Today I’m sharing my thoughts on To Charm a Dark Prince, on tour with Second Sky Books!
Book: To Charm A Dark Prince
Author: Kathryn Ann Kingsley
Pub Day: August 18th 2023
About the book:
To save a kingdom, she must charm a monster.
Transported to the magical realm of Avalon, Gwen finds herself in the hands of its dark and beautiful ruler—Mordred, the Prince in Iron.
The prince holds total power in Avalon, trapping his rivals in an enchanted crystal prison. But he shows a strange gentleness to Gwen.
Seeing no other way to escape, Gwen strikes a deal with Mordred’s enemy. If she can break the crystal, she will be free to go home.
Gwen joins Mordred’s court with a plan to steal his heart and destroy his prize.
Desire sparks between them at once. But Mordred is a dangerous host. As they draw closer, his passion and anger burn brighter.
Gwen would be foolish to trust him.
And even more foolish to betray his trust…
A gripping dark fairy tale and a seductive fantasy romance, with slow-burning attraction, enemies-to-lovers banter and an alluring villain. The Iron Crystal series will enchant fans of Sarah J. Maas, Elise Kova, and Danielle L. Jensen.
Gwen is a normal young woman living a normal life. But when her house catches fire, she follows the ancient cat that lives in her barn through a portal. On the other side of the portal, she finds that she’s in Avalon. Yes, that Avalon, the one with King Arthur. And the barn cat, who she’s always called Merlin, talks. He tells her that Mordred, Arthur’s nephew, now rules Avalon with an iron fist (literally), and that he managed to escape from the Crystal, where Mordred traps anyone in Avalon with magic. If Gwen wants to go home, Merlin says, she has to destroy the crystal. Then Merlin will have his magic back, and he can return Gwen from whence she came.
Mordred is convinced she’ll turn on him like everyone else, and her fire magic (a complete surprise t0 Gwen) should have him sending her straight to the Crystal. But he wants to learn what she knows, to protect himself from the threat that brought her to Avalon, and, well, Gwen makes him feel things he hasn’t allowed himself to feel in a very long time. And Gwen? She realizes she shouldn’t trust Mordred. She certainly shouldn’t fall head over heels for him.
I do love a good Arthurian fantasy, and this one was a lot of fun! Gwen is a little bit of a vanilla heroine – we don’t know much about her beyond that she’s a regular girl from Kansas. But Mordred more than makes up for it. Normally he’s the villain in any Arthurian tale, and this is no exception. But Kingsley does a wonderful job of writing him in such a way that sometimes you can’t help but empathize with him.
I liked the way Kingsley made use of the Knights of the Round Table. They still serve the ruler of Avalon, but do they follow Mordred and give him the same loyalty they gave Arthur? Read and find out.
Mordred has dogs, too. Naturally, they take to Gwen. If he’s a dog person, he can’t be ALL bad, can he?
And the romance bits. Let’s not forget that! This is a slow burn romance, and boy, does it BURN. Most of it is teasing and innuendo and some pretty entertaining banter, but there’s a bit more on-page spice toward the end of the book. Whatever. Gwen is perhaps inexperienced in the ways of love, but I suspect that if she ever really lets herself fall, the pages might burn right out of the book.
I’ve never read Sarah J. Maas, so I can’t say how this compares to that. I can say it was an enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to the next installment!
Thanks to Second Sky Books and NetGalley for a review copy. All opinions here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.
About the author:
As a USA Today bestselling author and award-winning designer, Kat has always been a storyteller. She delights in spinning stories of the sweetest nightmares to delight her readers with her unique twist of fantasy, horror, and romance. With ten years in script-writing for performances on both the stage and for tourism, she has always been writing in one form or another.
Also on her list of skills are artistic direction, scenic painting and props, special effects, and electronics. A graduate of Boston University with a BFA in Theatre Design, she has a passion for unique, creative, and unconventional experiences. In her spare time, she builds animatronics and takes trapeze classes.