Lunar New Year should be a time for familial reunions, ancestor worship, and consumption of an unhealthy amount of candied fruit.
But when dragon prince Thuan brings home his brooding and ruthless husband Asmodeus for the New Year, they find not interminable family gatherings, but a corpse outside their quarters. Asmodeus is thrilled by the murder investigation; Thuan, who gets dragged into the political plotting he’d sworn off when he left, is less enthusiastic.
It’ll take all of Asmodeus’s skill with knives, and all of Thuan’s diplomacy, to navigate this one—as well as the troubled waters of their own relationship….
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
I have a new favorite power couple?? Seriously, this novella is a delight to read. Vietnamese-inspired worldbuilding and delicious court intrigue, all driven by a slightly dysfunctional, mostly wholesome power couple. Asmodeus and Thuan have a delightful chemistry together, and while it’s clear that the two could benefit from several rounds of couples counseling, it’s easy to see their devotion and loyalty to each other underneath their bickering. I loved the contrast between Asmodeus’ blunt ‘I’ll murder anyone who gets in my way’ attitude and Thuan’s softer, diplomatic approach, with a side of “Oh no, what did he do this time”. Muder/Diplomacy is just such a good pairing trope.
For better or for worse, I felt very little suspense despite the murder mystery plot. Part of this was due, I think, to the fact that Asmodeus was written as such a powerful figure that I never felt that the combined powers of Asmodeus and Thuan could fail. Were Thuan’s diplomacy and attempted political maneuvering’s to fail, Asmodeus would simply pick up the trail and threaten/blackmail/murder enough people to victory. Not, perhaps, the most elegant solution to a problem, but certainly a solution.
This is my first foray into the Dominion of the Fallen series, but having read this, I’m more than excited to pick up the rest of the series. I’m certainly interested in reading more about these two, their antics, and how they first met. Despite the short novella, de Bodard has built a rich world around Thuan’s river-kin, and some fascinating insinuations to Asmodeus’ own Hawthorn Court back in Paris.
Overall, I rate this book a 5/5. I adored Asmodeus and Thuan, their bickering and snark, but also their sheer loyalty to one another. While not the first book in the series, Of Dragons, Feasts, and Murders is a fantastic starting point for tehe Dominion of the Fallen series and left me wanting more!
r/Fantasy 2020 Bingo Squares
- Self-Published SFF Novel (hard mode – 7 June 2020)
- Novel Published in 2020
- Romantic Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
- Novel Featuring Politics
Publisher: JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.