Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: In Despair
Author: Megan Derr
Series: Princes of Blood #3
Genre: M/M Historical Fantasy
Length: 221 Pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: July 9, 2014
Available at: Less Than Three Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks and Kobo
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Prince Telmé Guldbrandsen has been groomed since childhood to become a Prince of the Blood and Commander of the Legion. He will be the youngest person to ever take the Blooding—if he can behave long enough to prove he can be trusted with the responsibility. But behaving is difficult when he is constantly forced to endure Korin: heir to the Reach of the House and the Temple of the Sacred Three, and the snotty brat Telmé is expected to someday marry.
Then the unthinkable happens, leaving Castle Guldbrandsen—and the Legion—in pieces. Overwhelmed by fear and grief, Telmé convinces Korin to help him attempt the impossible. But rather than relief, Telmé’s triumph is met with anger and rejection …
This definitely wasn’t what I was expecting when I started reading this one! First, I want to point out that this could technically be considered Young Adult. The main characters, Telmé & Korin, are both underage at roughly 17 and 16 for a majority of the story.
The novel is told in two different settings. The first and last chapter take place in present day and pick up where Of Last Resort, book one in this series, left off. The rest of the story takes place over twenty years ago and tells how the Legion was almost decimated leaving Telmé and Korin, two teenagers, as the Commander and the High Priest… even though neither of them are fit for duty. In this one, it shows how Telmé and Korin struggle to become accepted by their people and the brutality and disrespect they took for simply having too much power and being too young for the responsibilities associated with that power. This is the result of an unknown enemy infiltrating the Legion and killing thousands, leaving the Legion vulnerable to other creatures. At the hatred of everyone else, Telmé struggles to prove himself and his new abilities as a Prince of the Blood and in doing so, might have just found the reason for so much hostility in the Legion.
If you’ve been reading this series then you know the world that Ms. Derr has created. An amazingly complicated but fascinating world filled with gruesome and nasty creatures hellbent on destruction. I loved getting back into this realm and seeing the different types of creatures. And, as usual, there’s a ton of action and suspense that left me on the edge of my seat. I absolutely adored it. As characters, Telmé and Korin are the typical teenagers. They hate each other because they’re betrothed but that all changes as Telmé becomes a Prince of the Blood. They’re still very young with the delicate emotions that are heightened in teenagers. I liked them as characters and I definitely felt the angst between them. A majority of the book, they’re separated so the loneliness they feel, especially Telmé as everything happens and he’s left out of everything, really gets to them. I HATED seeing that because I just wanted to shake everyone treating them like pariahs and say “What is wrong with you?!” But, for obvious reasons, I couldn’t LOL.
I had a few little niggles about this one. It was hard for me to associate the Telmé in Of Last Resort and With Pride with the Telmé in this book. Yes, I realize that sounds silly considering that this book is decades before the other two books but, in this one, Telmé is so young and so vulnerable. He cries at almost everything and has no confidence at all in himself. On top of that, he’s very aggressive and not at all like the understanding character I remember. I found that I was sad there was such a vast difference between the two sides of him and missed not being able to see the transition from a spoiled brat to the respected Commander he eventually becomes. At the same time, I felt like the ‘villain’ was fairly obvious from the start. I mean, the first place I would look when so much death happens is the new ‘guests’ to the Kingdom. Plus, I’m wondering how no one else besides Korin (and Telmé long after he transitions) noticed these villains were not who they said they were. Most of these creatures have a good sense of smell, yet only one priest was able to withstand the lure of them and notice something off. I found that a little odd. Besides that, there were a few unanswered questions I have regarding, well, everything to be honest.
Overall, I still enjoyed the book. It wasn’t my favorite in the series but I still liked getting to experience the long-awaited story of how Korin and Telmé’s saved the Legion. And while I found both Telmé and Korin to be a bit immature at times (they’re young, what do you expect?), I still liked that they developed a great connection over time. As usual, the world was fascinating and captivating and getting to see Telmé fight all those creatures had me on the edge of my seat. I hope Ms. Derr considers writing more in this series because I’d love to see how some of the other eventual Princes get/got their HEAs…. plus, I want to see more of these characters after what happened in Of Last Resort!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*