Reviewed by Dan
This is a Series Review of Wytch King Series (Books 1 – 4)
AUTHOR: Jaye McKenna
PUBLISHER: Mythe Weaver Press
I read and reviewed the first book listed below, Burn the Sky, back in 2015 here at Love Bytes. I’ve included a slightly edited version below for continuity. This is one of those series that I hoped would appear at some point. I loved the first book and wanted more, but in the course of events, got so sidetracked that I never got around to looking for them. I was delighted to find that there are now a total of four books, all of which I’ve included individual reviews for below. It is obvious that there will be at least one more, based on the ending of book four, but no spoilers! If you are a fantasy, good versus evil, heroes and villains, and most importantly dragon shifter fan, you will love this series!
TITLE: Burn the Sky
LENGTH: 195 Pages
What begins as a simple teaching assignment becomes both an affair of the heart and a life-and-death struggle. Cold-hearted Wytch Master Ilya must teach headstrong Prince Garrik how to control his dangerous Wytch power–or put him down, for the safety of all.
Prince Garrik is the Heir Presumptive of Altan, next in line to be crowned Wytch King. There’s only one problem: in order for Garrik to be crowned, he must possess Wytch power of his own, and thus far, whatever power Garrik might possess has shown no sign of awakening. As things stand, it is Garrik’s younger brother, Jaire — a dreamer completely unsuited to wear the crown — who will take the throne after their father.
Concerned about the future of his kingdom, the Wytch King demands that Garrik’s power be forcibly awakened. Hoping to protect his brother from the burden of rule, Garrik allows the attempt — with disastrous results. Now, Garrik must learn to control the fiery dragon that rages within him before he destroys everything he loves.
Wytch Master Ilya has been alone for years. Learning to control the icy beast slumbering within him has already cost him his family and his lover, and Ilya will never open himself up to that kind of pain again. Summoned to Altan to avert disaster if he can, Ilya has no intention of allowing anyone to thaw the ice in his heart. When he meets Prince Garrik, sparks fly, and Ilya finds himself fighting feelings he thought he’d buried, long ago.
Can Garrik’s fire melt Ilya’s icy heart? Or will Ilya be forced to use his ice to quench the flames that burn within Garrik once and for all?
As I said above, this was my first book by this author. I loved the characters and storyline on this one. Magic and dragons! My favorite kind of a story.
Prince Garrik is twenty years old, but his Wytch powers have never awakened. Without those powers, he will not be able to succeed his father Dane, the current Wytch King of Atlan. Even worse, if he can’t become the next Wytch King, his frail younger brother Jaire, must. Even though Garrik’s father rules his own land, the Wytch Council actually controls who is in power, and behind the scenes they’ve been carefully trying to breed out certain powers from the Wytch Kings. By ensuring the only “eligible” spouses come from families with less Wytch power, and no “unacceptable” powers, the Council maintains their power. But the Wytch Kings of Atlan have always bred true for a very unacceptable power which the Council definitely doesn’t want carried down to future generations.
King Dane has never loved, or even liked, his younger son. Garrik’s and Jaire’s mother died while giving birth to Jaire, and Dane has never made it a secret that he would rather Jaire had died at birth than his wife be taken. He believes if something happens to him, and Jaire becomes the next Wytch King that it will spell disaster for the kingdom.
King Dane comes up with a plan with Wytch Master Tevari, the Wytch Master assigned to the kingdom, who we reader’s know was Dane’s father’s lover when he was alive. Tevari will force the awakening of Garrik’s powers because of his love for Dane’s father and for Dane himself.
The awakening is disastrous when Garrik’s power turns out to be dragon shifting, that almost forgotten and forbidden power. Garrik is painfully torn apart and reforms as a huge red and gold dragon breathing fire. He is out of control, with his only thought being to “burn the sky”, he hears screams from below, but only stops when he becomes unconscious and returns to his human form. What has he done?
Only one person can help train him…or put him down if he is untrainable. Wytch Master Ilya is an ice dragon, the only one in existence. If he can’t help Garrik get his power under control, the Wytch Council has demanded he kill Garrik. The odds aren’t good…the last four members of Garrik’s family who have had dragon powers have been killed by the Council. Is there any hope for Garrik?
A gay ice dragon and gay fire dragon…can they work out their differences? Can Garrik melt Ilya’s frozen heart? Can they both survive? I loved this book.
LENGTH: 187 Pages
RELEASE DATE: April 29, 2016
When the Wytch Council assigns Kian as healer to Prince Ambris, he is sent to the isolated country estate of Blackfrost. There, Kian finds a desperate man nearing the end of his endurance, a mystery, and a chance for love.
Son of a simple blacksmith, Apprentice Wytch Kian has always known that once his apprenticeship is over, he’ll be sent far from home to serve the Wytch Council. Before his training is even complete, Wytch Master Taretha orders him to Blackfrost, an isolated country estate, where he is to serve as personal healer to Prince Ambris of Miraen.
Nothing in Kian’s experience has prepared him for what he finds at Blackfrost, and every day brings new questions. Like why is Prince Ambris being kept prisoner at Blackfrost? Where does Wytch Master Taretha take him every fortnight? And why does the prince return from these excursions suffering from horrific injuries that Kian is expected to heal?
Kian quickly learns that seeking answers to these questions could cost him his life. Worse, he soon finds himself struggling with his growing feelings for Ambris, putting him at odds with both Wytch Master Taretha and the sadistic guard captain, Malik. Can Kian unravel the mystery in time to save Ambris? Or will the prince finally succumb to madness and destroy Blackfrost and everyone in it?
If Blackfrost is anything to go by, the rest of this series is going to be as good as the first book! I really enjoyed this book.
In this current installment, we shift sideways to a character from the previous book who now takes center stage. Kian was introduced in Burn the Sky as Prince Garrik’s somewhat casual lover early in the story. Kian was there when the awakening of Garrik’s power burned down an entire forest and killed Kian’s then master. Kian was the one who went to contact Wytch Master Ilya and send him to help Garrik. It has now been three years and Kian has been studying and working on his apprenticeship under Wytch Master Ilya. The future looks bright, but he is about to be ripped from his comfortable life. Another Wytch Master, this one a Council member, shows up and demands Kian accompany her immediately. He is given little time to say goodbye to people in Altan and no time to say goodbye to his family. Lesser magic users in this world are given few choices in their personal lives…being subjected to Council demands and almost treated like servants. Kian soon finds himself three kingdoms away…sent off to the wilds to care for a man locked in an attic in a secluded, half burnt manor.
Prince Ambris is such a broken character when we meet him, and Kian finds out quite quickly that there is far more to the story. I loved the pace of the story. It moved along quickly and dragged me to end of the book before I even had a chance to blink. I had plans for this morning, which were totally ruined! Imagine…having to choose between running errands and reading a really good book, on a kind of chilly morning. (relatively…I do live in Southern Florida after all!) Obviously, the book won, without a struggle.
This one has good versus evil, dragon shifters, magic, and a HFN ending.
LENGTH: 233 Pages
RELEASE DATE: January 14, 2017
When the soon-to-be betrothed Prince Jaire of Altan meets a handsome ghost, he fears he might be losing his mind. But the ghost may hold the key to his kingdom’s future, as well as the key to Jaire’s heart.
Shy and bookish Prince Jaire of Altan is not particularly enthralled with the idea of marrying the simpering Lady Bria of Irilan, but Altan needs to renew its ties with the neighboring kingdom. For the sake of the alliance, Jaire is willing to do his duty, even if he would much rather marry a prince.
Sole survivor of the massacre now called the Irilan Rebellion, Prince Vayne of Irilan disappeared so long ago, no one even remembers his name. Trapped in the mythe to protect a secret that could change the balance of power in Skanda, Vayne has been fighting to retain his sanity for centuries.
When Jaire sees the ghost of a handsome young man dressed in fashions centuries old, he fears he might be losing his mind. But the ghost proves to be far more than a restless spirit, and might just hold the key to Altan’s future, as well as the key to Jaire’s heart.
As usual, I didn’t read the blurb before I read the book. I had no idea what the story would be about but knew from page one that it was going to be Jaire’s story. Prince Jaire is the brother of Garrik, our hero from book one who is now the Wytch King of Altan. Jaire is the underdog. He is the frailer younger brother who was despised by their father because their mother died giving birth to him.
A little background. The Kingdoms of Altan, Irilan, and others are all part of the nation…I’d guess you would say…of Skanda. Skanda is ruled by a Council that is trying desperately to keep the Wytch Kings from gaining too much power and escaping the clutches of the Council.
Jaire is now old enough to be forced into an arranged marriage and the Council of Skanda has decided that he is to marry Bria of Irilan, a woman he can tell despises him. Prince Garrik was originally the one who was to marry Bria, but the Council decreed that Garrik could never marry because of his dragonshifter abilities. Garrik of course was very happy with that because it opened the way for him to be with Ilya. But back to our current story. Bria is Garrik’s age, in her early thirties if I remember correctly, and Jaire is something like ten years her junior.
Prince Vayne was the youngest son of the former Wytch King of the neighboring Kingdom of Irilan, but his entire family was destroyed by the Council during what was termed the Irilan Rebellion nearly two hundred years previously. When the mysterious ghostly presence showed up, in the form of Prince Vayne, I was intrigued with where the author was going with this one. Let’s just say Vayne became a huge part of the story and things progressed from there. I’m not going to give any spoilers on how!
I’m loving this series. The author writes in an entertaining style and the stories move along fast. I had to force myself to put the book down and get some sleep last night, but then picked it back up at 5AM to finish it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Great job.
LENGTH: 227 Pages
RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2017
The balance of power in Skanda is about to shift…
Beautiful, broken Tristin of Ysdrach would rather hide in his dragon form than live with a Wytch power that forces him to feel the pain of the past in every object he touches. Struggling to come to terms with a future he never believed he’d have, Tristin needs a reason not to surrender to the beast within.
Without Wytch power, Prince Mikhyal of Rhiva is not qualified to be his father’s heir, but newly discovered knowledge possessed by Rhiva’s allies could change that. On their journey to a secret negotiation that could shift the balance of power in Skanda, Mikhyal and his father are attacked, and Mikhyal is left bonded to an ancient sword with a mission, an attitude, and a penchant for blackberry tarts.
Even with the distractions of a royal betrothal ceremony, an enemy striking from the shadows, and the complex negotiations of alliance and rebellion, the painfully shy Tristin still manages to catch Mikhyal’s eye. The two men barely have time to acknowledge their mutual attraction before another attempt is made to end the line of Rhiva.
Can Tristin and Mikhyal get to the bottom of the plot? Or will the Northern Alliance be torn apart before the ink on the treaty is dry?
Welcome to installment four in the author’s Wytch King series. In this installment our focus switches to Tristin of Ysdrach…another Kingdom within Skanda. We met Tristin in Shadowspire, where we learned some secrets of his background. I was really happy to see Tristin get his own story. He was so broken, suffered such abuses, and most importantly had that strange Wytch power that pretty much immobilized him. I wasn’t sure he could recover and move on.
Prince Mikhyal is the oldest son of the Wytch King of Rhiva, yet another Kingdom. Unforunately, Mikhyal’s Wytch power has never materialized, so the Council has decreed his younger brother to be the heir to the Kingdom of Rhiva.
While traveling to Altan to meet with King Garrik, Mikhyal and his father’s party are attacked by bandits, and something mysterious happens. The bandits are all killed and in place of their bodies all that remains are little piles of polished bones. Mikhyal awakens with an ancient sword in his hand, which he vaguely remembers picking up just prior to all hell breaking loose on the bandits.
And a final main character in this story…just when I think the author can’t surprise me with anything different, along comes Dirit! I love this character and I’m sure you will as well. No spoilers on who he is…but hold on to your blackberry tarts!
As I’ve said in my reviews on the other books in the series, the author has written a really enjoyable series full of HEA’s or at least HFN’s. Each book is focused on a different pair, and each builds on the previous books and the characters flow from one to the next.
It is quite obvious that this isn’t the end of the series. The ending is wide open with events moving towards the revolt of the northerners. I personally can’t wait to see where the author goes from here.
I highly recommend this one!