Nearing his nineteenth birthday, Prince Zadkiel of Velazia is about to choose his wife in the traditional Royal Matchmaking Competition. The great and good of the Velazian Empire and its neighbours amass upon Empress Qloey’s palace to witness history being made and for a political summit. Eleven noble ladies (including princesses, duchesses, countesses and viscountesses) and one commoner hope to be chosen to become the next eventual Empress; while their families mingle and try to cut trade deals. It’s a hotbed of lust and power as contestants and political leaders try to come out on top. Will the RMC finally run smoothly, or will there be more scandal, secrets and sabotage for Empress Qloey and her family?
The events of Prince Zadkiel takes place some twenty years after Princess Qloey, and although attitudes within the Velazian Empire have changed towards Dwarves, there’s still very much an undercurrent of prejudice. Qloey, herself, has deep-seated resentment towards the cities of Baylor and Tildon, following the mistreatment she suffered at the hands of her own parents. With the political landscape of Velazia in deep turmoil, the RMC is ill-fated to run smoothly.
Galloway has managed to pull together a couple of sub-genres into what is essentially a fairy-tale romance. There’s the romance with each of the 12 contestants, as well as some political intrigue and a touch of mystery. It’s not quite skilful, with some of the plot feeling a little clumsy – but Prince Zadkiel is still an enjoyable read. There’s a good mix of characters; ranging from the slightly strange and oddly intense Viscountess Zendaya, to the outright mean and manipulative Princess Aaliya. Although some of the characters (including Zendaya) do end up being more of caricatures; somewhat over the top portrayals where Galloway is clearly attempting to bring in humour. I’m not entirely sure they work, with some of the behaviours becoming repetitive and bordering on ridiculous, rather than humorous. If these passages were fewer, maybe, they’d have worked.
All in all, Prince Zadkiel is an enjoyable read, and ends on a wonderful cliff-hanger. Luckily, the next part of the Royal Matchmaking Competition saga is due within the next few weeks; and I for one, can’t wait to see how it finishes.
The Royal Matchmaking Competition: Prince Zadkiel is available now on Amazon.
I reviewed Prince Zadkiel through my own volition, after purchasing it. This is my fair and honest opinion.