A King's Ransom

A King's Ransom

Kaidos Vailinn is a man trying hard to overcome his past. But being a Wanderer-born thief does not leave him many opportunities in life. So when a stranger comes bearing a contract to kidnap a prostitute and deliver “her” overseas, he’s hard-pressed to find a reason to turn it down. Veyl is the highest paid “companion” at the Silver Tree Manor, an upscale brothel in the...

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Title:A King's Ransom
Author:Lia Black
Rating:
Edition Language:English

A King's Ransom Reviews

  • Jaye McKenna

    This is a wonderful, dark, fantasy-romance tale. It combines some of the things I enjoy most in fantasy with some of my favorite romance standbys. In this story you will find a couple of broken heroes who you want to weep for, an elf who has been exiled from his homeland, a gentle shape-shifting giant who personifies patience and kindness, a guard captain torn between honor and love, and a wizard who pays for his magic in blood and pain.

    In an attempt to gain himself enough coin to break away

    This is a wonderful, dark, fantasy-romance tale. It combines some of the things I enjoy most in fantasy with some of my favorite romance standbys. In this story you will find a couple of broken heroes who you want to weep for, an elf who has been exiled from his homeland, a gentle shape-shifting giant who personifies patience and kindness, a guard captain torn between honor and love, and a wizard who pays for his magic in blood and pain.

    In an attempt to gain himself enough coin to break away from a life of thievery, Kaidos takes a contract to kidnap a prostitute and deliver her to a foreign nobleman. It doesn’t take Kaidos long to discover that “she” is a “he”, and he soon finds himself fighting long-buried feelings of desire for the beautiful man he has promised to deliver to an unknown fate.

    As an orphaned half-breed, Veyl has never had choices in his life. He was raised in the brothel he works in, and as a high-class prostitute, he’s never been loved for who he is, but only for what he can do.

    Kaidos and Veyl are well-drawn characters, each struggling to overcome a tragic past. Their path to love is not easy, but through the story, their relationship slowly develops and grows. In the end, each of them must dig deep within himself to survive not only the perils of their journey and the schemes of a dying tyrant, but the ghosts of his own past.

  • вιвℓισρнιℓια {кιηgѕℓєу & ѕøяєη ƒσяєνєя}

    ...

    A fun, intriguing, enchanting and sexy story that twists pain and love perfectly. I'd seriously love a sequel, omg! Highly Recommended.

     

    ...

    A fun, intriguing, enchanting and sexy story that twists pain and love perfectly. I'd seriously love a sequel, omg! Highly Recommended.

  • Anna C

    I underestimated this one. But I'm glad I trusted my instincts on this one, to find it out myself instead of trusting random strangers' negative review. The negative reviews had convinced me I won't like this one, and I had approached it with wary eyes and lack of expectations, but turned out I love it, lol, especially part 2. Part one is quite good, I gave it a 4 stars though, it's long but it's necessary for its romance... but after I had reached part 2, it's when I couldn't tear my eyes off

    I underestimated this one. But I'm glad I trusted my instincts on this one, to find it out myself instead of trusting random strangers' negative review. The negative reviews had convinced me I won't like this one, and I had approached it with wary eyes and lack of expectations, but turned out I love it, lol, especially part 2. Part one is quite good, I gave it a 4 stars though, it's long but it's necessary for its romance... but after I had reached part 2, it's when I couldn't tear my eyes off the book, completely. Why, part 2 has more meats to chew than just romance in part 1, there's so much more going on in this part when I finally met the dying tyrant, and what's more, here I got my fantasy creatures, from elves, bear shifter, mage, and even demon. Give me my fantasy, and surprised me, I will bestow you 5 stars, lol.

    I actually enjoyed Barlan the bear shifter and Crow the elf's romance more than Veyl the crybaby half elf and Kai the thief's. And not because Veyl is effeminate guy, damsel in distress and crybaby, nope. I have no problem with effeminate man or crossdresser or crybaby men in my books. In fact, imo it's not wrong at all to be a crybaby, regardless the sex. Crying doesn't mean a person is weak, but it means a person has a heart and is honest with their feelings. Veyl actually had good reasons, well, he had been strong for too long, he even tried to commit suicide several times. And being raised as a whore since he was fourteen, raped when he's just a child, and with an appearance like a woman, more beautiful than women even (his beauty is soooo otherworldly, *well he's half elf*, that I can't put a face on it, as there's no man like that in RL who looks like half elf, not even Andrej Pejic), and everybody also had treated him like a fragile and pampered princess. Not that I hate his romance with Kai, it's just that he and Kai had an endless sex drive, lol. Both just can't get enough of each other to the point they even fucked in their dream, lol. I skimmed the sex scene because well, kinda boring after they done it for sixth time... Their first time is very delicious though after the UST, they just succumbed to their lust for each other after Kai finally admitted he wanted it despite his initial denial due to his dark history as rape victim. Their second time is to erase Veyl's memories of his first love, Engel. Third time is to realize their love for each other. Fourth time is for healing Kai's trauma of his dark past. Fifth time is for plot device, lol. Sixth time is in their dream, the purpose is to show us readers how Veyl can connect or link through dreams with his lover, it has a significant meaning to Veyl, Kai, and Engel. This is the part when I learned most of Engel and I like that. Thankfully this is the last time they had sex in the book, lol.

    I also like Aegeus and Finn's part, they're not lovers though. I even cried for Aegeus the mage in the end, for all his and everyone's belief he has no heart because of his bloodied hands yet he was capable to offer love and affection for Finn his foster son whose parents were murdered by his hands. His POV moved me to tears most of the times, very touching for me, I'm always weak to this kinda character.

  • Bookwatcher

    What could be easier than kidnap a whore, take the money and go have (finally) a peaceful live? That's how this story begin. Kaidos Vailinn is a Wanderer, a thief from this infamous clan of nomads. He must decide which path he must take... have the money... or do what is right?

    But... that's just one little part of the plot... the only part I can tell you, do don't ruin the amazing experience of

    What could be easier than kidnap a whore, take the money and go have (finally) a peaceful live? That's how this story begin. Kaidos Vailinn is a Wanderer, a thief from this infamous clan of nomads. He must decide which path he must take... have the money... or do what is right?

    But... that's just one little part of the plot... the only part I can tell you, do don't ruin the amazing experience of reading the book.

    Kaidos past and the present is heartbreaking.. be prepare to the worst... I'm adding a "abuse" tag to this book (not just for his past) but I think he is the only one I really cry for. Something horrible happened to him, and it's so horrible because... it was someone that should protect him that did it. That's my warning, because I can deal with abuse when it's (like in this book) something the character is dealing with, not living in the narration. It's horrible. I can use two words to describe it, but will put inside a spoiler (just to readers wanting badly to know what I'm warning about)

    .

    let's me tell you this is not just a fantasy, full of magic creatures (elves, shifter, mage) but also a romance.. with more than one couple.

    Kaidos is desperate to have his money, but he must ignore his feelings? Ignore Veyl?

    I have no words to describe Veyl... androgynous, lonely, tired of his useless life? How can I describe someone that I took more than 200 pages to know? better don't even try... go on, look at him...

    .. yep, the closer person on real life I can find to describe Veyl is Andrej Pejic.

    But Veyl is much more than just androgynous and impossible to understand... he is half breed, loved by humans (man and woman) and used just as a tool to have pleasure because of his elf half, ignored by elves because of his human half. He is both, he is nothing, he is... lovely. I love him, from page one to the last one...

    ... to be able to loved... and with luck, be loved back... no one can have it easily, all races, places and people must fight for it. There is no easy place to two men that fall in love... none. Or there is? A place... they must create for themselves?

    it's also the reason I'm not giving 5 stars, but 4. Because I'm always waiting complete explanations to all details... like

    .

    I don't want to be too perfectionist,

    I know many details can be left out, or it would be 1000 pages :D But... it's my nature... read a book wanting that all details, even the smaller one, will have a reason to be there, in the book.

    . I know it may sounds crazy, but I will certainly re-read it. Yes, now I know how it end, I know it's a long book... but it's a marvelous book.. and a heartbreaking love story. A love story that show us that yes, live is full of roads and most of them lead to suffering... but one little road, that one we may take just for desperation and trusting our feelings can lead to love...

    P.S: OMG... OMG! The last page.. the last big revelation... I'm speechless... this book took me by surprise, page by page, UP TO THE END! Up to the last page! wow... just... wow!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Pjm12

    This very long book is full of detail and description. Often an author can be guilty of rushing the narrative, the attraction between the MCs and most of all, the ending.

    This is not the case here. It's not a fast paced book, but I also wouldn't call it rambly either. Each event, each sidebar helps to build clear images in our minds, and allows a full picture to emerge.

    The two heroes are very different. But both are lonely and looking for purpose. Although the beginning of their relationship is

    This very long book is full of detail and description. Often an author can be guilty of rushing the narrative, the attraction between the MCs and most of all, the ending.

    This is not the case here. It's not a fast paced book, but I also wouldn't call it rambly either. Each event, each sidebar helps to build clear images in our minds, and allows a full picture to emerge.

    The two heroes are very different. But both are lonely and looking for purpose. Although the beginning of their relationship is kidnapper and victim, the situation soons becomes protector and survivor, and ulitmately friends and lovers.

    Kai's ethnicity marks him as an outcast, and we learn something of his troubled childhood. That part was actually quite difficult to read. Veryl's inevitable slide into prostitution is well handled and we can see that he controls as much of the circumstances as he can.

    Sometimes, things were spelt out too much for me, and towards the end, I was confused by some character's motivations. And that last chapter is a killer. But overall, I engaged with the story.

  • Lilia Ford

    Lia Black takes established fantasy tropes and crafts them into a smart, highly readable, sexy tale, with plenty of action and surprising touches along the way. Veyl especially is a new favorite character: I’m a city gal myself, so I’ve a soft spot for pampered creatures of civilization who are forced into situations requiring something called “camping” or, heaven help us, “roughing it” in that woefully misnamed entity, the “great outdoors.” (The scene where Kaidos orders Veyl to skin a dead

    Lia Black takes established fantasy tropes and crafts them into a smart, highly readable, sexy tale, with plenty of action and surprising touches along the way. Veyl especially is a new favorite character: I’m a city gal myself, so I’ve a soft spot for pampered creatures of civilization who are forced into situations requiring something called “camping” or, heaven help us, “roughing it” in that woefully misnamed entity, the “great outdoors.” (The scene where Kaidos orders Veyl to skin a dead animal was priceless.)

    Black takes her time bringing these two together, with plenty of gay for you/out for you angst and lively love/hate banter. Both Kaidos and Veyl are more than they appear, and the book is full of unexpected moments of pathos and sweetness to offset the conflict and violence of the story. Those who have read

    know that Black writes wonderfully sensual, sizzling erotic scenes and King’s Ransom definitely does not disappoint.

    That being said, it’s a long book at 150,000 words, and it would not have hurt the story to sacrifice some pages during the journey section, though in truth I was always engrossed reading it. With the arrival of Captain Engel at 40% with its kidnapping within a kidnapping and hints of a love triangle, the story becomes action-packed, with a small host of new characters (the wizard and his apprentice were particularly effective and moving), all racing towards a highly suspenseful and satisfying denouement.

    Bottom Line: Lia Black writes a fun, sexy story that will satisfy fans of high fantasy and M/M. Highly Recommend.

  • Tully Vincent

    A King’s Ransom is a longish book separated into two parts. Part One was awesome—I adored it. Veyl and Kaidos are sexy, quirky well-developed characters that captivated me and had me thoroughly invested almost immediately. I was absolutely riveted watching them fall in love on their journey across the kingdom to an unknown end. As their pasts are revealed in all its delicious angst, they had me enthralled. Then about midway through came part two and everything changed.

    At that point, the book

    A King’s Ransom is a longish book separated into two parts. Part One was awesome—I adored it. Veyl and Kaidos are sexy, quirky well-developed characters that captivated me and had me thoroughly invested almost immediately. I was absolutely riveted watching them fall in love on their journey across the kingdom to an unknown end. As their pasts are revealed in all its delicious angst, they had me enthralled. Then about midway through came part two and everything changed.

    At that point, the book shifted from a tightly focused love story to a sprawling Lord of the Rings style epic set within a complex world of elves, werecreatures, mages and demons in a kingdom of political intrigue. The storyline complexity bumped up to encompassed three m/m love stories, and to facilitate that there are several new POV characters introduced. None of them were bad, in fact, all were interesting and well-drawn. But I’d become so completely invested in Veyl and Kaidos, that this shift threw me.

    The entire book is well-written with compelling characters, wonderful storytelling and world-building. Part two just wasn’t the story that I personally craved after having become engrossed in part one. Having the main couple separated for nearly the whole second part of the book had me itching to hurrying through all the other fun stuff going on in order to get back to the relationship of Veyl and Kaidos again. In the end, the brief time on-page after they were reunited left me wanting just a bit more.

    Veyl and Kaidos are an awesome couple. I enjoyed them so much that my only niggle with this book centers around my annoyance at having them share the spotlight with any other couples no matter how interesting and fun they were.

    Part One = 5 stars

    Part Two = 3 stars

    Overall = 4 stars

  • jessica ☾

    This had such a strong start, so I really hate giving it only three stars, but once we hit part two, I had difficulty not falling asleep from how dull it started to get. I really enjoyed the slow burn aspect of the romance, but I do wish the plot itself had been a bit quicker paced.

  • Xing

    A King’s Ransom was a reminder of the time I had my wisdom teeth pulled out,

    the local anesthetics were able to work. It was a lot of unnecessary pain, and I was just glad when it was over.

    The basis of the story is this: Kaidos is a Wanderer, a group of nomadic people looked down upon by humans. He is a thief who is fulfilling his last act of crime by kidnapping a prostitute for an amount of money that would allow him to retire. His assumption that the prostitute is female is but one of

    A King’s Ransom was a reminder of the time I had my wisdom teeth pulled out,

    the local anesthetics were able to work. It was a lot of unnecessary pain, and I was just glad when it was over.

    The basis of the story is this: Kaidos is a Wanderer, a group of nomadic people looked down upon by humans. He is a thief who is fulfilling his last act of crime by kidnapping a prostitute for an amount of money that would allow him to retire. His assumption that the prostitute is female is but one of many misunderstandings Kaidos will encounter when he steals away Veyl.

    Part 1 of the book deals mostly with Kaidos and Veyl – their introduction, their feelings for one another, recognizing those feelings, and falling in love. Part 2 is where the plot begins to progress: we are introduced with a whole new cast of characters, are dropped onto new lands, discover the ways of the elven tribes, and learn of everything that has led to Veyl’s true captor.

    There is betrayal, deceit, magic, adventure, ect. – pretty much the makings of a great fantasy novel. But when something sounds too good to be true, then it usually is. But in order not to spend too much time on a review for a book I didn’t particularly enjoy, I will just list all the reasons I did NOT like this book:

    -Veyl. He is pretty much a chick-with-a-dick. Damsel in distress. The person who acts before thinking, which then ultimately screws everyone over. And his solution and reaction to everything is crying. Lots. Of. Crying. Fuck, it got to the point that I wanted to cry from my frustrations with him.

    - What’s worse than introducing a whole new cast of characters after half-way into the book? How about spending even MORE time establishing these characters’ romantic relationship with one another? Meanwhile, the spotlight on the main issue between Kaidos and Veyl is pretty much pushed into the backburner while we are busy worrying about the love between characters that weren’t even there for the first half of the book. WTF? At this point, I don’t CARE about these other characters. Not that I liked Veyl at all, but let us at least stay focused on the main issues here, and not diverge into all these

    issues.

    -How conveniently every important character happens to be gay. Especially in a world where the major groups of people (humans, elves, wanderers) tend to be homophobic or have some issues with homosexuals. It just felt a bit iffy is all.

    -Late world building. Seriously, we didn’t even KNOW much about the elves and magic until the second part of the book. It just felt like the author was dumping a bunch of information to conveniently allow the plot to progress in part 2 instead of taking the time to construct things accordingly towards the beginning of the novel.

    How about the positives? Um, well…the concept was interesting enough. And I liked the plot, just not the execution of it. And despite my ramblings of this book, I can say that my dislike of it is NOT because this is a bad book. Just that it didn’t work for me.

    Meh.

  • Trix

    It is done. At last. Oh dear, so many things to complain about this book. I'll keep this review short because... I read it about a month ago and it failed to impress me so much that I've forgotten half of it.

    First of all, why so many plot lines? If trimmed down to its basics, this would probably have been about 200 pages tops. As it is, there were pointless fragments, additional romantic lines added, action scenes heaped on for gratuitous effect. I'll expand on this.

    It is done. At last. Oh dear, so many things to complain about this book. I'll keep this review short because... I read it about a month ago and it failed to impress me so much that I've forgotten half of it.

    First of all, why so many plot lines? If trimmed down to its basics, this would probably have been about 200 pages tops. As it is, there were pointless fragments, additional romantic lines added, action scenes heaped on for gratuitous effect. I'll expand on this.

    Flimsy plot lines that struggled to make sense and coagulate into a whole. Too many distractions and points of view. Weak characters that failed to engage me emotionally.

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