Book Review: Radiance by Grace Draven

Rating:★★★★ and 1/2 or 4.5 stars


Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.


Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

Review: This is basically a fantastical retelling of beauty and the beast but so much more exciting! An arranged marriage, evil parents and rivalling species; and a couple who find solace in each other despite their differences. This was such a perfect mixture of romance and adventure and the character’s growth was amazing!

So the story starts with Ildiko, a human girl preparing to marry Brishen of the Kai species (with grey skin sharp pointed teeth and nails and no irises). Brishen is the second Prince if the Kai and so this is an advantageous marriage for orphaned Ildiko, niece of the queen of Gauri (humans). They unknowingly talk to each other in the gardens of the palace, talking big the differences of each other (and how repulsive they do no each other which I found absolutely hilarious, literally was cringe laughing). As the story progresses both characters development is really impressive and realistic! I could really empathise with both characters (as both characters are spoken about in third person). Although, warning there are some parts that are NSFW which I just skipped 😂.

Ildiko, I loved! She was a great character who I believe has a quite similar mindset to me! She really tried to find a light in a rather dark situation. (And can I just say the crossing eyes scene actually killed me off, it was TOO GOOD!!)

Brishen was also surprisingly nice. As a somewhat beauty and the beast-esque story, I was expecting him to come into the story as a generally rude person but I was happily surprised with how understanding and kind he is! Really, Brishen was one of the nicest if not the nicest character in the book for his situation.

The storyline of the whole book I really enjoyed although I’m not sure if I would read the second book. I do find the end intriguing however I’m not sure I’m that into the story to but the second book. Either way I definitely this book I’d worth reading!

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