Title: Blood Royal
Author: Lloyd A. Meeker
Series: Legacy of Albessind #1
Release Date: February 26th 2015
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Struggling artist Eva Milaras is in the midst of buying groceries when a bomb blast tears the store apart. A handsome man with mysterious powers saves her life and stuffs her into a limo without a steering wheel—while treating her like royalty. Caught in a deadly web of magic and murder, Eva faces an aristocratic destiny she didn’t know about and doesn’t want. Now in a strange world she has to survive the deadly schemes of her new-found relatives as they maneuver for advantage in a murderous royal court.
Talak has loved Eva long before he saved her life, but that love is doomed. She must marry a man from a royal bloodline, and Talak is duty-bound to protect her until she marries—regardless of his torn heart. Together they battle intrigue and betrayal, only to discover they must choose between letting go of each other…or certain death for treason. A choice Eva refuses to make.
I have been lucky enough to meet Lloyd A Meeker but as this was at a LGBT book convention I was intrigued when I discovered that he also wrote M/F fiction.
Blood Royal was a wonderful surprise which carries its reader from the reality of shopping for apples to a fantasy world of magicians, mystery, politics and murder.
Lloyd A Meeker’s writing is completely absorbing and fast-paced, although he never leaves his reader behind. We are with Eva at every step of her journey into the unknown, with secrets unveiled to both us and the protagonist simultaneously, connecting us with an invisible, but tight thread.
Eva is a brilliantly thought-out character, particularly for a reader like me who is interested in how male authors represent females. Despite the fact that she quickly learns the rules of Queen Rhianna’s court, she retains her rebellious streak and sassy attitude. We admire her bravery in the face of the repeated assassination attempts and ability to love.
Queen Rhianna is also a strong female though she reflects the greed and unpleasant side of Riardan society. The fact that the queen only speaks about herself in the third person reveals her detachment – from her people and her actions.
The romance element of the story is well developed by the author, especially as Talak’s sense of duty and loyalty influences every decision he makes. I really enjoyed following his relationship with Eva and how they reconcile the differences of opinion between them.
As Lloyd A Meeker evolves the plot of Blood Royal we become more aware of the story’s clever intricacies and the way in which certain aspects we have presumed to be insignificant, actually have a huge bearing on the story.
Blood Royal is a book I would recommend highly, particularly to fans of the genre and anyone who appreciates a gifted author.