Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a M/M fantasy romance from M. A. Grant. PRINCE OF AIR AND DARKNESS is the first book in her Darkest Court series.
The only human student at Mather’s School of Magick, Phineas Smith has a target on his back. Born with the rare ability to tap into unlimited magick, he finds both Faerie Courts want his allegiance—and will do anything to get it.
They don’t realize he can’t levitate a feather, much less defend the Faerie Realm as it slips into civil war.
Unseelie Prince Roark Lyne, Phineas’s roommate—and self-proclaimed arch nemesis—is beautiful and brave and a pain in the ass. Phineas can’t begin to sort through their six years of sexual tension masquerading as mutual dislike. But Roark is also the only one able to help Finn tame his magick.
Trusting Roark’s mysterious motives may be foolish; not accepting his temporary protection would be deadly.
Caught in the middle of the impending war, Phineas and Roark forge a dangerous alliance. And as the walls between them crumble, Phineas realizes that Roark isn’t the monster he’d imagined. But their growing intimacy threatens to expose a secret that could either turn the tide of the war…or destroy them both.
Phineas Smith is the only human at Mather’s School for Magick. He doesn’t have magick, per se, instead he can pull the magick of ley lines through the earth, a rare and dangerous talent. No one can remember the last human who could do so, and its universally acknowledged that Finn is the oldest living human to wield this power. All previous persons died young due to lack of control–not that Finn’s really controlling things. And, he has to call upon the ley lines to rescue himself time and again from beings bent on capturing him and using him as a power conduit of their own. One of these beings is the Unseelie Queen, who happens to be his roommate Roark’s mother.
Prince Roark Lyne is the Unseelie liaison on campus. He’s gruff and challenging, especially to Finn, but they share an undercurrent of sexula tension that belies all of their interactions. Roark is centuries old, and powerful but it seems that he and Finn have a bit of synergy and symbiosis that allow their powers to mend in ways that could turn the tide of the oncoming Fae war. Their partnership could dissolve if Finn can’t handle the secret that Roark is hiding from him.
The sexual dynamic seems to hover between fated mates and enemies-to-lovers, what with the longstanding animosity, the constant rescues and challenges, and the secret nature of their budding relationship. I thought the fantasy elements were fresh and interesting, and there are lots of cool chararcters to round out the fantasy. It was cool to see the parent-child dynamic here, with its inherent imbalance in power, as Roark brushes against and battles with his mother’s controlling ways to benefit Finn.
This is the first story in the series so, while there is some wrap-up and a resolution to the romance question, we still have a lot of intrigue and tension due to the impending Fae war. Pacing was a bit slow to begin, but really picked up as we approached the climax, and I found myself reading late into the night to get to the end. Finn and Roark do find their happiness, sometimes with explosive results, and their power issues seem to be settled for the moment. I liked the story and would definitely read on in the series.
About the Author:
M.A. Grant has always loved reading and writing, but fell in love with the romance genre when she started working at an independent bookstore in high school. After meeting her husband in college, they began a steady northward migration and are now happily living in the rugged beauty of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. When she’s not calling out to passing ravens or making a cup of tea, she’s writing dark and moving stories.