Title: The Second Mango [Mangoverse #1]
Author: Shira Glassman
Kisses: 4 Kisses
Queen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she’s also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she’s the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody think she’s faking. When she meets Rivka, an athletic and assertive warrior from the north who wears a mask and pretends to be a man, she finds the source of strength she needs so desperately.
Unfortunately for her, Rivka is straight, but that’s okay—Shulamit needs a surrogate big sister just as much as she needs a girlfriend. Especially if the warrior’s willing to take her around the kingdom on the back of her dragon in search of other women who might be open to same-sex romance. The real world outside the palace is full of adventure, however, and the search for a royal girlfriend quickly turns into a rescue mission when they discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I liked this story to begin with. However, now that I’ve read the first three books, I find that I rather like the series. The series is mostly about the queen and what she gets up to in solving the crimes, but it also deals with issues found in our society today: LGBTQ acceptance, feminism, bigotry, crime, greed, politics, and a person being true to themselves.
If you read this series, do not expect your “typical” romance, rather this is what I’d call high fantasy with the main characters being in relationships (either with each other or not) that follow the full spectrum of human sexuality. Don’t give it a miss just because you prefer to read about particular types of relationships.
A good story with interesting characters. And the fact the society practices something similar to the Jewish faith adds an intriguing element (not having much experience with the religion, I couldn’t say how similar it is). The author has obviously thought very carefully about all aspects of the story, and it shows.
This is definitely one of those series’ that, while you might not get the huge highs and lows you do with some books, would be a shame to miss it.
Reviewed By: Alison