Book Title: The King’s Sun (The Brass Machine #1)
Author: Isaac Grisham
Publisher: Cooper Blue Books, LLC
Cover Artist: Dissect Designs
Genre/s: Fantasy and LGBT
Length: 95,000 words/298 pages
Prince Kitsune trained all his life to become a leader in the king’s wars for supremacy, but the fearsome monarch dashes those dreams and banishes his devoted son. Not all is lost—to reclaim his birthright, Kitsune must kill the son of his father's rival. A son possessed by fiery magic.
Outside of the capital walls for the first time, Kitsune struggles to survive accursed wilderness and political intrigue while executing his mission. He meets the enigmatic, dark-haired Myobu and discovers magical Yokai spirits, dark family secrets, and strange new feelings for his companion.
As the two men forge a path through the region, an unrealized and dangerous magic blossoms within Kitsune. It is the mysterious power of the Yokai spirits, capable of unspeakable destruction, and it grows stronger with each passing day. Could he use this gift to slay his target, or would it destroy all that he loves?
Prince Kitsune is banished from his homeland. To reclaim his birthright, he must kill the son of his father's rival. A son possessed by fiery magic. While executing his mission, he meetings dark-haired Myobu and discovers magical Yokai spirits, dark family secrets, and strange new feelings for his companion.
My Two Pennies Worth
I’m conflicted. I really enjoyed this book, but, given a choice I wouldn’t have read it now. This is book #1 and, whilst it doesn’t finish on what I would call a cliffhanger (i.e. the MCs aren’t in imminent physical danger) it doesn’t end in a positive place for either of the MCs or their relationship. There is no indication on the book’s blurb that this is only part of the story, or how many books the story is broken down into (I’m betting 3 because this is fantasy).
That said I would highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the rest of the story.
As I said earlier this is fantasy with kings and princes, castles and magic, and mystical beings. But as I read I also got the impression that this was our future, that the civilisation that imploded thousands of sun cycles ago was our present or something similar.
The writing is good and I enjoyed the world-building. I’m surprised that this appears to be the author’s first published work.
But what of the MCs. Firstly we actually get 3 POVs in this story, although one is scare and intermittent. The first POV is Prince Kitsune, and he’s the main protagonist in this story. In part this is a story of discovery for the prince, for himself and of his heritage, and his struggles between doing his duty to his King (and father) and what is best for his country and their neighbours. And doing the best for is heart. The second POV is a Captain of the King’s army, Saxma. Because of his introduction as a POV character I was concerned he might be the other MC. Concerned because he is a ruthless character and he rapes (off page) Kitsune at the beginning of the book. Thankfully he isn’t the other MC, that is the third POV character, Myobu, who whilst an endearing, almost selfless character, is also an unreliable narrator. In this I think the author would have been better served to only show their story from Kisune’s POV, because there was no need for Myobu to withhold the information from himself (and thereby the reader) and it is information that I worked out the moment they met. Not that forewarned is forearmed in these situation, the event still slayed me when it happened and I’m typing now with the residuals of a ‘sobbing’ headache.
All in all, an interesting and entertaining read with engaging MCs. I look forward to getting my hands on the next book and hope it won’t be too long in the waiting.
Inari Palace had been the center of the Kitsunetsuki Kingdom for well over nine centuries. If its people had always regarded it to represent a place to fear, Prince Kitsune could not tell. What he did know for certain was that his father, King Oni, was a powerful man who deserved the fear and respect given unto him.
Kitsune shared in the people’s reverence of King Oni of the Asher lineage. It was said that Oni’s father had fallen in love with and married one of the beautiful Yokai spirits that purportedly inhabited the land around Inari Palace. While Kitsune was doubtful that such spirits existed, he knew the mythology of his people’s religious beliefs. The offspring of such a pairing tended to manifest heightened intelligence and magical abilities that increased in complexity with age. The motives of such individuals were a mystery, and their agendas were unlike those of ordinary people. This allegedly stemmed from a lack of human morals.
No one had ever witnessed King Oni displaying acts of magic, but his wisdom and cleverness were renowned beyond the borders of Kitsunetsuki, as were his skills in war and battle. With his combined talents, two successful military campaigns had already been waged under his reign, resulting in the conquering of the Mogo Empire to the south and the Ruio Territory to the northeast. A third campaign was rumored to be launched within the next sun cycle. It was Kitsune’s greatest desire to fight alongside his father this time around.
Whether it was from the constant state of warfare or the demands of ruling the vast and expanding domain, King Oni was a man rarely seen by even his closest advisors. As a child, Kitsune looked forward to his birthdays not for the presents, but rather because they were the rare days his father would most certainly present himself—assuming he was not leading the military elsewhere. As he matured, Kitsune saw the king less and less often. Now he only knew his father existed from the messages, requests, and gifts sent via servants.
Such remoteness did not temper Kitsune’s admiration of his father. It only solidified his notion that the numerous obligations of running the kingdom could only be handled by a man as judicious and dutiful as the king. Understanding that such responsibilities demanded considerable time, Kitsune willingly accepted his position in his father’s life. Though they both resided within the palace, it had been well over a sun cycle since they’d seen each other face to face.
This was why it came as such a surprise when Kitsune was awoken late one morning by a servant knocking on his chamber doors with a simple message: King Oni demands your presence immediately.
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