Claimed by the Horde King is Book 2 in the Horde Kings of Dakkar series, and while it can be read as a stand alone I highly recommend reading the entire series.
Book two centers around Nelle and Seerin. Nelle, our heroine, is from a human village. Though it is forbidden she is out hunting to get enough credits to have a meal for the evening. Our hero, Seerin, a Horde King of Dakkar spots her doing this and knows he must punish her. He sentences her to being whipped five times, but she only received three before he stops the punishment and takes her with him.
I really liked Nelle as a character. She had a hard and rough life, never knowing her parents, being raised by someone who didn’t truly love her, she still somehow manages to be sweet and inquisitive. Zoey Draven was able to paint a childlike sense of wonder within this character without it being creepy as it sometimes can come across. In addition to this working really well with Nelle as a character it helped me as the reader to understand more of this world the author is painting, because Nelle was asking questions I myself would ask. It helped me get answers without feeling like the author was spoon feeding it too me, and it was never an information dumb.
With Nelle’s inquisitive nature, she is a great match for Seerin, who locks down his emotions and does his best to not feel anything. He is constantly overshadowed by a sense of doubt. Doubt about his position as a Horde King, doubt about who he is as a person, and he can come across as hard. Having these vast differences between the two main characters was interesting and lead to a nice back and forth between the characters as they learned each other.
While the core plot of this book is centered around the relationship that builds between Seerin and Nelle, the way the overarching plot in the series was handled was artfully done. The plot points were incredibly subtle, but meaningful, and helped set the guidelines for what would happen in book three.
While there is a lot to praise about this book, there are two things I was not completely fond of. The first being all of the expectations that are layered upon Seerin. Seerin only had the opportunity to become a Horde King because his mother had sway over the king holding the trials. And once he gained his position, his mother held his status as Horde King higher than anything else, including his own happiness. The conflict and relationship between them, while written well, came off as more of a brother/sister relationship rather than mother/son.
My favorite thing about this book, is the bagain marriage proposal. Seerin and Nelle make a lot of bargains throughout the book. Things along the line of, “if you tell me something, I will tell you something.” This happened fairly frequently in the beginning of the book, then died off a bit as they became more comfortable with each other. To see it brought back at the end of the novel, at a pivotal point in their relationship was such a fantastic way to show how important the events that happened between them were.
Overall – I really liked this book. It had an excellent plot with really only a few minute points that I would have preferred to be different. Seerin and Nelle are an excellent couple and Zoey really makes you root for them. That being said, if you haven’t read book one, I do recommend you start there before jumping into this one.
Plot – 8/10
Characters – 10/10
Originality – 10/10
General Joy of Reading – 9/10
Overall Score – 37/40
Claimed by the Horde King – Zoey Draven
Cost* – Kindle is $3.99 Paperback is $13.99 Book is included with Kindle Unlimited
*Cost is based upon what the book cost when book review is published