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Review: The Two Princesses – Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus

The Two Princesses - Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Space Opera

Reviewer: Ulysses, Paranormal Romance Guild

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About The Book

Their first mission after the Calarni leads Yaden and Ivan to Goa, tracking down N’Bosoti artefacts. Encounters on the estate of Princess Kumari have implications both personal and political, but most importantly, lead to Yaiciz – right into the machinations of Princess Anya, Ivan’s deranged sister.

Facing ancient monsters, an obstinate Vertex, a recalcitrant Duke and a traumatised Goddess, Yaden, Ivan and Colin will need all their courage and personal growth to save the day once again.

Written by award-winning authors Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, ‘The Two Princesses’ is a riveting space-opera adventure novel about the difference between family and relatives, and the seventh book of the acclaimed ‘Sir Yaden’ series.

The Review

Every time I start a new Brackhaus book, I am immediately sad because I know, at some point, it will end. Moreover, these books always go too fast, because I inevitably get caught up in them and can’t stop reading. Sigh. I envy all those people who will discover this series after it is completed—and will be able to sit down and read them all at once without having to wait!

Another ripping adventure and the joy of discovering another planet in the Virasana Empire—that of Goa. The Brackhauses use of multiple cultural echoes from a largely-forgotten Earth never fails to intrigue me. The narrative picks up a while after the traumatic events of Calarni. Yaden and Colin are happily settled in with their newly expanded family. These opening chapters—including a wonderful “tutorial” assignment on which Yaden takes Myriam, now an endlessly curious sixteen-year-old—offer a respite and a treat. A major quest interferes with all this domestic tranquility quite suddenly, sending Yaden and Ivan off on what is the ultimate test of their skills.

Two things surprised me about this adventure. First, it is definitely Ivan’s story. Also, Colin is a central player here, somewhat to the surprise of both him and his adoring husband. I love that Colin, the nurturing, domestic half of the partnership, gets to fully embrace a part of him that, to this point, only been hinted at. How nice that Colin, in his own way, is as important to the future of Virasana as the Lotus Knight and his Squire are.

Within the Virasana world, the theme of slavery has been the focus of two non-Yaden books: The Pet and his Duke; and Malena MCD. Those two books were very much on my mind as I followed Ivan’s adventures on Goa. I had forgotten that, technically, he is a slave, even as Darius is. Ivan is also, however, a Quetzal, as Yaden, and indeed the Emperor himself are. The story of Ivan’s rescue from The Windmines of Bora Bora also played in the back of my mind as I read this. Ivan first began to understand his full worth during Calarni, and that leitmotif carries forward through this book. Ivan is not just Yaden’s sidekick: he is a full-on hero in his own right.

Although it did not feel like a cliffhanger, I did note that two major titular plot threads—that of the two princesses—are both left unresolved at the very satisfying end of this volume. Both of those princesses are important to Ivan, in very different ways. As exciting, and visually dramatic, as this adventure is, I already can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Five stars.

The Reviewer

Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.

Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.

By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City.

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