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Delicate by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Gosh! What a beautiful romance! Sports romance with the most gorgeous MCs. Valentina González was a promising tennis playe...

The Queen of Ieflaria (Tales of Inthya #1) by Effie Calvin, Narrated by Brenda Scott Wlazlo (Audiobook)

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

Dragons, ever-present Gods bestowing gifts in real-time, magic and a world where women are the more powerful gender – this is an engrossing and entertaining fantasy.

From the age of three, Princess Esofi of Rhodia has been betrothed to Crown Prince Albion of Ieflaria. She has been brought up and been trained all her life to be a Queen. However, when Princess Esofi finally reaches Ieflaria, it is during a mourning period – Crown Prince Albion has died in an unfortunate accident. Given a choice, the young Princess shows maturity beyond her years, and chooses to enter a new marriage contract with the new heir. The new heir is Crown Princess Adale, who spends her times hunting, drinking and partying. Who has no interest in inheriting the throne which makes it vaguely possible that one of her two cousins, Brandt and Svana, will inherit. So Esofi finds that she has three possible suitors instead of just one. While these personal problems are complicated, things get more complex with attacking dragons. Only mages can battle and possibly win against dragons. The gift of magic comes from the Goddess Talcia, but Ieferia has sidelined the Goddess of Magic in favour of science and as a result they have no mages. Esofi has brought along a company of battlemages in addition to her huge dowry plus a determination to re-establish the worship of Talcia in Ieferia. So Esofi has huge issues to handle almost as soon as she arrives in Ieferia.

Princess Esofi – we confess we developed a kind of character crush on her from her very first scene. She is gentle, soft, warm, strong, caring, courageous and a powerful mage. She also has a hunger for love because of being denied it by her parents and siblings all through her life which makes all her actions with and towards Crown Princess Adale totally understandable.

Adale starts off as a wastrel but almost immediately redeems herself by her softness towards Esofi. Though, the scene where Esofi is challenged to a duel because of Adale’s thoughtlessness and Adale, instead of putting a firm end to that drama stands by an watches – had our heckles up and planted a seed of dislike for Adale. But as the relationship progresses, Adale comes across as childish, awkward and emotionally immature rather than ill-intentioned or self-indulgent or self-serving. This helps in rooting for the twosome – Esofi and Adale.

Brenda Scott Wlazlo does a good job with the narration. Her performance of Esofi surely added to the character and she also does an engaging job with the fight scenes.

We certainly recommend this one wholeheartedly. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

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