Gavril of Aquina by Aurrora St. James

Gavril of Aquina by Aurrora St. James
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (294 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

A magical kingdom suffering under a vicious ruler desperately needs the king who vanished seven years ago.

For years, the people of Aquina have been crushed under the hand of King Lorcan. Gone are the times of peace and prosperity they appreciated under deposed king Varic Khalon, who vanished the night Lorcan took power. Most believe him dead. Only one man knows the truth.

Stripped of his magic and imprisoned, Varic never thought to see his kingdom again. But a twist of dark fate secures his freedom and he returns to the city he loves. Now calling himself Gavril, he finds himself with no home, no magic, no subjects, and no hope of reclaiming the throne, forced to survive any way he can. Until a chance encounter brings him face to face with the one person who may tip the scales in his favor.

Shyla de Aven has a single magical gift. She can sense magic in others. Not a very useful talent in a city where everyone has magical abilities. So when a wounded stranger literally stumbles into her, he presents her with a mystery she feels compelled to solve. He has magic, yet not. Determined to find the answer, Shyla helps the man. Only to discover they are far more connected than she realizes. And if the people of Aquina want their king returned, she will have to discover the key to unlocking his true power, all without losing her heart in the process.

What happened to the King of Aquina? Why is Lorcan now sitting on the throne?

When Varic of Aquina dies, Lorcan takes the throne. Shyla de Aven is present at the death and Lorcan uses threats to buy her silence.

Seven years later Shyla has escaped the palace and started her own business. Her shop is invaded by a street tramp and she takes pity on him and hides him from Lorcan’s guards. Magic is abundant in Aquina but Shyla’s skill is to sense the magic in others. The tramp’s magic is suppressed.

Gavril dare not tell Shyla he is really King Varic and his magic has been bound by Lorcan plus he has only recently escaped an isolated seven years imprisonment.

The way Shyla acts and speaks proves her to be a gentle person with a strong will when provoked. Her natural instinct is to help others and Gavril is not immune to her soft and winning ways. The author gets inside the heads of both her main characters and some of the minor ones also become real people. The plot is amazing and the romance tender and poignant. At the point where everything is going right, everything goes wrong again. Bit like real life really, but with magic and romance added. Gavril is definitely an alpha male with instincts and morals not often found in medieval type stories. A definite winner, with only one thing against it. After the initial impact which made me want to read the book, the story slowed almost to a halt, but a few pages later began to pick up speed again.

I enjoyed this book and hope if it’s the first of a series.

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