Friday, October 23, 2020

Lacuna by N.R. Walker Release Blitz

Chosen by Fate. Together by Heart. Lacuna by N.R. Walker  Now Available.

A boychild swathed in green, a distinct tree-shaped birthmark on his wrist. A girlchild enveloped in red, marked with the three lines of the desert winds. A boy bundled in white, the koi mark on his wrist as defined as his shock of red hair. And a boychild wrapped in black, a raven his mark to serve his fate.

~ ~ ~

Twenty-five years ago, the hand of fate marked four newborns and sent them to the four corners of the Great Kingdoms. They were schooled and trained as rulers of their lands in preparation for the Golden Eclipse ceremony: a festival to celebrate a thousand years of peace and prosperity since the Great War.

Crow, ruler of Northlands, a skilled swordsman and expert tactician, is as reclusive and stoic as the mountains that surround him.

Tancho has spent his life in strict discipline, governing the Westlands with a fair mind and gentle hand. Quiet and unassuming, yet lethal in combat, he is the embodiment of the waters he lives by.

Yet the same hand of fate unknowingly linked Tancho to Crow in ways they cannot comprehend. Ruled by the stars, the brother sun and the two sister moons above them, and marked by an alchemical sorcery as old as time, their destinies were never their own.

As the eclipse draws near and the festival begins, word comes of another threat. Invaders from unknown lands bring a war no one was prepared for, and Crow and Tancho must decide on which side of the battle line they stand.

In life or death, their destinies will see them joined either way.


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Lacuna by N.R. Walker

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Lacuna is an intriguing MM fantasy standalone from N.R. Walker.

The monarchs of four directional kingdoms are summoned to the center of their land for a celestial event that only happens every thousand years. Each destined ruler was marked with the element from their kingdom at birth, signifying they were to lead.

A unique setup within a fantasy realm, placing all the key players in direct contact with one another within the first few chapters. Evil is afoot, something far more important than a celestial celebration. All four rulers are a week's horse ride away from their kingdoms, leery of one another after decades of education within their time of peace, because long ago the kingdoms were at war with one another.

Told in dual narration, Crow in the Northlands, with his blackbird mark, and Tancho in the Westlands, with his koi mark. The marks of their birth burning in communication with them, the urgency increasing the closer they get to the center. Is it the proximity to the eclipse or something else?

The pages flew by for me in the beginning, as I was immersed in a new fantasy realm, curious to see how Crow and Tancho would be drawn together. Then the angsty deliciousness hit. A gift or a curse? Crow and Tancho were tied together in a way that was somewhat comical because of the frustration and discomfort they were both experiencing.

As a lover of slow-burn, the tension between the pair was entertaining, their banter and issues kept the pages turning. The bro energy was high with their personal sidekicks, adding a humorous bent as their nearest and dearest found delight in taunting their betters.

I won't dive deeply into the world building, the complexity of the fantasy plot, or the magic mechanics, simply because that is something that unfolds as the story itself.

While I was entertained in the beginning third, where I was annoyed when I had other things I had to do when all I wanted to do is sit down and read, there was a wall I hit after that.

The redundancy wall.

While this is common in this genre, I'm not sure I understand why it exists. It's the SSDD syndrome. Where the story stalls, the characters go adventuring. As a lover of fantasy novels, shows, video games, and movies, I understand this for what it is. The lull before the storm where we wait for something to happen, anything to happen, gathering small crumbs of information.

At some point, the cast of characters begin a wash-repeat series of pretty much the same events for days on end, all of it written on the page, not necessarily in detail though. If the journey is seven days, we go through the same series of baths and meals and sleeps seven times. They travel from the center to the other four directions, which means we experience similar scenes in the West, North, East, and South.

This phenomenon slows the pacing, becomes redundant with the same inane actions. Interest wanes. While there are humorous or emotional moments tucked in during these dry moments, the pacing is jarring.

Lacuna started in a steady pace upward, stalled to a crawl in the middle for more than half of the novel. The climax was rapid, to where if you accidentally skipped a page it would be over. I just wish the pacing would have been leveled out throughout the novel, because the climax happened so quickly there wasn't enough time for this reader to truly digest what was happening, enough time to feel any emotions for the characters.

Do I recommend Lacuna? Absolutely, especially to fantasy fans. Honestly, I think this would be a good novel for those who have never read MM before. The connection between Crow and Tancho was written in a way that was beyond organic, the slow-building tension realistic, with the heat level on the lower side into fade-to-black territory. It would be a good starting place for a new reader to dip their toes into the MM genre, where they would no doubt be swimming into the deep end in no time.



Author Bio

N.R. WALKER is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things... but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since...

Connect with N.R.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
N.R’s Readers’ Facebook Group


Hosted by

Eliza Rae

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Lacuna by N.R. Walker to read and review for this tour.

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