A Steel Songbird and a Stubborn High King. A review for the High King’s Golden Tongue by Megan Derr

Now, you might remember a short story Megan Derr wrote for the Love is Always Write anthology, back in 2012. It was called The High King’s Golden Tongue. It’s one short, but very amazing story. I for one was very happy to hear the author decided to expand it. There was a happy dance involved when I got the ARC to review!

Okay, first things first. The story is greatly expanded. As in from short-ass to long-ass. A lot of things have been added to the story, along with several new plot angles. The basic story line from the first edition is the same, however.

It’s still Allen – a prince from Gaulden – who has been chosen to be the High King’s consort. Sarrica is still not very happy to be saddled with a new consort. Allen, in turn, is still determined to prove himself.

In this new version we get to see the actual meeting. Little things have been added to the original story. Like Allen working hard to make a place for himself and making friends. Sarrica is still very much the ass, but we get more insight into him as well, as both main characters share the story and it’s seen from both their point of views.

There is a whole new subplot, as well as several small side stories – like that of Tara and Rene. It is very well done. It’s a long story in which a lot happens with characters that fit the story.

I loved the original story, but I adore this one. It was well written and Allen is quite the character. It’s clear from the start that he’s not perfect, but a hard worker and strong. There is steel under all that prettiness. He’s just one of those characters that needs love. He’s very skilled and it was fun to see him working the many languages.

It was also good to see the story from Sarrica’s point of view. He becomes more human and understandable, whereas in the original story the change in him was really fast. We also get to see his kids. There is a strong hint that there is mpreg in this world, but it’s not expanded upon.

There are quite the cast of characters that make up this story and it was well done how they balance the story out. Rene and Tara’s story was a lot of fun. Tara is such a chatterbox, but an endearing one.

Also… Lesto. That man is both aggravating, tough, sweet and very much in need of a lover to distract him. Good to know he’s getting his own story sometime next year!

There was something that bothered me a bit. I love it when Megan Derr writes long stories, but this version lacked a bit of balance to the plot. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but 75% of this book focusses on getting Allen and Sarrica together and Allen’s self-doubts about his role and about Sarrica. Their romance is a comedy of errors and miscommunication. As this story is so greatly expanded it would have been nice to see a bit more of Allen and Sarrica together, because at some point I really really wanted to shake some sense into Allen. For all his language skills, sometimes he is just horrible at communication.

Apart from that, all I can say is: it will be a long ass wait for Lesto’s story!

Why you should read it: if you loved the first edition of The High King’s Golden Tongue, you will love this new version with its added story, details, new characters and more of Allen and Sarrica!

As a side note: I know it’s a bit evil posting this review now when the story won’t be released until November 4, but I couldn’t help myself, so here’s a chocolate cookie to make up for it!

High King's Golden Tongue Book Cover High King's Golden Tongue
Tales of the High Court #1
Megan Derr
Fantasy, Romance
Less than Three Press
November 4, 2015
Copy received by way of author

Prince Allen has trained his entire life to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious mother, who has made their kingdom one of the wealthiest and most influential in the empire. For the past few years he has trained to become the new consort of the High King. The only thing no one prepared him for was the stubborn, arrogant High King himself, who declares Allen useless and throws him out of court.

High King Sarrica is ruling an empire at war, and that war will grow exponentially worse if his carefully laid plans do not come to fruition. He's overwhelmed and needs help, as much as he hates to admit it, but it must be someone like his late consort: a soldier, someone who understands war, who is not unfamiliar with or afraid of the harsher elements of rule. What he doesn't need is the delicate, pretty little politician foisted on him right as everything goes wrong.

Publisher note: this is a highly expanded, completely re-written version of the free short that was previously available under the same title.

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