Twenty-One Arrow SaluteRating: 4.75 stars
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Length: Novella

Verhan of Black Mountain is newly enlisted in the Highland Regiment. He is full of snark and while he is always where he needs to be, extra responsibility isn’t on his to do list. He likes simple pleasures and has quite the reputation amongst the other archers of getting around. Yet, his talents and skill do not go unnoticed.

Hernan, with his auburn hair and green eyes, is completely noticeable in a unit made up of primarily dark elves. He keeps to himself, mostly because he just hasn’t found a way to fit in. When Verhan once again finds himself on the wrong end of trouble, he gets himself blackmailed into helping Hernan hit his mark. The men spend each morning training together and Verhan realizes, inexplicably, that he is losing his heart to the younger Honour Guard.

When a new book appears on my kindle by Kasia Bacon, I seem to read it the moment it arrives. The world she has created here in the Order series is one I look forward to and cannot wait to get back to each and every time. She not only has created a fantastic world, but has created amazing stories and characters to go with it.

We met Verhan briefly in a previous book as Ervyn’s snarky cousin. Verhan gives off the vibe that he’s in control and really doesn’t care what any one thinks of him. But underneath, he’s insecure about lots of things. He has a reputation and when he gets himself in some trouble yet again, he is tasked with getting Hernan polished for the twenty-one arrow salute.

Hernan and Verhan work as great opposites, not only in looks, but in most everything about themselves. The story is told through Verhan, and his inner dialogue works so well with the story and also fits in with his younger age. The attraction starts immediately and poor Verhan is so out of his depth at having actual feelings for someone, he has no idea what’s going on:

What did it mean? That he fancied me? Were we flirting? I couldn’t decide, since my concept of flirting involved a crude comment or two, coupled with grabbing body parts and hoping for the best.

The guys are young and experiencing <gasp> feelings of love for the first time and Verhan makes some big mistakes, as is his way, but he also attempts big comebacks. The books ends–Ack! Why does it have to end there?–in a moment that was too soon for me.

Bacon has the perfect author voice for me and the snark and the choice of words all work. She not only created a language, but then has the characters play with that language and that’s a whole other level of talent. The Order series, with its Elven magic, witty dialogue, fantastic setting, and intriguing characters, is a series everyone should be reading.

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