• Poisoned in Light

  • The Dragori, Book 3
  • By: Ben Alderson
  • Narrated by: Shaun Grindell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Magicks collide in the third and final installment of best-selling author Ben Alderson's m/m fantasy Dragori series.

Zacriah is imprisoned within the city of Lilioira, which is firmly under the control of Gordex. Separated from Hadrian and his allies, he tries to deal with a darkness that grows within him. A new, deadly power. Heart Magick. 

The Druid will stop at nothing to retrieve the final Dragori to complete his ultimate plan of raising his kin once again. And all it takes is one failed rescue mission to set the wheels of doom in motion. 

Time is not on the side of light. 

War brews upon the horizon.

©2019 Ben Alderson (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Poisoned in Light

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May spoil me for all other LGBT fantasy

My first foray into LGBT fantasy may well have set the tone for all others that will be hard to match. The Dragori Series by Ben Alderson is, contrary to what some may think, a fantasy series first and LGBT-friendly second. Some of the works I've sampled but never purchased read like bad fan fiction and the story was mere life support for the same-sex romances and "intimate scenes." By contrast, the Dragori Series handles such scenes rather discretely. Nothing is too overt nor described in overly flowery metaphors. And there aren't many such scenes to begin with - enough that you get the inevitable union of two lovers' growing relationship but not so much that it seems like the story is just there to support that. The story stands on its own quite nicely and weaves together to climax that is grounded in events throughout the book rather than coming out of left field. The banter between characters is a delight though Prince Hadrian's lines are often a bit cheesy. It's easy enough, however, to chalk this up to his princely training for ornate speech.

There are only two major complaints I have with the series. One is Alderson's sometimes repetitious use of certain turns of phrase such as "gifting" someone a wound or attack. As the narrator reads the book, you can almost sense when a certain phrase is going to come up and, more often than not, you're right. It sometimes makes the storytelling feel less organic and more like these phrases are favorite tricks or formulas to weave a tale.

The other issue is, once again, Shaun Grindell's narrative style. Almost every sentence is read with the same cadence and stress on certain points. He does a great job with accents, though some of more foreign ones (that is, not native to the UK), come off as light racial stereotypes since he uses known accents to voice elven characters. But, back to his very consistent cadence, this sometimes distracts from the story in that it highlights that this is not someone engaging in storytelling so much as methodically and somewhat mechanically reading words from a page. It's not terrible, but it's just annoying enough that I had to deduct one star for performance.

All in all, this is a great story with fun dialogue that handles same-sex romance in an almost fairytale fashion that is a delightful surprise compared to some books I have sampled that presented it more as fetishized titillation for straight readers. It's a series in which an LGBT reader or listener, especially gay/bi/pan males, can feel very normalized and validated by the social norms of Alderson's world.

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It’s over already?

I really enjoyed reading this trilogy, it was a fun adventure and had some really great moments. I can’t wait for Ben Anderson to develop more so he can take his stories and voice to a new level. I really think this series is fun and heartfelt.