Series: Wraith Kings #2
Published: 18 April, 2016 Genres: Romance, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
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Eidolon is the second book in Grace Draven’s Wraith Kings series. Radiance was a great example of the monster romance genre, and I enjoyed it tremendously. Eidolon focuses on the same characters, the human Ildiko and her Kai husband Brishen.
In Radiance, it’s established that Brishen’s mother is evil, and that she’s maintained her youthful look and her throne for an inordinately long time because of her willingness to dabble in dark magic and sacrifice innocents. Her latest power grab goes horribly horribly wrong, and unleashes an undead hoard of demons through a portal in the royal palace. Most people in capital die, and the rest flee as refugees.
Brishen and Ildiko had always thought of themselves as extra or leftover nobility, and their marriage began as a political alliance. Neither of them expected to have to rule a kingdom in crisis. And that really gets to the heart of what Eidolon is about. It’s about the time in a relationship where you’re facing obstacles or going through a lot, and you have to work through it together, even if it means making sacrifices, or facing new tensions and feelings that you haven’t had before. Brishen and Ildiko begin the story with a very strong relationship. But Brishen has to take tremendous personal risks to attempt to drive back the undead horde, and Ildiko has to use her political savvy to make sure that he has a kingdom to come back to if he makes it through that alive, even though she’s regarded as a foreigner and the remaining nobility want the kingdom themselves. And even if Brishen comes back alive, they have to face the fact that they can’t produce an heir. Throughout Eidolon, we see Brishen and Ildiko both try to navigate their relationship as they struggle with the tension between their sense of duty toward their kingdoms and their duty to each other.
Eidolon wasn’t as lighthearted as Radiance. It felt more like a fantasy story with a romantic undercurrent, whereas Radiance was a romance with a fantasy setting. I didn’t breeze through it quite as quickly, because it’s hard to read apocalyptic fiction during a pandemic, but I enjoyed it a lot and I’m glad that I read it.