Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lord of the White Hell: Book One *Ginn Hale*

There aren't many books I consider to be epic masterpieces. When an author writes a book that will be labeled as such, and knowing that have achieved a deep emotional response from a reader, that is where they deserve a major pat on the back. This is where a reader will finish reading the last page and finally release a deep breath they have been holding inside because they have been on the edge of their seat the entire time. And, they will most likely go back and re-read it all over again.
An author who has written such a book has truly accomplished something incredible.

That book is Lord of the White Hell: Book One by Ginn Hale.

Lord of the White Hell will astound you. Ginn has written a story of wonderment that has amazing world building and not to be forgotten characters. This is an adult read with a gay romance, but also has a feel of a young adult fantasy book. The main protagonist is the seventeen-year-old Kiram, who has been given the chance of the lifetime in attending the very affluent Cadeleonian Academy. Kiram is not a Cadeleonian, but is a Haldim. Because Kiram is from a different race, he is looked down upon and is a victim of bigotry. Kiram is a very skilled as a machinist and his father is a well known candy maker. Kiram knows he won't fit in, but will try his best to excel, seeing as no full-blooded Haldim has ever been accepted into the school.

Kiram ends up being roommates with Javier Tornesal, duke of Rauma, who will also be his mentor of sorts. Javier is well respected, admired and equally feared not only because of his station in life but because he has a deadly curse living inside of him. This curse is known as the white hell, and through punishment by the hands of the school priest and deep physical and mental spiritual mediation, Javier can keep it under control.

Kiram doesn't believe all this hell nonsense because his religious beliefs are very different from the Caledonians. His is intrigued by Javier, more than he would like to admit. Javier is very handsome and gives off this vibe of entitlement and power. When the two men are first introduced, Javier does his best to seduce Kiram. Even though some of the students do have affairs at the school, it isn't acknowledged, but kept as a dirty secret. Kiram comes from a culture where men can be together out in the open, so this is a culture shock. He refuses to be one of Javier's plaything and won't be used in such a demoralizing way.

Javier keeps his distance, but is always watching Kiram as they both maneuver around the school. Kiram is the subject of some scorn from his students and a few teachers, but he finds acceptance with Javier's simple cousin Fedeles and Nestor, who is very friendly and looks up to him. Kiram and Javier eventually become close, where Javier takes on the role as Kiram's protector and guide. And because Kiram's feelings for Javier have grown, he welcomes any interaction and attention Javier throws his way.

Soon Kiram joins Javier's group, known as the Hellions, who pal around together and end up at the local brothels for some fun. Kiram doesn't like this side of the Hellions, and of Javier, who always goes along with them. He is very confused because Javier looks upon him with great desire and seems to be very jealous, especially when Kiram mentions an old lover back at home. No one else seems to be aware of the attraction these two have for each other and they can barely keep it in check.

Then Kiram's uncle comes for a visit during an annual tournament and brings warnings. He wants Kiram to leave the school and come back home for his protection. Kiram refuses because he wants to remain with Javier. After some investigation, they figure out that Javier's curse is not what it seems and perhaps someone wants to kill Javier and gain a great reward.

It's so hard to explain why Lord of the White Hell is a remarkable book. Compelling, well written, romantic and thrilling are just a few words to describe this latest by Ginn Hale. There is great balance in regards to the world Ginn has created, mainly with the relationship between Kiram and Javier. Their romance is written in such a way that those who may not be comfortable with a male/male attraction will not mind in the least. Ginn has a wonderful way of building up a connection between these two and you can't help but want them to be together.

The magical side of things is downplayed, and I really was expecting Javier's release of the white hell everyone keeps mentioning. I assume this will come more into play in the sequel (Book 2) that will be out in September. The ending will have you anxious for the next book, which is played very well on Ginn's part. *I want to read the sequel with every breath I take*

There is so much more to recommend about Lord of the White Hell. Magical and remarkable is what Ginn Hale has accomplished here. And unless another book comes along and blows my mind away, I can say with utmost certainty that Lord of the White Hell will most likely end up being my favorite book for 2010.

(You can pre-order Book 1 and Book 2 together at Blind Eyed Books)

Final Grade: A

Lord of the White Hell: Book 2 will be released on September 15th.


Tracy said...

Sounds incredible, KB and I can't wait to read it. Great review!

Kris said...

Great review, Katiebabs chook.

I'm champing at the bit for this one and have already made my order at BEB. Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Awesome review KB. :)

I cannot wait to read the 2nd book, this was such a brilliant read!!

KT Grant said...

I cannot wait to read the sequel. I bow down to Ginn.

Kris said...

Word. Ginn Hale is Teh Awesome. :)

Renee said...

After I saw you raving about it on Twitter, I had to pick it up. (I was going to read it closer to release date.) You are so right, it's a really wonderful story. I'm actually looking forward to rereading it in July so I can review it then.

I love the world, and there is so much potential to Kiram and Javier's relationship. Can't wait to see what's in store for them in book 2!

Great review, Katie!

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