and while not completely worked out as the focus was on the characters and not the war at large, it was nevertheless interesting to read.
Melkor is one of the Demon Princes with the ability to control the winds. He and his brothers are on a quest to destroy the gods of the known world. Each of the brothers represents their name. The eldest is ‘vengeance’ and has the power of lightning (think Zeus); the second brother has the power over water and Melkor over wind. They are human, but more. Their mother wanted vengeance and as each God has a curse to give, she gave her kids the curse to be conquerors and that is what they have done when they come to Rimmon’s kingdom, killing each god in every kingdom they conquer.
I thought this was interesting and well done to an extent. It would have been nice to see this more implemented into the story instead of glossed over.
Rimmon is an eagle warrior, a soldier who has a link with an eagle and uses that link as a tool in battle. It was nice to see this element in the story and the background of that was also something I liked in this story.
The Not-So-Good Bits:
Imagine you are going about your daily life, or in the case of Rimmon: a warrior in training. Then on comes an invading army that with the aid of wind swiftly conquers your kingdom and slaughters all the people in their path. Injured, you see your entire family killed and their heads put on spikes.
You are injured in battle with numerous wounds, a broken leg and cracked ribs. You saw your childhood friend and crush killed before your eyes and then you are taken captive by the enemy who makes no bones about what he wants from you.
But you are young and horny and clearly not easily traumatized, so a few days after your capture you are happily sucking the cock of your captor and energetically frotting with him…WITH A BROKEN LEG AND CRACKED RIBS. Yes, the leg has been set and put in splints, but still OUCH OUCH OUCH. I personally dislike it when characters engage in sex when they should be screaming in pain. Broken bones rubbing against nerves are not arousing at all. Never mind that he is the enemy and is indirectly responsible for your entire family to be slaughtered.
As you can imagine, this was a great big obstacle to overcome. There is no motivation or reason at all behind Rimmon’s actions. He is not forced, though Melkor wants him. There is the hint that Rimmon’s actions are out of gratitude, but still, helllooooo enemy here!! This is just something that did not work for me. Even fantasy stories have to have logical – for that world – reasoning. There is no tradition, no arrangement, no nothing except Insta!Love, I guess.
Hell, Melkor doesn’t even torture him and Rimmon doesn’t even argue with him. It gave the story an air of neglect.
While Rimmon throws a single hissy fit later on in the story, it is brief and his instantly regrets it to the point of being a nag. It’s nothing that justifies his actions. Rimmon might be naïve – and Melkor devious – but no one is that naïve.
Then there is the matter of the Melkor’s brother Sarduk, a character with more mood swings than a pregnant lady. He is violent and crazy. Throughout the story we learn that he and Melkor have been at odds for a while.
When Melkor is summoned, along with Rimmon, to appear, they discover Rimmon’s sister is still alive and the (sex) slave of Sarduk. It comes as no surprise that she is in love with Sarduk, even after he raped her and keeps are as a slave. This part of the story shows the biggest inconsistency and the biggest change. Sarduk is portrayed throughout the story as instable, violent and all-out crazy. He leaves no enemy at his back, except sex slaves who keep trying to kill him, yet when we meet him again at the end of the story he suddenly has a heart. It turned out he wasn’t the one to kill Rimmon’s family, though he is still indirectly responsible.
This smacks as justification to me. It clears the way for everyone to all be one big happy family with kids and all. Oh good lord, it would have been more believable of Sarduk remained the evil conquering bastard his is.
As you can see, my biggest problem is with the characterizations in this story. They’re neither stable, nor developed and there is no character growth at all. The characters are adapted to fit the story.
Another bit that didn’t quite work for me was some of the dialogue. While the author is clearly good with words, the dialogue was horribly cheesy at times. Too cheesy. While sometimes cheesy lines have their place in romances, sentences like this should not find their way into stories. At least not the ones I read:
“And you will spend again and again, until I have flooded this room with proof of your submission to me.”
“Let me into your chamber, beauty”- he pressed his fingertip pushing into the throbbing circle of his anus – “open the gate, welcome me, and I will bring you with me into paradise.”
That is just….nope. Just no.
To conclude. While I enjoy a good (dark) story with the theme of captor/captive or enemies to friends, The Prince of Winds turned all my buttons off with the combination of bad dialogue and terrible characters that had no redemption what so ever.
I always feel bad when I have to write a negative review for a book, because it’s clear a lot of effort went into creating the story. There are some that just don’t work for me on a personal level and some that have a lot of potential but are immensely underdeveloped like The Prince of Winds.