Goodreads refugee and wordpress blogger
“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
This book was a struggle for me, from start to finish. The overall feel is a book that feels like it's paving the way for other, more exciting events in upcoming books. Most human characters were sort of stereotypical with a twist; the "ice duchess" and academic, intelligent, unaware of her perfect beauty and starved for love; the immortal "prince," who's actually the good-looking rogue who hasn't fully seen the error of his ways; the honorable duke, trying to do the best for the people under his care, who is hiding his gay lover. There is very little action besides talking for at least half the book, but a lot of court intrigue.
Magic is virtually non-existent, at least in the present timeline of the book. What is driving the story is the return of the Immortals, some of whom will be capable of magic--in the future. The concept of an immortal race living among a human one is not particularly new; it was done most notably by Roger Zelazny in Lords of Light. The premise is interesting, but for the most part, we meet the Lords through The Immortal Prince sharing memories with Arkady. Fallon's interesting twist is a tide of magic ebbing and flows. The lords, while immortal, they exist more like mortals in terms of magic or abilities while the magic is gone. The other unique aspect to the story is the story of the slave race, although in actuality, its a number of 'species' for lack of a better term. Surviving in current days are the Crasii; canine, feline and amphibian like beings who are genetically programmed to obey orders of the Tide Lords. The exception is the Scards, who somehow have the ability to resist lords. Our perfect heroine and Duke already supported improved Crasii rights; once we realize they can also fight against lords, it becomes obvious that this will lead to a battle in upcoming books, with the potential for Crasii to gain emancipation.
Overall, while it might be written well, the high melodrama with very little fantastical elements (barring the Crasii, which aren't particularly original when you realize their animal natures are a philosophical prop) just isn't an enjoyable read for me.