The Plated Prisoner Series by Raven Kennedy
October 16, 2020
Reviewed by Jen
Soo….this series isn’t complete yet and there’s one helluva cliff hanger on book three. The fourth book is being released sometime in 2022. The horror of not having a date is killing me.
This series is all over BookTok and I finally decided to see what the hubbub was about. It has all my normal Kindle crack of fae, magic, unique kingdoms, evil kings and queens, sexy times, terrible communication issues and WTF moments. Of course I loved it!
Should you choose to read this series, know that there are some serious trigger warnings to be considered. We have rape, pedophilia, grooming and some Stockholm syndrome. I personally like a good dark unreal romance with questionably immoral heroes.
The series is a creative take on the tale of King Midas and how everything he touches turns to gold. It centers around Auren, who is King Midas’s favored. Favored what you might ask? Saddle. As in the one person above all else, he likes to “ride” and no one else can touch. Auren is golden. Her skin, her clothing, her hair…all of her is touched by gold. Midas and Auren met when she was just a teenager; I think maybe 15. He rescued her from a life of sex work and a nasty pimp. She was just a kid, she would steal and beg for coin, but once she turned 15, she was moved into sex work. Auren led a horrible life and was grateful for Midas’s protection.
In this particular world, to rule a kingdom, the King or Queen must have magical powers. Midas touts his power to change things to gold and nabs himself a Queen who is powerless and needs him and his magic to maintain her station. As a King, he can have a stable of saddles, women and men that he has sex with whenever and wherever he likes. In Midas’s stable, they appear to participate voluntarily and it’s just like any other job. Auren gets special status. She is in debt to him, she believes he loves her, he calls her “precious” (a little too Lord of the Rings for me…but whatever…) and keeps her in a cage. A huge sprawling cage in his castle. He gives here clothing, food, nice things and makes her watch him F the other saddles. The book starts with a literal BANG.
The other saddles don’t like Auren. They’re jealous of her favored status. Auren doesn’t like to watch Midas and his orgies, but she’s also normalized it to a great extent. Midas’s Queen also dislikes Auren for the same reasons. She’s jealous and just a mean cold person in general. There’s no love lost between Midas and his Queen.
Midas is calculating and cruel. Through a series of moves, he becomes ruler of another kingdom and goes off to take over the people and castle. He sends for the saddles, not his wife the Queen, I mean how can he survive without them? On the long icy frozen tundra of a journey to the new kingdom, the caravan is attacked. From there we’re introduced to terrible snow pirates, a King who can rot the world and people to death and new players in the court of royal intrigue.
This series was addicting for me. Not a great literary work by any means…just so crazy, unique and disturbing that I couldn’t put it down. The snow pirates travel in boats through mountains of snow pulled by magical huge cat creatures. The King of Rot can walk on earth and make everything die beneath is feet. The idea of calling a person a saddle is so repugnant. Auren evolves throughout the entire series into a strong woman with her own power that rivals everyone else. I had a suspicion about some of the characters and it played out delightfully as I had hoped! This is a very slow burn, lots of action, great dialogue, horrible people you will love to hate and I found myself one-clicking in the early hours of the morning to get to the next book ASAP.