Book Reviews

The Architect and the Castle of Glass by Jade Mere at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Fantasy / High Fantasy / Royalty/Nobility / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 11-June-2018

Book Blurb

Chasing his dream will send him into a dark and twisted nightmare.

 

Tahki’s only goal is to become a world-famous architect, even if that means betraying his father’s wishes by abandoning his comfortable life for one of unpredictable danger.

 

After Tahki blindly accepts what he thinks will be a dream job, his skills as an architect are put to the test as he is given the bizarre—and slightly unethical—task of turning a remote castle into a new-age machine for Prince Dyraien. The castle provides a challenge unlike any he’s had before, and Tahki finds the only way he’ll be able to succeed is to swallow his pride and work alongside Rye, a guarded young man who is quick to see the flaws in both Tahki and his work.

 

Yet the looming deadline proves to be the least of Tahki’s troubles. When a horrifying creature begins to haunt him, Tahki turns to Rye for help. The more he learns about the history of the castle, the more terrifying the hauntings become. Even with Rye by his side, Tahki realizes achieving his dream might send him down a dark path from which he can’t return.

 

Book Review

Diving into a new fantasy world is one of my favorite experiences when reading, and this one was a pleasure to explore. It is the eighteenth century in a word divided into many countries with colorful names. Technology is just beginning to take off, at least in parts of this world, and it has a lot of similarities with steampunk. But the focus is more on the fantastical elements – hauntings and supernatural occurrences, secrets and political machinations, and a royal family besieged by darkness and evil. It’s quite an intriguing mix and a great setting for some fascinating characters attempting to achieve widely diverging goals.

Takhi is the son of an ambassador with high social status in the very traditional country of Dhaulen’aii and a spoiled, arrogant brat of the first order. He is only eighteen but thinks he is entitled to be famous and successful, he believes he knows more about architecture than anyone else, and he doesn’t listen to anyone willing to critique his work to make it better. If he didn’t have a burning desire to work hard and make the world a better, more beautiful place, I don’t think I would have liked him very much. His ambition and honest desire to do good work is his one redeeming quality and, in the end, it is what allows him to learn to become a better man.

The need to be recognized by everyone as a successful architect drives Takhi to participate in a worldwide architecture competition that is part of a fair hosted by the neighboring, very advanced country of Vatolokít. Dhaulen’aii and Vatolokít are enemies, the borders between them are normally closed, and Takhi risks his life when sneaking in. But from the moment he makes it to the fair, nothing goes as he expects. The background and secrets are revealed slowly, and the situation gets more intense as Takhi meets a mysterious and attractive young man named Rye, who is employed by Prince Dyraien, heir to the throne of Vatolokít, and needs to hide the existence of his twin brother, Sornjia, who secretly followed him.

If you like quests and adventures with very high stakes, if a coming-of-age tale with twists and turns and lots of surprises is your thing, and if you’re looking for a suspenseful read set in a well-crafted fantasy world, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. While there is no cliff-hanger and the story could end the way it does, I can’t help but wish for more adventures now that Tahki is just a touch more mature.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 230 pages/79065 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 27-March-2018
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-architect-and-the-castle-of-glass-by-jade-mere-9478-b