This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: M/M Romance, Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Del Rey
Released on April 7, 2020
An empire spreads when another one falls. One cadet from the fallen empire and one from the conquering have forged an unlikely friendship that is tested when treachery, rebellion, and secrets hurl them into an intense, sci-fi romantic adventure.
Bonds of Brass is the first in the Bloodright Trilogy and opens at an Umber Imperial Academy on the fallen Archon Empire’s homeworld of Rana. Ettian is one of the top cadet pilots and pushes hard to overcome his origins as an Archon street urchan fostered into the Umber Empire. His roommate and best friend, Gal, makes it all worthwhile and fun. Then, some fellow cadets stage an uprising and force Ettian to learn who Gal truly is even as he has saved his life and put them on the run. A shot at throwing off an oppressive regime and good to return to his people has Ettian hoping that Gal is the best hope of everyone and they just need to get him into the heart of the Empire past treacherous, power-mad people wanting to use Gal for their own gain.
Bonds of Brass began with some exciting, action-packed sci-fi adventure scenes before pulling back to properly introduce the characters, the backdrop of the story, and set up for what is to come. It can plod along slowly, but steadily through this part though this is interspersed with blips of breath-taking excitement and harrowing adventures for Gal and Ettian especially when they are joined by a young street rogue.
I was excited to see all the special attention to the development of this early book including the inter-relationships. I could feel the story building as it progressed leading toward a big climax action scene and a twist.
I saw the big twist coming from the beginning and I saw a few other surprises before they happened. Knowing what was coming didn’t ruin my interest. I was riveted for the entire last quarter and flipped pages rapidly. It ended on what might seem like a high note, but things are ominously only at the end of the first leg and there is a great deal of story still to be revealed.
The attraction and romance is there, but it is mostly simmering in the background to the action suspense side of the story. There is already a solid friendship, but both shied away from taking things to the next level for their own reasons. Ettian knows that Gal is destined for something big where he cannot go. Naturally, things end up pretty dire for this pair by the end and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next series installment to see what comes next.
So, this first book in the trilogy did its job well and hooked me in and left me wanting the next book ASAP. This book has rapidly paced rushes and introspective moments in turn while in a carefully developed sci-fi world that I think other m/m sci-fi romance fans will really appreciate.
I rec’d this book via Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.
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