“We are living dreams, after all, that can just as quickly become nightmares.” – Vaughn R. Demont
Author: Vaughn R. Demont
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 296 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: A modern knight, a noble quest, and a magical sword. What could go wrong?
Welcome to the City, where gods run nightclubs, goblins hire out as mercs, sorcerers work their magic, the Fae hold court over every neighborhood…and humanity is blissfully ignorant of it all.
For minor Fae noble Richard Stone, life is going well. He has a decent fiefdom (okay, it’s a slum), a budding acting career (okay, so it’s porn), and one of only five magical swords in the City. An arranged marriage is barely a blip on his worry meter—until his family blade loses its magic. The shame of it puts his noble standing in jeopardy.
To regain his status, Richard needs help. Fortunately, his new bride is a sidhe knight and his servant Simaron has, er, his back. Together they embark on a quest to find the demon who slew his father, investigate a conspiracy that goes to the highest echelons of Fae nobility, and discover a secret family legacy that could ruin his House.
All while keeping up appearances to a society that demands perfection. And they say a noble’s life is easy…
Warning: This book contains explicit gay sex, not-so-explicit gay sex, explicitly implied gay sex, routine breaking of the fourth wall, occasional bouts of Pearl Jam fanboy-ism, and plot. Side effects include confusion and headaches, and are best avoided by reading the pages therein in numerical order.
Review: What is a member of the Fae nobility (who also happens to be a gay porn actor) to do when he unsheathes his sword at the most crucial of moments, only to discover it’s not functioning properly?
Well, first we get our minds out of the gutter because that’s not a double entendre. For Pembroke Kendrick Llewellyn Richard Firemane, Lord of the House of Stone, Knight of the Realm, Viscount of the Benedict Shores, and Custodian of the Azure Blade—Dick, for short, but Richard will do—it’s a very literal issue that means exactly what you think it means: he’s brought dishonor to the doorstep of the House of Stone and shame to the Firemane name, and now the Azure Blade, the sword of which his family has been custodian for generations, is little more than a symbol of his as yet unknown transgression.
It’s no big secret after wandering giddily through Vaughn R. Demont’s Broken Mirrors series that I’m a huge fan of his work. There are simply some authors who extend the reader’s imagination by virtue of telling stories that challenge us to suspend disbelief and travel along on adventures big and bold, leading us on a journey of both the strange and familiar as we are introduced to all manner of mythical creatures and mystical occurrences, while, at the same time, becoming champions ourselves of the heroes who may not be perfect, certainly are not invincible, but who always manage to charm their way through Mr. Demont’s Urban Fairy Tales.
House of Stone follows Richard on an evolution from narcissistic and feckless noble to a man who is unquestioningly willing to sacrifice himself in order to protect those he loves. He is the man who will enter an arranged marriage for the good of his House, only to discover that he is indeed capable of loving someone other than himself, deeply and unselfishly, even if that someone is not his wife and happens to be his most trusted manservant Sim, a “tainted dream” who becomes Richard’s knight in shining armor. One wouldn’t think Richard would be an easy character to love, considering how oblivious he was to everyone who wasn’t him in the beginning of his story, and considering that his attitude toward Sim was little more than the consideration one might give to their favorite sex toy, but as always, the author makes Richard lovable because he’s so oblivious it’s comical, and one can’t help but want to see him wake up to his own feelings. When he finally does, it’s fairly sublime.
On every single page of his books, this author mines gem after gem from his wealth of imagination, leaving the reader at once surprised while also expecting nothing less than the fast paced and clever narrative that sweeps us along to a climactic moment, one that always involves plenty of action and danger and typifies Mr. Demont’s talent for taking betrayal and lies of omission and the stuff of a child’s nightmare, and transforming them into a story that engages from beginning to end, and in the case of House of Stone, brings it to a fairy tale finish.
This book is set in the City, the same world in which the Broken Mirrors series is set, but House of Stone stands firmly all on its own.