Title: The Foxling Soldati
Series: Soldati Hearts: Book Two
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 119 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy
At a Glance: This author did a remarkable job of dropping us into the middle of a world and connecting us to some very relatable characters. While not an epic journey, this makes for a worthy weekend read, and will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: Foxling Toka has served the Soldati king for centuries, and now he attends to the kingdom’s cherished Soldati prince. It’s a position of honor, and as Toka helps the once-human prince adapt to their magical realm, he finds joy in their friendship. He also grows bolder in his encounters with Rayner, Soldati warrior and the king’s second. But the laws are clear: servants and Soldati are not permitted to mate. It doesn’t matter that Toka lost his heart to the dashing cad long ago.
Rayner never imagined he would fall in love with a servant, but the clever and beautiful foxling has ensnared him, and he resents the regulations keeping them apart. When an arrogant and spiteful king visits from a neighboring realm, Rayner is in danger of losing everything. But Soldati warriors don’t surrender, and he intends to fight all the harder to keep Toka where he belongs—in Rayner’s arms.
Review: The Foxling Soldati is the first book I’ve read by Charlie Cochet. The world this author created includes tiger shifters and bear shifters. Our protagonists exist in the tiger community where there are historical hierarchical lines. The Soldati are the king’s soldiers and high up the social ladder. Foxlings are born into servitude, albeit a respected and well-treated servitude. However, laws exist which prevent the two from mating. Of course, Rayner, a Soldati, and Toka, a foxling, can’t help their hearts. When the king of the bear shifter community visits, he has war in mind, and vengeance against Rayner, who disrespected and embarrassed him years ago. Nothing would please the bear shifter king more than to disgrace Rayner and to defile his foxling. This sets the stage for a story that is sweet in its emotions and fraught with tension as various characters struggle with inner demons.
What I enjoyed most about this story was the conflict each character faced. While laws have been in place for centuries, a time always comes when those laws must be questioned. This proves difficult for many characters and, as a result, we get to see the inner struggles of many lovable characters as they grapple with love, government, and the fight for a better future. While the main obstacle is the status differences between Rayner and Toka, the king also faces some difficult choices. He needs to weight the needs of the many against what he knows is the right thing to do. While doing so, as is his job, he finds himself having to choose between honoring his role or honoring his beloved prince. The choice and ensuing fallout was wonderful to read.
Other aspects of the book were also well done. The sex was moderate to hot. Definitely more emotional than physical, but the description and the love shone through. The same holds true for the violence. There are some cruel scenes which evoke strong emotion and strike a particularly vile chord, making the reader hate the antagonist even more…always a good thing in a book. The ending had me tearing up, many of the storylines converging with highly satisfying conclusions.
As a short story, this author did a remarkable job of dropping us into the middle of a world and connecting us to some very relatable characters. While not an epic journey, this makes for a worthy weekend read, and will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
You can buy The Foxling Soldati here:
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