By Megan Derr
Available now from Less Than Three Press
When this book popped up on Netgalley, I was intrigued by the main character's job. You don't see many military engineers in fantasy or romance. And let me tell you, THE ENGINEERED THRONE delivers on that promise. Vellem's career is quite important to both the plot and his own decisions. The book will certainly make you think about the importance of having someone around battles who can take bridges down, put bridges up, plan a demolition, and such.
The other point of interest was arranged marriage. Let's face it, during the holidays I want to read fun books. Arranged marriages are a classic trope. Vellem is a war hero, which makes him high profile enough to marry the youngest prince of a neighboring country in order to seal a peace treaty. However, he might not get to marry Perdith, because someone is trying their hardest to assassinate Vellem.
Despite being 312 pages, I felt that some parts of the story were glossed over. Vellem starts a dangerous journey, then the book cuts to him arriving at his destination. Vellem and Perdith are at first uncomfortable and unsure whether to trust each other, then they're totally into each other. Other parts worked better. There is a core of grief and rage to THE ENGINEERED THRONE that works very well. If you pay attention to the title and blurb of the book, it is easy to guess what's coming. But the book works to make it painful, not just a rote plot point.
I enjoyed THE ENGINEERED THRONE quite a bit. It was a quick read with lots of action and a touch of romance. Vellem was an interesting character to spend time with - excellent at his chosen profession, but a bit at sea elsewhere. It was fun to see him earn a happy ending.