“A sizzling romance that had me on the edge of my seat! Kadou and Evemer are compelling and their world is full of delightful intrigue. Themes of fealty, forgiveness, and the true value of things make this an unforgettable adventure.”
— Katie Elms, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI
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“A delicious tangle of romance, fealty, and dangerous politics.”—Tasha Suri
The Goblin Emperor meets "Magnificent Century" in Alexandra Rowland's A Taste of Gold and Iron, where a queer central romance unfolds in a fantasy world reminiscent of the Ottoman Empire.
Kadou, the shy prince of Arasht, finds himself at odds with one of the most powerful ambassadors at court—the body-father of the queen's new child—in an altercation which results in his humiliation.
To prove his loyalty to the queen, his sister, Kadou takes responsibility for the investigation of a break-in at one of their guilds, with the help of his newly appointed bodyguard, the coldly handsome Evemer, who seems to tolerate him at best. In Arasht, where princes can touch-taste precious metals with their fingers and myth runs side by side with history, counterfeiting is heresy, and the conspiracy they discover could cripple the kingdom’s financial standing and bring about its ruin.
“Rowland delivers a breathtakingly intimate narrative in this gorgeous fantasy, in which the political intrigue of a kingdom serves as backdrop to a romance between the softest of hearts. . . . In exploring what monarchs owe their people, and what individuals owe each other, this achingly tender fantasy wows.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A beautifully detailed world, the power to touch-taste metal, political schemes, and a slow-burn romance wrap together in a lush fantasy. Rowland's latest continues to showcase their captivating prose, immersive details, and complicated characters."—Library Journal (starred review)
“The matriarchal defaults and three-gender system present in Arasti society place the novel squarely among the ranks of contemporary queer fantasy... An engaging fantasy/romance set in a large, lush, and inclusive world.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Beautifully detailed world, the power to touch-taste metal, political schemes, and a slow-burn romance wrap together in a lush fantasy. VERDICT Rowland's (A Choir of Lies) latest continues to showcase their captivating prose, immersive details, and complicated characters."—Library Journal (starred review)
"This slow-burn romantic fantasy with a heavy dose of political intrigue is rich in world-building and emotional angst.... A queernormative fantasy world."—BuzzfeedNews
“A delicious tangle of romance, fealty, and dangerous politics.”—Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne
“I loved spending time with Kadou. A Taste of Gold and Iron is a beautiful love story with a warm, genuine, and hugely relatable portrayal of living with anxiety at its center, and I rooted for the main character all the way.”—Everina Maxwell, author of Winter's Orbit
“Witty, clever, and often extremely funny, Rowland’s tale of a prince who doesn’t want power but has it anyway—and must survive all the risks that brings with it—somehow manages to be both soft and hard-edged, clever and kind. And sexy! Very much that too.”—Jenn Lyons, author of The Ruin of Kings
“A Taste of Gold and Iron is a slow-burn romance flush with sexy, complicated relationships and founded on the ethics of duty and love. As indulgent and satisfying as your favorite fanfiction.”—Tessa Gratton, author of The Queens of Innis Lear
"Drama, intense politics, and sexual tension . . . . Witty . . . While it is a romantic fantasy novel, it’s also a political thriller, heist, and family saga at once. More importantly, as with any good romantic novel, I was shaking the book asking when the characters would kiss already. It was well worth the wait when they finally did.”—Locus
“Kadou's coping with anxiety and personal growth are a joy to watch as he fully embraces his talents and comes out of his shell with the help of Evemer, his bodyguard. The slow-burn romance between them is beautifully done and adds a thrilling element to the story that readers will savor.”—Booklist
“For readers who enjoy forced proximity and bodyguard romances, A Taste of Gold and Iron offers both, wrapped in a delightful package of espionage and royal duty.... Rowland also impresses in their nuanced depiction of anxiety.”—Bookpage
"Strikes the perfect balance of political intrigue and romance. . . . A beautiful, compelling navigation of power and consent, loyalty and love, trust and hope.”—Shelf Awareness