Heir of Starlight by Nicole Kimberling

HEIR
Heir of Starlight by Nicole Kimberling
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (360 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal sex
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Trust is the only light that will guide them home.

Sea of Stars, Book 2

It’s been seven years since Karl Alton sublet his human body and let his soul be transferred to an orangutan. Now that the contract is up, Karl is ready to live a less hairy existence. Except his body has been stolen.

Devastated, Karl turns to his boss, Lord Adam Wexley, for legal advice. But instead of using his noble connections, Adam realizes they need to fight magic with better magic. And there’s only one man for the job: Adam’s ex-lover, Grand Magician Zachary Drake.

Once, Drake sacrificed his prized independence to save Adam’s soul. Now under the thumb of the West Court, he’s been forced to create a terrible weapon and bound to a vow of silence. Yet when Adam comes to him for help, no amount of bitterness over his lot will let him refuse.

Soon they discover that Karl’s missing body is only one thread connected to a plot to destroy the kingdom. And now the desperate race is on to find who—or what—has a finger on the trigger.

Nothing is ever as it seems in a world of magic and intrigue. Karl Alton’s soul has been living in an orangutan for several years. His contract is finally up and he’s ready to be back in his human body. On the day of the exchange, Karl discovers his body has been missing for some time and with little chance of ever seeing it again. Devastated he asks his rich, lawyer boss, Adam Wexley, for help. Adam goes to the one person who can help, his ex-boyfriend Grand Magician Drake. Drake and Adam ended their relationship on bad terms when Adam walked out several years ago but now that they’re back together, they have a hard time remembering all the bitterness when all they want is to be together again. The search for Karl’s body uncovers a much more complicated and sinister plot than they ever imagined, one that proves dangerous to their very souls.

Heir of Starlight, Sea of Stars book two, is an engaging, wonderful story from start to finish. As with any sequel I’m sure reading the first book before this one will likely be beneficial, but I didn’t do that and could follow the characters and plot just fine. I’m sure knowing more of the background and especially the relationship and breakup of Drake and Adam would be helpful, however, I wasn’t ever lost and thought the story did a great job in including any necessary information. So I’d have no hesitation to recommend this story as a stand-alone to new readers. That said, I’d also recommend it because it’s a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining sci-fi story with a side dash of romance.

The main thrust of the plot is mystery based as the main characters – Adam, Drake, Karl, and Drake’s ward Thomas – all search to find Karl’s body then work to uncover the more sinister plot brewing between the nobles of the courts. It’s definitely complicated but not so that it’s hard to follow. Similarly, the science fiction world is definitely intricate with its magical rules, inhabited animals, souls being stolen and tossed about, and political machinations. I found it all wonderful and engrossing from the very beginning. I didn’t mind the sometimes convoluted twists and turns as I found them easy to follow and the characters very likable and intelligent. They made mistakes but never anything that seemed extremely silly or unbelievable.

It’s hard to describe a story and world that feels so massive, yet so relatable once I started reading. The details are offered in a rich language and description that pulled me immediately. I could easily imagine this alternate world and the sometimes predictable power plays among the wealthy. That didn’t ruin the mystery at all yet deepened the intrigue. There are a few loose ends not accounted for but this is such a minor point and the only negative I could find. Instead I eagerly recommend this and hope there’s more in this series.

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