First of all I have to say: This book blew me away. Amazing fantasy world with a great "kind-of-gay" storyline.
Most of the fantasy books I read nowadays have a bit of magic/fantasy embedded in our real world. So it was a nice change to read about this completely fictional world/universe of Aisen. Though I had to learn quite a bit of background information I was very much intrigued by this new world. Most of all because there exist no woman. All the "men" in Ylandre are hermaphrodites. That's a motiv you hardly come by in modern literature but is presented in a fascinating way.
The story is about the blue-blood ruler of the country Ylandre, Rohyr, and a simple half-blood boy from one of the outer cities, Lassen. When Rohyr visits Lassen's hometown and sees Lassen for the first time something almost magical happens between them. Rho offers the royal help in exchange for Lassen becoming his mistress. Lassen has to get used very fast to the royal court in the capital and how to deal with his status. Meanwhile there is still the growing bond between the two lovers. But Lassens position doesn't allow for love and when it comes to the decision what is best for the country he has to make a huge sacrifice.
I loved both main characters immediately. The very young naive and gentle Lassen and the worldly majestic Rohyr which is nevertheless only a man who wants someone to take care of and being taken care of. The relationship their are bilding is described beautifully. I also like the Rho's family. The warm nature between all this cousins added to the overall story. And of course their had to be someone evil. But even the villain or maybe better villains are portrayed in a human way. A fantastic debut novel! Highly recommended.