Saturday, April 07, 2012

Review: Kismet's Kiss by Cate Rowan

The Particulars: Fantasy Romance,  indie, available as e-book and in print.
The Source: Purchased at Allromance
The Grade: B
The blurb:
In the desert realm of Kad, a deadly epidemic strikes the palace of Sultan Kuramos. Only a magical healer from an enemy land has the skill to save his royal household, but Kuramos never imagined the healer would be a woman.
Healer Varene finds her own surprises in Kad. She expects the sultan’s arrogance, but not his courage or his selfless care of the ill—or the possibility that the epidemic is the curse of a vengeful goddess.
Kuramos’s culture condemns Varene’s mystical talents. Her presence triggers an insurrection, yet as he and the healer toil for a cure, he loses his heart to her. She falls for him as well, but how can she relinquish her homeland and her principles—especially when he already has a harem and his family may be cursed?

The review:
I purchased this one when Allromance had its 50% rebate campaign recently. And I am glad I did.
I fell in love, with Varenne and Kuranos, also with the world of Alaia.   Or more correctly, the country of Kad. Each detail fit my image of live in a palace.   From the reverence of the servants,  to the camaderie between the Sultanas
What made me grit my teeth were the fact that women were viewed as subservient.   Which made it an extra  interesting to watch their reaction when they discover that a woman ( gasp!) is the Royal Healer of Teganne. I admired Varenne's courage for coming, yet it is one of many signs that she is a healer to the heart.  From the start of the book  Varenne and Kuranos butts head regularily.  Varenne being to much of a Teg to give Kuranos the deferrence he is used to. Not to mention giving in to her attraction, and becoming a member of his harem. 
What I loved, were that the first part of the novel focused on the cure.  And everyone around her, from the other Physicians to the courtiers are suspicious of her. Even the sultan. 
One thing I appreciated, were the fact that the cure weren't something mysterious that only magic could solve. Yes, Varenne used her gifts, but to ease the suffering. She couldn't cure it with a snap of her fingers.  But, she does find out a cure, using her common sense.   

The events in the first part, eased the way to their HEA.  In fact, I appreciated the later half more. Seeing the camaderie between the wives.  The smiling children.  
And scenes between Varenne and Kuranos. How she gently convince him to start living again. 
The combined result of this, is that Varenne grows used to Kad, and that Kad gets used to Varenne.
I'll admit that at times I wondered if the obstacles were to great for them to give them a Happily ever after.   I admire Kurannos wives for stepping forward, for making the offer.  And, fittingly, it was the most ambitious of them who found a way. 

So, what I didn't like. 
The one thing that I had most trouble with were the fact that people in Aiaia live much longer than humans on earth.  I started the first time I read that someone were 100 years old.     
Then there were the supporting characters.  They felt... shallow. On  the other hand, this were Varenne and Kuranos story, and having the other wives taking to much place would have been wrong.
That said, I look forward to reading more tales by Cate Rowan.

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