Ildiko brushed a feathery strand of his hair away from his eyes. "He pleases me greatly. This handsomest of eels." His cheekbones angled sharply under his palms. "So says this hag."
"Who is most beautiful in the darkness." Brishen kissed her then....
It's so hard for me to find good fantasy romances that I can enjoy. What I loved about "Radiance" is Draven's natural voice. She packs so much into this short novel while constructing an interesting world without it being complicated. The hero and heroine also do something unusual. They begin as friends, displaying a mutual respect for one another. Their relationship steadily evolves into something more. They play the game of court politics; out-maneuvering their opponents. And I must say Ildiko's monster-in-law was a formidable player. The tension crackled when she was on the pages!
My favororite parts are the scenes showing their physical and cultural difference. Both Brishen and Ildika are very attractive people...within their own race. No matter that each considers the other ugly this is becomes a moot issue. I loved how their perceptions altered! And I loved how Draven made eyes a humorous issue.
After dabating on whether to round up or down, I've come to the conclusion that this story packs so much I had to go up. "Radiance" left me wanting more of this world. I continue to go back and re-read certain scenes. I see how this novel could have ended with a happy ending (mother-in-laws not included), yet I'm glad Draven left it open.