Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Court of Tricksters by SL Prater
Narrator: Victoria Aston, Liam Price
Series: Fae Tricksters #1
Published by Tantor Audio on October 24, 2023
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Length: 7 hours, 44 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm
Mating is a matter of politics for Night, not the heart. To prevent a forced union that will plunge the Lunar Court into war, he must find and bond his true mate.
When he lays eyes on Rain, he knows the shy forest witch is the bond mate he's been searching for. Unprepared for the intensity of his attraction, Night makes an offer that would keep his priorities straight and his court safe: a marriage of convenience. Any eligible woman—mortal and immortal alike—would leap at the chance to become the powerful duke's bride. But Rain isn't interested.
She's lived outside of society too long to ever fit into Night's world of shapeshifting tricksters and back-stabbing politicians. And Rain demands more than the trappings of marriage. She wants a match with heart.
Night doesn't have the luxury of time to change his mate's mind. War looms closer and the Lunar Court is caught in the middle. Out of options, the fae duke sees only one choice. Kidnap his bride.
Court of Tricksters is the first book in the Fae Tricksters series, featuring the courtship of Night, a duke from the Lunar court and Rain, a witch living in the woods almost like a hermit. He could offer her wealth and power but she gave up things that trivial so long ago. If she is to marry, it will be for love and nothing else. Night is going to have to figure out a way to woo her if he is to get the marriage he desperately needs to save his kingdom.
This is a slowish burn romance. Rain is a weather witch; she has been living on her own in the woods for centuries with not many for companionship. She has her familiar, a faery demon she bonded when on the verge of death around 500 years ago and the women at a brothel in town she has taken under her wing. Other than that, she lives off the forest mostly alone, until the Fae male found her recently and has been coming to read and walk with her nightly. She never talks to him, but she is drawn to him in ways she cannot explain.
Night knew the moment he set eyes on Rain that she was special and would be the key to keeping his Court safe from the war that is bound to break out any day now. To keep his Kingdom from being a pawn, he will need to marry his mate. Rain is that woman, but she is not interested the the things Night could easily give her like comfort and wealth. She wants his heart and while he is willing to give her his body he doesn’t think he will ever be able to love. The Fae instincts run strong and mortal moralities do not count when one is trying to win his mate. So if he needs to kidnap Rain for a time to keep her safe and try and convince her to be his mate Night will. He just didn’t expect Rain to be even trickier that he is.
“Rain was not a card. She was a player. A warrior who tricked tricksters. There was no doubt in his mind that she was worth the effort, worth the chase, worth his bond. She was the wife he wanted, the partner he needed, the true mate that could save his court.”
Both characters are very likable. Rain with her attachment to a group of whores in a tavern and how she loves those women. Also her relationship with Bernard, her familiar, is fantastic and Bernard steals the show every page he is on. Night is also likable, I do so love broken characters and he has definitely been broken. Rain might be the woman to show him what love looks like and convince him it is worth having in his life. The what they treat each other and the courting rituals for their mate bond were interesting and I enjoyed them.
My only complaint, well two actually, is it seemed we were getting to the meat of the plot late in the story. Rain doesn’t remember anything before her near death and bonding to Bernard, but as a reader we all know the who of what she is will be important later. Also Night’s story and why he is so desperate not to take sides in the war and why he thinks the mate bond will save him also doesn’t come out until late in the story and then it is over. My second semi complaint is this ends in a pretty decent sized cliff-hanger. The good news is the next book is out so hopefully that will be on audio soon.
Overall an interesting story on the mating rituals of Fae, moon magic and the power of witches. I had a really good time overall and was disappointed when the story ended. I will definitely continue on as I must know what happens to our scarred and battered witch Rain and if Night will ever open his heart and realize it isn’t just Fae instincts but also love. SL Prater is a new to me author but I will be interested in some of their other works based on this story.
Victoria Aston and Liam Price performed the story well. I thought Liam captured the tortured broken Night well and his voice was clear and fit the role of the educated and world savvy Duke. Victoria Aston brought both the fierceness and vulnerability of Rain to life. She was able to portray the strength and weakness of our scarred heroine well. I liked how each PoV offered a different narrator making the characters really pop. They did great to differentiate the characters. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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