Prince Tanish, heir to the throne of the kingdom of Teruna, is a dutiful son and he abides by the laws and teachings set forth by his father the king. The shunned red-cloaked Seruani live among the people as well. They are taken from their homes at the age of seventeen, trained in the art of love making, and then assist the citizens of Teruna. They are considered outcasts by society and, although Tanish knows this is wrong, he is powerless to make any changes.
When Prince Tanish first saw the Seruan Feyar seven years ago, he was immediately attracted to him. Feyar takes Tanish’s virginity and the men fall in love. Tanish has never been with another man and Feyar shares his bed every night. Tanish, however, cannot declare his love for Feyar publicly as their stations in life make it impossible and the consequences would have devastating effects for both of them.
When the royal family of Vancor visits Teruna, Prince Sorran, is promised to Tanish as a spouse in an effort to join the two kingdoms together. Before the wedding, however, virginal Sorran must be instructed on how to please his betrothed and Feyar is chosen as his instructor. As jealousies begin to ignite, Tanish and Feyar decide to keep their distance as much as possible from Sorran and instruct him that the marriage will be in name only. Fate has other plans as the men are drawn to Sorran and the energy that emanates from within him. Three men in love, one love must remain hidden, and the lives of three men and life in Teruna will forever be changed.
After reading the above, if you are thinking that you will skip this one because you don’t read a lot of fantasy, I would say, wait, come back. This book is set in a fantasy location, but it is accessible to become immersed in the world immediately. There are not a lot of rules to wade through and you will not need charts and maps to navigate your way around. This book at times reads like a fairy tale, the best parts of a fairy tale, and although there is some tension and danger, at the heart it is a sweet love story.
What is interesting in the world Wells has created is that the reason Tanish and Feyar cannot be together is not that they are both men, but it is their ranking in society. The men cannot even acknowledge each other during daylight hours and while it is explained why this is so, Tanish was a bit too complacent in making any kind of change come about.
Enter Sorran. At first, nobody wants to like Sorran for he is an outsider and intruding on true love. Sorran, however, is good and pure. The kingdom he comes from is described as being vastly different from Teruna and in his kingdom the Seruani are revered and respected members of society. Sorran has been kept fairly sheltered and responds to the good he tries to see in people. Sorran also has psychic abilities and that aspect of his character greatly appealed to me. There are three distinct main characters and Wells is able to devote time to each of them, as well as offer a background feel on several secondary characters, which then enriches the overall tale.
There is most certainly a story line here, but there is also lots of sex in many combinations. There is virginal sex and a whole variety of combinations of all three men. The sex, however, moves the story along as it empowers Sorran and connects the men in unique ways that you certainly will not find in any standard fairy tale.
Being that this is a fantasy, there are areas that you have to then lend yourself over completely to in order to fulfill the fantasy. There were a few places where it was harder for me to do that. Some residents of Teruna are forcibly removed from their homes at the age of seventeen and they have no choice but to become Seruani, which would be similar to a courtesan, or could be described as forced prostitution or sexual slavery. They all seem to take it well and their biggest concerns are the way they are treated by the kingdom and not being able to see their families ever again. None of them seem to have a problem with being forced into the life of a sex worker, which was questionable. Also, when the men realize there are feelings between all three of them, Prince Tanish often refers to Sorran as his betrothed in front of Feyar, and Sorran is all of a sudden publicly at Tanish’s side. Feyar and Tanish have been in love for years and none of this seems to bother Feyar all that much. There is very little jealousy and Feyar is very accepting of it all, a bit too unbelievably accepting.
Don’t let that slow you down however in embracing this warm fairy tale of a fantasy love story. If you want magic, light, all good things, and a love between three men that is foretold in dreams, you really can’t go wrong with A Bond of Three.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.