Author: Ben Alderson
Length: 20 pages
Summary: Family. Secrets. Poison.
This prequel novella is set before the events in Cloaked in Shadow (The Dragori Series Book 1), following Prince Hadrian and the moments leading up to his birthday feast. Readers discover relationships between Hadrian and a handful of characters we meet in Cloaked in Shadow. Read for insight into our fiery prince's mind, and see his reaction to that fateful feast that changes the course of so many lives.
My Review: The Prince of Flames is #0 in his Dragori Series and holds as a prequel to his book Cloaked in Shadow. I didn't have any type of expectations when reading this novella. All I wanted was a good, gripping story that let me wanting more.
The first sentence is generally where many of the authors captivate their readers into the unique world in which they are about to present and share. Ben not only did that, but he decided to add more emotion and heart into this single sentence. When I read this sentence, I looked up to Charisma and said, "What even is this sentence?? I am so moved?". I was incredibly surprised because my heart began to pound with such anticipation and yearning for the next few sentence and I've never felt this before. But he didn't stop. He kept going, slowly adding more and more feeling to each word he chose with care.
At the beginning of the story, we have officially met two characters: Prince Hadrian and his mother.
Oh. My. Goodness. Who. Are. These. People. Who. Have. Stolen. My. Heart.
I was impressed with the way he delicately wrote about Prince Hadrian's mother. She sounded graceful as the season Spring, she was portrayed as a delicate woman, and yet, her actions showed that she was fierce and strong. I have read plenty of stories where this type of woman existed but they always fell into two categories: they either became way too delicate or way too OP. There just wasn't a good balance of the two.
Yet here I am, applauding Ben, as he was able to make her perfect. She was able to stay in the middle of being a delicately strong warrior whose attitude was brave, though soft.
Prince Hadrian was also brilliant. We begin to know him about being interested in his mother's beauty, how her voice sounds like bells, and how she lights the world with her aura. He wants to be with her all the time and the time that he sends with her, he cherishes every. single. moment. The story was in his perspective and I felt as though I could easily relate to all that he's gone through.
In terms of description of the world, there wasn't much. But his word choice was so powerful that it made up for it. He used such descriptively beautiful words that not only was I able to picture the castle and the rooms within, but I was able to have room to create my own version of what everything looked like. I always appreciate that type of freedom when reading.
The plot definitely had the intentions of setting up for the first book, which was nice, but what was better was the fact that we got the prequel in the eyes of the other main character. I was happily surprised.
The secondary characters, especially the good friend to Prince Hadrian, were full of life and each of them had such important parts to play in the story.
But, as with all books, there was one part of this book that I didn't like. This was the scene where Prince Hadrian was met with his father. From the way he narrated the story too when he actually spoke to his father (and it's only his father that he speaks this way, no one else), it was a drastic change. When narrating and talking to his good friend, he sounds like a gentleman that carried pride and honor. Now, when he speaks with his father, he seems almost childish. Of course, there are parts of the conversation where he resumes his 'gentlemen narrative voice', but that was close to the end of the conversation. It was just a bit disappointing.
Now, with all of that being said, my overall rating for this book would be a 4 ½ out of 5.