Title: Family of Lies: Sebastian
Author: Sam Argent and Cornell Collins (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Release Date: February 23rd 2016
Genre(s): M/M Fantasy Mystery/Suspense
Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Sebastian Orwell did the only thing a smart wizard could do when he stumbled upon the wounded Crown Prince: he healed him and dumped him in a tavern where he could continue not being Sebastian’s problem. Unfortunately, the prince isn’t content with being alive, and he hunts Sebastian down to thank him personally. Not only is Sebastian stuck with the prince’s unwanted affections, he’s also confronted by growing evidence linking the assassination attempt to someone from his father’s past.
Lord Orwell is a lot of things: thief, liar, drunk, and all around horrible father, but Sebastian knows he’s no murderer. In order to prove it, Sebastian has to keep the prince alive long enough to discover the truth—a task made considerably harder because the idiot prince prefers wooing Sebastian over securing his own survival. On top of everything, Sebastian needs to save the day without revealing his magical powers and the real reason he hides his appearance.
Sebastian had no intention of playing the hero, but whoever is stirring up shit in his country will pay for destroying his quiet life.
For all that this is a high fantasy novel with Mages, Fey, Trolls, Wizards and more, and that this is also definitely a mystery to be unraveled, it’s also got a very nice bit of romance as well.
Take one ornery wizard, add a headstrong Crown Prince with his own agenda, and a meddling family and you have the recipe for a thoroughly entertaining story. When you also add a seriously talented narrator to the mix it’s practically magical!
I don’t want to give anything away, part of it’s charm for me was unraveling the many different plots, but you should know going into this that there is a really large cast of characters. Sometimes it was a bit confusing. The Orwell family alone is ten children, their spouses and children, and Lord and Lady Orwell to boot. The fact that Cornell Collins was able to give different character voices to each of the roles, as well as the other major players (the Prince, Queen and King, and other Mages and Wizards) was a minor miracle.
Let me just say – I am impressed. While I may have scratched my head at some of the accents, the fact that I could tell each character apart was a major, major feat.
The story is very interesting and engrossing, and the world building is fantastic. However, for me, the biggest surprise (and a really happy one at that!) was the love story between Sebastian and Prince Turren. Turren getting through all of Sebastian’s prickly walls was thoroughly entertaining. I loved seeing the two of them together despite all the odds against them and getting to witness their HEA.