The Gravemen - Melissa North 4 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

Hinego is an Imalt-Wor (Reds) he roams the land with his fellow warriors keeping the kings laws upheld, he is as strict in his personal life as he is with his job and he has no time for wastrels like the Blade he has been teamed up with for a mission. Asdelar is a Banam-Hin (Blade) an elite swordsman who is protection for the royals and the city, he lives life to the fullest, snatching enjoyment wherever he can and he wishes he could get the Reds to loosen up a bit. Forced to work together on a mission for the king, bothh men have to learn to accept the other and discover just what has happened to the king’s niece.

The Gravemen is a great fantasy of opposites attracting once two men get to spend time together and get under each other’s skin. We come into this story after Hinego and Asdelar are already paired up and they are on their journey, immediately you can feel the tension and frustration from Hinego because Asdelar seems to be treating their mission like a holiday. You actually agree with him as well, Hinego is experienced with the country and towns whereas Asdelar has lived his work life mainly in the palace and hasn’t a clue how to act among the masses, he cause trouble through his carelessness and refusal to listen. Asdelar also can’t open his mouth without flirting and puts poor Hinego on edge constantly… but when Asdelar turns to a new traveling companion for company Hinego can’t understand why it annoys him.

The mission part is interesting as both men are stumped as to where the kings niece has disappeared to, it doesn’t help them that she had a habit of running off, so they both have to discover if she has just run off again or if this time she has been kidnapped. Following the limited non-clues leads them to danger and they both have to work together and apart to recover the kings’ niece. Their relationship is very rocky and they just begin to warm up to each other when they are joined by another traveller who monopolises Asdelar time and drives a further wedge between Hinego and Asdelar. And it isn’t until they are both in danger that they really realise what the other has become to them. There’s some great action scenes and we also get scenes where they open up a bit to the other (large quantities of alcohol are involved) and the ending scene gives us hope for the two men.

I recommend this to those who love fantasy, an awkward warrior and a flirtatious swordsman, an interesting journey, an awkward relationship being built and a happy for now ending.