Wild Magics #3
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Despite the recent loss of his parents, Ash Woodhart is content living with his siblings, deep in the southern countryside of his family’s domain. Ren, an aloof boy with no home and no family, is an intrusion forced on Ash by his eldest brother. Ash dislikes Ren on sight, but as the years pass and the two come to understand each other, his feelings for Ren gradually morph into something more. However, Ren shows no sign of reciprocating those feelings—and as Ash’s recklessness leads him into danger, the truth may come too late.
I enjoyed this low angst romance. I particularly loved the world building. It was very easy to visualise this world that isn’t our own, and description of the setting was very poetic in places.
I liked how different Ash and Ren are, and how they grow from being forced on each other as noble and bodyguard into friendship and love. I also liked how Ash finally gets control of his powers towards the end of the story, and how that is nicely hinted instead of obvious. I felt sorry for Ren as Ash is quite clueless in places, then scrambles to make up for trouble he has caused when he gets out of his depth in another situation. Despite that, Ash is a likeable character too, and I thought their romance, once they both finally admit how they feel, was very sweet. I liked how the narrative, although a little stilted in the beginning becomes more emotional, mirroring Ash’s own personal journey.
The supporting cast do a great job in filling out the world, and this story within it, although I’d like to see more of them in their own right. I particularly liked Luck, the stablemaster, and how Ash’s bethrothed, Amarillya, figures everything out before Ash does, and is painted as being a good friend, not just a potentially unwanted romantic interest.
4.5 stars out of 5.