A Taste of Gold and Iron – Book Review

A Taste of Gold and Iron
by Alexandra Rowland

Genres: LGBTQIA Fantasy

Pub. Date: August 30,2022

Format: E-ARC via NetGalley

Synopsis from NetGalley:

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.

A Taste of Gold and Iron is a gorgeous, swoon-worthy fantasy and slow-burn romance filled with high stakes political drama, mental health representation, sibling dynamics, platonic and romantic relationships, all set in a queer normative fantasy world.

I’m not even sure were to start with this except I am still giddy having just finished this book. I immediately had to put my thoughts down so people can read them and then immediately go buy the book. I’m just in awe of the world-building, the character developments, the slowest slow burn that burned, and the way I want to live in this book please.

Fun Fact: This is the first fantasy book I can remember reading where I was even remotely interested in the coinage and economic world. It makes sense, I promise, and I wish I had the words to tell you how much I loved it and why it is so damn interesting.

Okay. Let’s start with my prince. Rowland’s portrayal of anxiety via the sweet anxious prince Kadou is utter perfection. As someone with severe anxiety, it was so refreshing to see a main character really experience the “fear-creature” that so creeps up on you and lands on your chest when you begin to spiral. And the care with with his close friend, Tadek, took with him made me cry every time.

Evemer, the bodyguard of my dreams. And not just because he is attractive as hell. His loyalty is astounding, his relationship journey with Kadou was beautiful to witness. And I want to hug this man so hard that his self esteem issues go away. He is such a wonderful character.

And between the pair of them, Kadou and Evemer took my standard of enemies to lovers and threw it out the window. In the best way. I am so glad we got both of their POVs because the idiocy and the sweetness and the pining and the tension. So. So. Good.

Aside from my two precious idiots, Tadek is the most precious and the most ridiculous. I adored him so much. I would love to see a novella or some delicious fanfic from his point of view, because oh my goodness, my man went through it. And his banter and quips are top tier.

I could seriously go on and on about this book. If you love fantasy tropes meets romance tropes that then amps them up and makes them better, get this book. If you love the exploration of all kinds of relationships, get this book. If you love political drama and high stakes investigations with breaks for pining and kissing to avert suspicious, get this book. Even if you love none of these things, please get this book.

Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley for this free copy of A Taste of Gold and Iron in exchange for a honest review.