Title: The Soldati Prince
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 97 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy
At a Glance: A wonderful blend of world building, intriguing plot, dimensional characters, and humor. I’m truly hoping this is the beginning of a series, because I want more of Riley and Khalon along with all the delightful secondary characters I came to adore during this story.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: One moment Riley Murrough is living a normal life working in a coffee shop, and the next he’s running for his life from demons, learns he bears the mark of a shape-shifter king from a magical realm, and—worst of all—he’s destined to become the mated prince to the arrogant tiger shifter he would rather strangle.
Khalon, the shifter king, is equally distraught at the idea of being bound to a human prince, and along with his Soldati warriors, he sets out to return Riley to his own world where he belongs. On their journey they might discover why the priestess brought them together—if they can escape the demons and make it to her alive.
First Edition published as The Soldati Prince in Charmed & Dangerous by JCP Books LLC, 2015.
Review: I always look forward to seeing what new and wonderful characters Charlie Cochet will come up with next. Each story I have read of hers is different, as are the characters, yet there is always that certain Charlie Cochet quality to the stories that I admire. It helps there always seems to be just the right balance of humor for me. This story was no different.
Riley is a coffee addict, outspoken and a fascinating mix of emotional strength, humor and low self-esteem. In one night, his entire life is changed when he is attacked by grotesque creatures out to murder him, and then he’s saved by warrior tigers. Sure, he thinks he is hallucinating, and maybe one of the pastries was laced with LSD, but he manages to keep his s**t together (mostly) as his world is turned upside down. Thrust into a world he never knew existed, Riley manages to navigate with his humor, caring, and refusal to back down to the arrogant King.
Khalon is an interesting dichotomy of prideful, arrogant, and compassionate. As a warrior and a king, he feels his race is superior to humans, and specially he and his circle. Despite the arrogance, he is a fair ruler and seeks to do the right thing by his people, who he truly cares for. Riley being a human brings out the worst possible reaction in the King. The Soldati King’s mate is one who is equal in strength, and a leader who is supposed to enhance the King’s powers. Riley being of slight build, quick to smile and play, couldn’t possibly be the prince Khalon is meant to rule a kingdom alongside, as he is just too weak.
The world building is phenomenal given the short nature of the story; I am always impressed when a writer can pack so much information into such a short amount of pages. In true Charlie Cochet fashion, the main characters and secondary characters are fully dimensional, and I found myself wanting to know more about what will happen with them, specifically Rayner and Toka.
I love a book with a great plot that somehow balances a more serious situation, and yet maintains a certain level of humor. The wit in this book was flawless, especially Riley with his devotion to coffee. There was just the perfect amount thrown into the characters and their interactions, making those connections more realistic and keeping me invested in each of them.
As with shorter stories like this, especially when there is a lot of world building going on, other areas sometimes suffer. In this case, though, the world building and characterization was outstanding. Riley and Khalon’s time on-page was less than I would have liked, mostly because I am greedy, and when there is romance, I have a preference to read it while it’s happening. Though I felt I got to know each of their personalities as individuals, and their attraction to each other, I didn’t feel that I really got enough time to see them explore each other and build their feelings on-page.
The Soldati Prince was a wonderful blend of world building, intriguing plot, dimensional characters, and humor. I’m truly hoping this is the beginning of a series, because I want more of Riley and Khalon along with all the delightful secondary characters I came to adore during this story.
You can buy The Soldati Prince here: