I like EA but her books tend to be all over the spectrum. Some are great, some are horrible, some are just ok. I’m never sure where a particular book will end up but I keep trying since I do like the author. For TKC, the fantasy concept is decent, but the execution leaves something to be desired. The magic healing of sex makes the story kind of ridiculous and completely over the top. I can appreciate some outrageous antics for the sake of humor or the story, this is just so ridiculous I kept rolling my eyes and wanting to throw the book. When the characters have to have sex to save them over and over and over again, the story just becomes so silly you can’t enjoy it.
Elias is a prince of kingdom of magic users. He has inherent magic but it hasn’t manifested yet and Elias is left feeling he may be the only one without any magic at all. His life completely changes when their castle is besieged by a neighboring kingdom, trying to kill all magic users. Elias is saved by Thrain, the second son of the ruler who wants to use Elias to kill his brother and father. Elias isn’t sure he agrees with Thrain’s revenge but when Elias’ magic manifests so hotly that only sexual pleasure can tame it; the two have no choice but to trust each other.
The story at the heart is basically one of royal intrigue. Thrain is the second son of an evil, totally unscrupulous father and equally dastardly brother. Thrain wants to kill the two in revenge and rule his country justly. Elias is supposed to be the tool of Thrain’s revenge if he can just control his newfound magic. Although this is one tried and true historical/fantasy theme, Til Kingdom Come doesn’t go off the rails until it adds the sexual element. Seeing as Thrain is Elias’ captor and he initially rapes Elias there is built in tension about how Elias will come to fall for Thrain and get over his anger.
Unfortunately that is really easy since Elias’ magic is controlled and tempered by sex. Sex with Thrain specifically. Whenever Elias practices his magic, he has to be connected with Thrain in some way. Whether Thrain is jerking Elias off, giving a blowjob or screwing Elias, the sexual pleasure given controls the magic. The greater the pleasure, the deeper the sex, the bigger the orgasm, the less the magic will take over and go wild. So you can imagine there is a ton of sex, a ton of “practicing magic” and so on that has to take place. Plus this sets up the more pressing tension between the men in whether they’re together for mutual benefit or true love.
The plot is over the top sure but the execution is what really makes this silly. The repeated sex scenes with the healing power of a blowjob are just so ridiculous that you can’t take it seriously anymore. Also this creates so many easy resolutions and ways to prolong the tension it’s just frustrating. The characters contradict themselves constantly as well. Elias will acknowledge that Thrain cares for him, seems to love him, and genuinely wants him but then in the next instant will flip and decide Thrain is of course only using him and doesn’t care about him at all. This back and forth is tiring and has no real basis in actions or thoughts. It feels entirely manufactured.
Additionally there are the traditionally super evil villains that are obvious and boring with no nuance or subtly. There is the big magical dragon that only speaks in short sentences and riddles for no real reason. The riddles aren’t even that difficult to figure out yet the two main characters act like they have no clue what the clearly laid out meaning is. There is no real reason for the dragon to speak in riddles either, considering it’s his life they’re trying to save but apparently dragons can only speak in obvious riddles.
Really this is just a silly book that has an over the top plot but the execution does it no favors. Maybe fans of the author won’t mind the healing power of sex concept but Anderson has much better offerings in her back list. Skip this one since not even the fantasy setting is really worthwhile.