Boy's Love/Gay Romance · Fantasy · LGBTQ+ · Romance (All)

Sebastian (Family of Lies #1) by Sam Argent

You know how a backlog of shows and books exists? WELL, I have a backlog of reviews! Yes, this is the first time EVER that I have read so many books in succession and not kept up with reviews. Amazing I know



So I actually finished reading this book like 2 or 3 weeks before Change of Heart. It’s actually one of the books in the “recommended for you” section on Audible. The summary sounded interesting, the narration wasn’t that bad, and it was a fantasy gay romance (who doesn’t like magic?!). I figured I’d pick it up

Which is why I feel kind of bad writing this review because I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn’t like it enough. And I want to like all the M/M books I read!

In this story we follow Sebastian and Turren’s love life, the relationship between Sebastian and his many MANY siblings, and how the lot of them try to keep alive from an almighty wizard trying to obtain a magical artifact. Sounds interesting right? It is. But it just didn’t keep up that interesting momentum.

Some of the things that hindered it (I felt) was the large cast of characters, having the Crown Prince and the bad guy have similar names (ohh I was confused for quite a while), and having the romance be pressured. Now I’m not opposed to other characters pushing Sebastian towards the thought of being with Turren but in the book his mother practically threatened him to be nice to Turren because it would be beneficial. Everyone just seemed very pushy for quite a long time while Sebastian just didn’t seem interested. It was only when the physical aspect was mentioned (and then acted on) that Sebastian seemed to change his mind. And then everyone suddenly didn’t want the two of them together anymore…

It was a lot of tugging and pushing

I did listen to the audiobook and I have to say that the narrator did a really good job with the male voices. Once I started to remember who was who (there’s like 8 siblings or something), it was easy to follow along with just the audio. They just all had very distinct voices. It was a bit harder to distinguish the female characters so even by the end I had to wonder who they were. Part of me also wondered why there were so many siblings! Not all of them were very important (imo) and could have been compressed

What I really liked was the world. I thought the enchanted forest and Sebastian having elemental/earth magic was Awesome! Not to mention the whole hooded thing (aka He’s worn a magical hood for most of his life and the Crown Prince and everyone believes it’s because he’s hideous and has a curse). A lot of the characters are also different creatures, like Sebastian’s mother and I think one of his siblings (there was a mention of an incubus). I kind of wish we had expanded on this part of the world

I wasn’t too fond of the pacing. I’m going to assume the point of the book was the romance between Sebastian and Turren since it was brought up so many times but they didn’t really interact as much as I wanted them to. We get some of that in the middle but it was mostly raunchy tryst meets, which I didn’t mind BUT I wanted more. For a large chunk of the book the focus is on trying to hide from the antagonist and finding out what he’s after? trying to stop him? but also trying to stop the dad? I wasn’t even sure.

And that end battle…

Yeah I ended up giving this a 3 though I did consider giving it a 2.5. And just like Change of Heart, I am very tempted to check out the rest of this series for curiosity’s sake. HM, I really need to cure me of this curiosity, lol!

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Thanks for reading! Have you read this book before? Completed the series? LMK your thoughts and if I should continue it! Because I’m seriously considering it even though I just said it wasn’t my favorite M/M read



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