When the king of Kenta dies without an heir, his ward Naxar steps into the vacuum to reunite the kingdom, a task which requires him to be ruthless. Just as he is subduing the last of the nobels opposing him, Naxar receives a letter from the king of Ashwall Castle, where he spent his youth before being sent off to Kenta. The king seeks Naxar's help with a famine that plagues his land, and promises to, in effect, “make it worth his while.” The crux of the offer is the arrangement of marriage to the king's son, Adonias. The prince should be a powerful blood mage, but has yet to realize his power, much to his father's disappointment.
The basic premise of “A King's Vow”, of an arranged marriage between two men, may stretch the bounds of believability for a middle ages fantasy, but if you just go with it the story is otherwise a good read. Naxar and Adonias are rather classic opposites. One is a big dark muscular powerhouse while the other is a lithe golden-haired intellectual.
This is very much an opposites-attract story. Naxar and Adonias are, at least on the surface, two very different men. The point of view switches back and forth between the two, so we get to know each of them quite well. Although they exist in a fantasy world, they still come across as real people, with understandable outlooks and motivations.
While set in the same medieval world as A King's Rival, this book seemed like a better story, with a much less predictable plot. You could still be pretty sure where the story would end up, but less so how it would get there.
“A King's Vow” is available from Amazon.