Title: Family of Lies: Sebastian
Author: Sam Argent
Narrator: Cornell Collins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 10 hours and 4 minutes
At a Glance: An unexpected and brilliant story with an intriguing plot and filled with humor. Not just a romance but a book about relationships, of all sorts, resulting in all kinds of good feelings!
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Sebastian Orwell did the only thing a smart wizard could do when he stumbled upon the wounded Crown Prince: he healed him and dumped him in a tavern where he could continue not being Sebastian’s problem. Unfortunately, the prince isn’t content with being alive, and he hunts Sebastian down to thank him personally. Not only is Sebastian stuck with the prince’s unwanted affections, he’s also confronted by growing evidence linking the assassination attempt to someone from his father’s past.
Lord Orwell is a lot of things: thief, liar, drunk, and all around horrible father, but Sebastian knows he’s no murderer. In order to prove it, Sebastian has to keep the prince alive long enough to discover the truth—a task made considerably harder because the idiot prince prefers wooing Sebastian over securing his own survival. On top of everything, Sebastian needs to save the day without revealing his magical powers and the real reason he hides his appearance.
Sebastian had no intention of playing the hero, but whoever is stirring up shit in his country will pay for destroying his quiet life
Review: Wow, just… wow. What an unexpected treat this was for me. This book was filled with magic, worry, intrigue, witty dialogue, laughter and all around, a good time!
If you couldn’t tell from the blurb, though there are serious aspects of this book, it is written with a heavy dose of humor. This book is set in a fantasy world were mages and magic are the norm, and in this world there are trolls, incubus, fey and a whole host of creatures of myth.
Sebastian Orwell is a bit of a loner, and definitely doesn’t want recognition for saving The Idiot Prince from an assassination attempt. Sebastian keeps people (other than close friends and family) at a distance. And there is that little bit how no one, other than those close to him, has seen his face thanks to an enchanted cloak. For reasons. Let’s just say he’s got secrets, big ones. Even The Idiot Prince who is dead set on winning his heart hasn’t seen his face. There are multiple assassination attempts made which start us off on the adventure. We learn who the villain is fairly early on, so the plot is more about what the next step is going to be for said villain and trying to unravel what exactly Lord Orwell’s (Sebastian’s father) involvement in the assassination attempts and what he’s hiding. Through the book we watch Sebastian and Turren’s relationship unfold while their families are both right there to drive them bonkers during the process.
I absolutely adored Sebastian and his internal dialogue. He was blunt, sarcastic and grumpy and didn’t take crap – not even from royalty. After you meet his family (and boy, has he got a big one) you learn about why. Though he is blunt and harsh, he is also a softy with a good heart, who just wants to follow his dreams of one day owning his book store and leading a somewhat normal life—out of the spotlight. And then you have Prince Turren (aka The Idiot Prince). He was a perfect counterpart for Sebastian. Relentless in his pursuit of Sebastian, not taking any of Sebastian’s crap and obstacles he threw out to remain distant, all the while remaining good natured with whatever is thrown in his direction.
This story was more than just the romance, though. In fact, I would say the romance was only one part of the entire delicious pie that was served up. For me it was a book about relationships. Outside of the whole prince courting a (sort of) unwilling Sebastian, we also get a hefty dose of Sebastian’s large family with all their different personalities, bickering and general shenanigans. Turren’s family has a different dynamic altogether, and it was interesting when the two families interacted with each other.
All the characters were flawed, dysfunctional and absolutely amazing. They drove each other nuts and, listening to Cornell Collins narrate the crazy, I got a front row ticket to the fun. It was like I could picture myself sitting there with a bucket of popcorn, watching the hilarity happen in front of me. Their banter was priceless.
Narration: The narration was wonderful. I love Mr. Collins’ voice and how he gave slight inflections to differentiate between all the characters. In a book with so many secondary characters with ongoing dialogue, it is absolutely necessary. Sadly, there are only so many different voices possible when you have the amount of characters this book has—seriously it was at least twenty, maybe more—so some of them ended up sounding similar to one another, and when all the siblings were together it wasn’t always easy to know who was talking unless it was specifically stated. But overall, given the amount of characters, I feel he did a splendid job.
Overall, I totally recommend this book to someone who is looking for a fun audio experience. If you are someone who needs the book to focus solely on the protagonists and their relationship, with very little on page time from secondary characters, this book may not be for you. For me? It was a highly enjoyable experience and an unexpected treat that left me smiling from ear to ear.
You can buy Family of Lies: Sebastian here: