Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Belphagor, an airspirit and cardsharp in Elysium, waited a year to take the young firespirit demon, Vasily, in every way he wanted. Belphagor gets what he wants and who he wants, and he wanted Vasily, and once he had him, he didn’t want anyone else to have the young demon. Belphagor wasn’t willing to pass up opportunities with others, however, which upset Vasily to the point of leaving. Three days later, Vasily showed back up surrounded by the duke’s angels. Belphagor and Vasily then share a moment so intimate, both demons are certain the time together meant something special. But things change when Belphagor wakes up alone.
Vasily leaves Belphagor’s bed before the airspirit demon awakes so he can retrieve his treasured belongings from the Duke of Arcadia’s villa. Expecting to walk in and walk out, Vasily is taken by surprise when the duke not only takes him prisoner, but also plans to use him in the plot to start war between the angels and demons.
After the night they shared, Belphagor finds it hard to believe that Vasily left him willingly, even when a break up note shows up. Belphagor heads out to discover what happened to Vasily and stumbles upon a plot to overthrow the supernal House of Arkhangel’sk and the plan to use Vasily to do it. While working to save his lover, Belphagor makes new friends and new enemies, putting more lives than simply his own and Vasily’s in danger. But the duke has more pull than they know and they’ll have to run from everything they know before they can fight to clear Vasily’s name.
Oh wow. This story is so beyond what I thought it would be. Now, I’ll be honest, demons do not usually occupy my reading material. It’s not something that I enjoy for the most part. But I will tell you that I chose to red this one for the cover and for the blurb. Don’t look so surprised. I read blurbs sometimes. There was just something about this that was so different that I had to read it. And thankfully Kindred definitely delivers what the blurb sells. Prince of Tricks is exciting and beyond sexy and so good.
The dynamics between Belphagor and Vasily are what makes this story. Belphagor is the dominant of the two. He’s older and more experienced. He’s also cocky and wants to have his cake and eat it too. Vasily is obviously the submissive of the two, but submissive doesn’t mean pliant. As a firespirit, he’s a hot head and passionate. He loves Belphagor, even when Belphagor is afraid to say the words. He’s been known to overreact and do things to try and make Belphagor jealous to draw a reaction out of him. For the most part Belphagor takes it for what it is, a cry for discipline, then acts accordingly. But his world is turned upside down when Vasily disappears. Belphagor is suddenly forced to face his feelings about Vasily. Their individual journeys bring strength, especially when they realize that they are no longer walking two separate roads, but one road together. Belphagor’s constant denial and Vasily’s persistence make their relationship so imperfect that it’s perfect.
This world is freaking awesome. It took me a little bit to get it. It’s kind of just there, in your face, then the building happens. But it’s a truly lovely place, in whatever way hell can be lovely. Angels and demons, their governments and rebellions. I’ve read stories set in heaven and hell, but this one is so different. The physical world that this author creates around the mythological Elysium is fantastic. I am in awe of the cross between mythology and angels and demons and reality. Incorporating brothels, casinos, banks, slums, the levels of heaven, and so much more is ingenious. And once I was fully engrossed in the world of Elysium, this author introduced me to the meaning of Fallen when she brought her demons to the World of Man. I loved it. It’s inventive and so captivating.
The story is full of excitement. The mystery, trying to clear Vasily’s name, surrounds a romance that is meant to be. The flow of this tale is enthralling. Once I thought I had a hold on where Kindred was going with this story it would take another turn. I was glued to the pages of this book till the very end.
The one issue I have with this story is a personal issue of mine. I had a hard time with both of the main characters having sex outside of their relationship, pretty much from the very beginning. It made it difficult for me to connect with them as a pair for a while. Eventually I got to that point, but the encounters with others made it difficult for me as a reader to get their relationship.
And although I have no issue with m/m/m and more, or m/f, because it’s damn sexy in this story, for those of who are opposed there are a couple of scenes where one or more men join Belphagor and Vasily. There is also a scene that involves girl parts in conjunction with boy parts. Just sayin.
Overall, Prince of Tricks is pretty great. I like the characters a lot and even though I had a hard time jumping right into their relationship, I eventually was on board with it. The world building is the greatest part of this book. So yes, obviously, I recommend Prince of Tricks by Jane Kindred.