Lord of the White Hell, Book 1 (Lord of the White Hell #1)
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.
Normally, I’m hard pressed to find well written gay fantasy novels, but Ginn Hale’s are always well written. She only writes a combination of the two tropes but so far, I have yet to be disappointed in any of her novels. Lord of the White hell opens with Kiram arriving at the Sagrada academy, a very prestigious school where he is the first Haldiim ever to be admitted. Kiram is brilliant and from a very wealthy family, but the Haldiim are looked down upon and their religion barely tolerated. The fact that the Haldiim religion allows same-sex marriage whereas the cadeleinian religion condemns it is another black mark against the Haldiim.
Kiram has no compunction about being attracted to his own sex but conceals this at the academy where it is unacceptable. Javier as his senior takes him under his wing and integrates him into his group. At first Kiram is hesitant about Javier’s overtures of friendship, but gradually succumbs. Javier is a Duke on who’s bloodline, there seems to be a curse. Kiram and Javier also discover a secret about Javier that will change the course of his life and his beliefs. Kiram and Javier are attracted to each other and though they fall in love, both have reservations and issues, not the least of which is that as a Cadeleonian, Javier is forbidden such a relationship.
The world building is solid and on a need to know basis, and the characters truly bring the book to life. The Hellions, the group which Javier leads and Kiram becomes a part of, has colourful characters with diverse personalities.Its the first book in the series which is broken into duologies, so the story of Kiram and Javier continues to a second book.
This book deserves 4.5/5 stars
P.S. – I try to leave my reviews as spoiler free as possible for those who have’nt read the novel, but if you want to know something, you’re welcome to ask me.