In Allegiance - Kate Islay This book is not getting the traffic it should be. I picked this up after reading Captive Prince and in seeking something to settle my CP high I found the recommendation for it on freece’s (S. U. Pacat’s) message board. This is not Captive Prince, however, the similarities are there in plot concept and certainly in the well delivered flow of prose. In contrast, if one were to describe the action in CP as intense and stunning, then the action in IA would be calm and calculated. I can appreciate both presentations.

Reve is a captured prince gifted to the Captain of the conquering army, Mathias. Reve is young, headstrong, prideful, but not naïve or even brash. Mathias is experienced, war weary, highly intelligent and masterful at navigating and playing the political court of which he is a part. Reve and Mathias are on equal footing as heros, I would not liken them to Damen or Laurent, but I would liken them to Nikolai and Henri from Voinov’s Gold Digger, particularly the fact there is much conveyed (both to the reader and each other) in the silence between them. Voinov is obviously a master at this skill with a countless repertoire to showcase his abilities, but to see this skill from a low key author - well I’m impressed.

This is not a typical “slave piece” and will not sate if you are looking for the commercially grown master / slave power struggles that, though satisfying for a certain mood, deliver only what is expected. But if you enjoy the more subtle approach, well crafted characters and substance for your mind as well as your appetite IA delivers a well written read with memorable characters.

Whether you loved Captive Prince or hated it, shouldn’t bear on your enjoyment of In Allegiance, clearly there are some likenesses, but don’t assume for a second it is the same book. Highly recommend to all fans of m/m, particularly those who enjoy the enemies become lovers trope.

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