Title: The Oak Wood Throne
Series: San Amaro Investigations: Book Two
Author: Kai Butler
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 333 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 3.5 Stars
At a Glance: If my relationship with this book had a status, it would be: “it’s complicated.” There’s a lot to love about the world Kai Butler has imagined in this series, but the various tangents the story went off on, in addition to the limitations of the first person narration, gave me some issues.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: A new case won’t solve Parker’s old problems…
Parker Ferro needs a vacation. His boyfriend is MIA on a high profile murder investigation, the fae courts have him on call at all hours, and he’s still cleaning up the mess from his last big case. Of course that’s nothing compared to the demands of the debt he owes the spirit of San Amaro.
So when a wealthy new client contacts him to locate a stolen a fae artifact, Parker’s hoping for a simple job. That the artifact in question looks eerily similar to the one that got him involved with a notorious criminal and almost ruined his life last year has no bearing on the decision, right? Not to mention the thief’s ability to enter high security areas without a trace and a few very suspicious deaths.
As his life continues to spiral out of control, Parker has to juggle what’s most important to him: his relationship, his need for revenge or his life. Then again, no one said becoming the new Windrose would be easy.
Review: If my relationship with this book had a status, it would be: “it’s complicated.” There’s a lot to love about the world Kai Butler has imagined in this series, and anytime the fae are involved, there’s going to be the potential for a chaotic beauty that the author capitalizes on in some spectacularly descriptive ways. There are loads of similes and metaphors to draw on, for example; maybe a few too many for my taste, meaning this is a robustly detailed world where things don’t need to be “like” something we can relate to from our own world. It can simply be that thing in Parker and Nick’s world. Be that as it may, Parker, as narrator, is still feeling his way around his new job as Windrose—the mediator between all the fae realms—and Butler offers some more keen insights into his character, particularly through his thoughts about his new relationship with Nick King.
There are times Parker is inarguably an unreliable bard, especially when it comes to the way he sees himself and his ability to fulfill the role he’s inherited, but not to be outdone is the way he sees himself as likely to mess up the best thing that’s ever happened to him, which happens to be Nick himself. The series being narrated in the limited first person—which I generally love the connection of between narrator and reader—contributes to some of the issues I had with The Oak Wood Throne. Now that we’re getting deeper into the story and the character building, seeing Nick through Parker’s eyes has the distinct disadvantage of often making Nick feel like a role player for Parker’s benefit rather than an equal partner in their investigations. Parker not being what anyone might call a sharer means they discuss their latest cases (to a degree), we get a good bit of insight into the fae and their machinations, and yes, there’s some playful banter between him and Nick, but we know Nick mostly on a superficial level at this point. That’s not to say we don’t know some pertinent things about him, such as his familial ties, but I need them to talk more in order for me to get invested in their building romance, which I can see happening more now, especially since they’ve jumped the big L-word milestone.
Speaking of their respective cases, there was a lot going on in this book, some of it fabulous, some of it reading like filler before the story arrives at its dramatic climax, but the cases do end up intersecting, nonetheless, around an ancient fae artifact. Nick and Parker happen to both be searching for the same thief and killer, where again Nick, the well-above average alchemist and more-than-competent police detective, sidekicks along on Parker’s quest. To be fair, though, this being a fae matter factors into Nick’s helper role, and I did love some of the conflict he experienced on the way to him and Parker solving the riddle of the artifact and how it prompted the moving forward of their relationship.
Bottom line here is that I hope we get to know Nick even better now, and see, rather than being told about, his complex relationship with his father in action, which feels like what things might be building up to. I can’t help but think Parker meeting Nick’s dad would be more than intriguing. Honestly, I would love if we got a few chapters told from Nick’s POV when that happens, to see more of the story from his perspective. It’s doubtful that’ll happen, but still, a reader can wish.
There were something things I truly loved in The Oak Wood Throne, but enough that led the story off on tangents I didn’t find built the intrigue and interest, or thought were impactful to the overall story, to leave me feeling conflicted. And yet, I am still hooked for the next book in the series. One character in particular introduced in this storyline, Prince Talon, figures prominently into the hooking; he’s someone I’m now thoroughly infatuated with and intrigued by, and his quest is one I’m looking forward to. I hope we get to know him much better ::fingers crossed:: as Parker continues to build on the alliances he has forged.
You can buy The Oak Wood Throne here:
[zilla_button url=”https://books2read.com/The-Oak-Wood-Throne” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]