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YA Fantasy Romance Review: Lord of The White Hell Series by Ginn Hale

Lord of The White Hell by Ginn Hale (Lord of The White Hell #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Kiram Kir-Zaki may be considered a mechanist prodigy among his own people, but when he becomes the first Haldiim ever admitted to the prestigious Sagrada Academy, he is thrown into a world where power, superstition and swordplay outweigh even the most scholarly of achievements.

But when the intimidation from his Cadeleonian classmates turns bloody, Kiram unexpectedly finds himself befriended by Javier Tornesal, the leader of a group of cardsharps, duelists and lotharios who call themselves Hellions.

However Javier is a dangerous friend to have. Wielder of the White Hell and sole heir of a dukedom, he is surrounded by rumors of forbidden seductions, murder and damnation. His enemies are many and any one of his secrets could not only end his life but Kiram's as well.

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  Lord of The White Hell by Ginn Hale (Lord of The White Hell #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Kiram fought his family and Cadeleonian bigots to remain in the Sagrada Academy to prove himself as a mechanist and to dispel the deadly shadow curse that threatens to destroy his upperclassman, Javier Tornesal.

But when his efforts provoke retaliation, Kiram’s family and home are endangered. Both Kiram and Javier risk everything in a desperate gambit to combat the curse.

But they never imagined their battle would come so soon, or that it would be led by the one person they trust most of all.
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* * *
 Lord of The White Hell was recommended to me after I finished Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat and desperately craved something similar.

It is a gorgeous fantasy romance created in the best tradition of anime stories - a remote boarding school, a haughty dark young man, whom everyone is afraid of, a scholarly newcomer who steals his heart... It's a softer, more romantic story, than Captive Prince, and I loved it.

Kiram Kir-Zaki is the first Haldiim in centuries invited to Sagrada Academy, a Cadeleonian school for noble boys. He is a talented inventor, determined to make a name for himself and break stereotypes associated with Haldiim. His family is famous for making sweets, which is why they can afford to indulge him and pay for his tuition.

A word about Haldiim society, which I found fascinating. Parts of it must have been taken from early Jewish/Arabic conclaves which is why Haldiim wear colourful clothes, wash often and eat a lot of spicy, flavoursome food. But then, this is a society ruled by women. Women own businesses, and it's men who wear makeup and bridal finery when they are married into someone's family. They are indulged and pampered. There are even bookshops and other places which men can not enter. It's a very liberal society in matters or heart - you can marry whoever you want no matter the gender, but of course your mother will try to arrange a marriage beneficial for her house.

On the contrast, Cadeleonian society is a prototype of Spanish society of maybe 17th century? Very religious, very strict. Women are not allowed into schools, they can not own properties, any non woman-man relationship is a great sin and punished by imprisonment and often death.

Back to Sagrada Academy. Because Kiram is considered a heathen, he is roomed with cursed by the White Hell Javier Tornesal, the Duke of  Ruoma and eventually taken under Javier's wing when two of them get to know each other.

Javier is a delicious, delicious character. He carries a great power within him and plays a certain role in the school, a role of never-do-well Hellion, good for brawling and whoring and whatever else young aristocrats are expected to do. On the other hand, when he isn't in the public eye, he is a clever, studious boy desperately trying to find a cure for his family curse. A curse which already took his father's life and made his cousin insane.

Kiram more and more enamoured with his roommate, joins him in his search for cure and opens a whole can of worms, when that curse turns its eye on him as well. 

The two books span between Sagrada Academy and Kiram's home, where two starcrossed lovers try to stop the curse, save Javier's family and determine their own path which would break all the norms of both of their societies.

I find these books simply adorable. The first chapter or two is a bit clumsy, but it gets better and better, and the ending is absolutely fabulous. Recommended to the fans of Grace Draven, C.S. Pacat, Sherry Thomas and Maria V. Snyder. It's young adult m/m fantasy romance.

* * * 

Лорд Белого Ада был порекомендован мне после того, как я закончила Пленённый Принц, и мне жутко хотелось прочесть ещё что-нибудь на него похожее.

Это очень милое фэнтэзи, написанное в лучших традициях аниме - далёкая школа в глуши, тёмный, высокомерный главный герой, которого все боятся, и новый ученик-изобретатель, который покоряет его сердце. Книги эти мягче, романтичнее историй Пакат, и мне очень понравились.

Кирам Кир-Заки - первый Халдиим, принятый в Академию Саграда в течение нескольких столетий. Талантливый изобретатель, он намерен прославиться, несмотря на предрассудки против его народа, и его семья, знаменитая производством сладостей, щедро оплачивает его обучение.

Халдиим - интересный народ. Частично списанный с еврейских и арабских конклавов в Европе, он красочен, знаменит своими сладостями, специями и языческими нравами. Домами и бизнесом Халдиим правят женщины, а мужчины передаются из одной семьи в другой посредством брака, чтобы укрепить между ними связи. Что особо интересно, пол между партнёрами неважен. Браки могут заключаться и между однополыми партнёрами.

С другой стороны Каделеон списан с испанского общества 17-го века. Суровое, очень религиозное и непримиримое к другим религиям и особенно однополым связям. За это каделеонцам грозит тюремное заключение и даже смерть, а о правах женщин даже и говорить не стоит.

В Академии Саграда Кирам поселён в комнату Жавье Торнезал, герцога Раумы, носителя белого Ада, которого все боятся и обходят стороной. Так как Кирам - язычник и в Белый Ад не верит, то суеверия каделеонцев его не беспокоят.

Однако Жавье к его удивлению и правда обладает сильной магией, в которой Кирам узнаёт священный для Халдиим шахди - своего рода потусторонний мир. Жавье ведёт себя как хладнокровный, безучастный, язвительный подонок, но чем больше Кирам узнаёт его, тем больше он понимает, что это фасад, защита против церковников, которые постоянно его трявят и друзей и близких, которые его боятся.

Над Жавье висит родовое проклятье, которое уже убило его отца и сделало его кузена сумасшедшим. Кирам, которого всё больше и больше влечёт к Жавье, начинает помогать тому в поиске  того, как это проклятье остановить, но чем больше они узнают о зле, которое преследует род Торнезал, тем в большей опасности оба находятся.

Обе книги растягиваются между Академией и домом Кирама в конклаве Халдиим, рассказывают о двух очень различных культурах, чёрной магии и о паре молодых людей, намеренных проложить курс своих собственных судеб. Романтично, динамично и очень мило. Советую поклонникам Си.Эс.Пакат, Грэйс Дрэйвен, Шерри Томас и Марии В. Снайдер.
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