Book Review (SERIES): Inheritance of Hunger

I wrote the reviews as a unit after I read the whole series – which has a fairly amazingly strong story for what is normally expected in the beloved smut-centric erotic genre of reverse harem. The first story focuses on the princess coming-of-age and discovering her protected little world was VERY Protected and VERY Little. The second book focuses on the princess in-training learning about the REAL world and how she can RULE instead of be protected. Third book focuses on the princess graduating that title and taking her rightful place. Supported throughout the process by her friends, agents, and harem. Basically a typical royal becoming a crown story, with lots of sex.

Inheritance of Hunger series by Kathryn Moon

  1. The Queen’s Line
  2. The Princess’s Chosen
  3. The Kingdom’s Crown

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The Kingdom of Kimmery is broken…

Bryony, Princess of Kimmery, has a secret. She lacks the Hunger, the magical and passionate craving that is responsible for Kimmery’s prosperity. Without that power, she will lose the crown and the chance to rule the kingdom she sincerely loves.

The Queen’s Line must select Chosen to satiate their Hunger with and Bryony’s Choosing ceremony has arrived. On her first night with her newly assembled men—a prince, an ambassador, a stablehand, a sculptor, and a rogue—her own secret, and the secrets of Kimmery, spill out between them.

North of Kimmery’s capitol, the people are starving. When her truth is revealed to her iron-hearted grandmother, Bryony invents a plan to buy time. She and her Chosen will go to the desolate Winter palace where she can pretend to explore her Hunger while investigating the kingdom’s failings.

Bryony is determined to take Kimmery and its people back into a golden age, and keep her crown. As passions rise with her chosen so do the obstacles and adversaries they face. Kimmery’s prosperity isn’t the only thing Bryony misunderstood, and the Hunger is more than what it appears.


The first book starts slow – with the princess being forced to choose her harem. Being of the Queen’s Line, she is expected to have the HUNGER – a magic gift which has helped the Queens to rule in the past – but the Hunger must be fed by sex … a lot of sex. Hence the harem. Problem is Bryony hasn’t exhibited any signs of the Hunger; book boyfriends is all she wants. Forced to choose a harem, she judges the covers of the men paraded before her by what was between the covers of her favorite books.

Then the night after the choosing, these random men pull back the covers over her own eyes about what is happening in her mother’s queendom. Not sure whether to believe those she just met or her lifetime of hand-picked tutors, she decides to look into things herself.

And discovers far more than she expected, about herself, her men, and the Hunger.


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The battle for Kimmery is brewing…

The peace Princess Bryony and her Chosen enjoyed in the north is broken, disturbed by the arrival of her family to the Winter Palace. Camellia is crueler than Bryony ever imagined, and her grandmother’s faith is hard won. Nothing will come easily, not even with her men at her side, their affections growing deeper.

When Bryony’s most reluctant Chosen, Aric – King of Thieves, learns of her Hunger, it all fractures. There is more to the magic of the queen’s line than anyone imagined, and Bryony is losing the grip on her own control.

As the weather turns colder, obstacles rise from every direction, even from within the Winter Palace’s own residents. Bryony must master her magic and her passions in order to protect herself and her Chosen from the enemies that circle closer every day. If she falls, so will Kimmery.


The second book has the King of Thieves, and whimsical Beautiful Fantasy Description, and amazing world-building, and magic, and politics, and county fairs, and so many wonderful fantasy tropes in between the reverse harem action – which is a true masterpiece of the genre showing what each man brings to Bryony’s royal needs besides keeping the Hunger fed. I feel in love with each of her men in turn (but, shh, don’t tell her – she is the jealous type).

Now that Bryony has found her Hunger and broken out of her safe protected lie-fed royal cage, can she survive the Winter Palace and the political shadows cast by the Council?


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The path to power never did run smooth…

Princess Bryony and her Chosen have been challenged, threatened, and attacked, but it’s news from the capital that lands the hardest blow.

Bryony’s greatest ally is at risk, and if she loses her grandmother’s support she may lose the crown as well. Returning to the capital introduces new enemies and dangers, as well as painful memories. Her grandmother is dying, her sister is feasting on flesh and wasting magic in the shadows, and the Queen is hiding from the ugly truths of Kimmery.

With her patience at its end and her Chosen gathered close, it’s time for Bryony to break the grip the council has on the kingdom, forge new alliances, and learn the depth of her own magic.

The kingdom’s crown will be hers, even if claiming it comes with painful sacrifice.


In the last book, which blew me out-of-the-water with the execution scene, Bryony discovers her grandmother – the true ruler of the queendom, at least as far as her Council will let her be – has fallen ill since she started actually ruling … sus much? Bryony takes her harem back to where her true royal education all started and hopes she has learned enough to survive.

But with the Council fighting to retain every scrap of power, the royal mages equally determined to keep how the Hunger really works under wraps, the shifters rising in revolution, unsteady maternal support from the official queen, and a sister who wants the succession enough to already arrange one assassin attempt of her own sibling, can Bryony survive? Especially with the Hunger’s bottomless pit being a constant distraction, no matter how much she loves her Chosen and the sex that feed the Hunger.

All her enemies need is for her to make one mistake. Little does the princess know she made it months ago.

Flash: The Ancient Vitz Tree 2

Photo by Ivan Diaz on Unsplash

With fruit juices running down his face, Sharles joined Damonia in the shade of one of the Vitz tree’s children. She curled her hand around the watch, tucking it into her skirts. He collapsed backwards onto the moss and leaves.”That is the best fruit ever.”

Damonia nodded, then realized he had his eyes closed for daydreaming, she stammered a nonsense reply, “So juicy.”

“I know, right?” Sharles rolled over on his side to smile at her, opening his bark brown eyes. “The mix of sweet and sour is perfect, a bite of bitter when you get to the core. I’m not going to eat ever again.” He ran his tongue around his face, getting the last of the sticky juices.

Damonia laughed at his antics. “Until the Vitz day feast is served at sunset.”

“There is that.” Rolling back on his back, he rubbed his flat stomach. “I feel full right now. Not stuffed, just satisfied. No cravings for squirrel or snap-vines. No cravings, wants, or wishes.”

Sharles had been a well without bottom since he started shooting up three winters ago, going from the shortest in their age group to taller than most of the adults in the village and he was still growing. Damonia was one of the people shoving food at him, smuggling in extra snap-vines from her forest walks with the herbal women. The limited communal dinners portioned out by the Imman Priests from the capital would have left him skin and bones. Some days Damonia was grateful for her small stature, though most days she envied the clown’s stretched height.

“What about a kiss from Quessing?”

Sharles head snapped sideways. “Shh. She’ll hear you.”

“Nah, she is stuck on the child side of the tree for another year.” Damonia rubbed a thumb over the leaves engraved along the edges of the watch. “Sucks for you. No more kisses until she is fruited.”

Her friend leaned his head back. “Thirteen months. Then we can get married.”

“Oh, you asked?” The new adult raised her eyebrows.

A blush took both of Sharles cheeks. “Yes,” he muttered quietly, “last week when the Priests left after harvest with the taxes.”

Robins dropped into their shade joining them, the slight shine of eaten fruit decorating her cheeks. “What happened last week?”

“Sharles and Quessing promised.” Damonia reported.

Standing over his sister draped against the raised roots of the Vitz, Hickory nodded at Sharles. “Congratulations.” His right hand stroked the green-handle of the leaf-engraved machete he received five years ago from the Ancient Vitz Tree, something he kept hidden from the priests. He always looked lost during the farming season, his hand reaching for the empty space on his belt, just as lost as Council Froszen and Minister Grey did when they hid their Vitz gifts.

The modern Imman religion brought in when the Empire annexed the Forest Realm thirty years ago did not approve of alternative gods, especially trees treated as gods. Only the magic stored within the Vtiz fruit held their hand from burning the milimum old orchard to the ground. Instead they sent out soldiers, because the priesthood and the army were one and the same to the Holy Emperor and his Sacred Governor Heirs, to watch over the towns with Vitz tree groves, and every single fruit harvested from those groves were transported to the Forest Realm’s capital and then sent out to the wizard enclaves of the Empire.

Silly soldiers thought the Vitz trees were limited to seasons like normal trees, but the Ancient mothers only heeded the cycle of seasons when they wanted to. Even the decades old Vitz tree the new adults were sheltering under could drop a fruit into Damonia’s lap if she asked it to, one or two nut brown fruits hiding among the leaves above them waiting for a need could be brought to bright green and gold ripeness in an instant.

Hickory’s eyes narrowed as he observed the collapsed new adults throughout the town, many visiting from the nearby villages for the Elder tree ceremony, and her careful braced sitting against the tree. “Damonia?” his voice rose in a question.

Her eyes snapped up. He observed her clean face. “Did you …” Hickory cut his words short at the fear in her eyes. Is that what he looked like holding the machete two years ago? He had seen a small round object land in her hands and assumed she was going to have a normal life. Healthier than most thanks to the Ancient’s gift of a golden fruit, but normal.

Only two others in the town had special fruit, nearly twenty years apart. The Mayor’s rope and Council’s cane served them well over the decades. Hickory had learned there were others, but the gifts come with questions and quests, and the quests they went on … well, few returned. Loners usually, rarely missed by the grove. A seed sent out to protect the forest.

But the two of them, Damonia and him, getting their gifts so close together was practically unheard of. She was the more quiet of the two of them, but still, he wouldn’t characterize her as a loner.

He walked over to her and reached out his arm to her. “Come on.”

She stared at it like it was a snake-thorn vine, and she was debating how to puck the leaves safely. Sighing, she grasped it and let him pull her up.

Standing close together, he looked down at the diminutive adult. “Show me.” he whispered.

She opened her hand to reveal a beautiful watch, their bodies hiding the artifact from anyone nearby.

Metal. Like his gift. That means a quest. Always.

He hadn’t felt the need to leave. He hadn’t had a direction. According to the histories the gifted adults kept, the drive to go on a quest could take years to arrive. He hoped to stretch that out to never; he wasn’t the change-the-world type. Now, with this, he knew better. Because Damonia could change the world if she put her mind to it. She just needed someone at her back.

“Ungood,” he muttered.

“I know,” she responded, “and it’s vibrating now. I think it’s time.”

(words 1,031, first published 3/4/2023)

The Ancient Vitz Tree Series
The Ancient Vitz Tree (4/26/2020)
The Ancient Vitz Tree 2 (2/5/2023)

Flash: Meadowbrook

Photo by Eddie Kopp on Unsplash

Walking hurt, but her tattered wings weren’t up to supporting her weight, so on she trudged. Meadowbrook winced, promising herself she could rest when she reached the end of the blight. There had to be somewhere, anywhere, green still lived. Her eyes too dry to cry and water the endless dirt which used to be the grass of her meadow.

(words 60; first published 3/4/2023, from a FB visual prompt for a writing group I belong to – aiming for 50 words)

Flash: Different Horizons

Photo by Thomas Despeyroux on Unsplash

I woke to the ground shaking, well, the tree shaking. Per my standard operating procedure since transporting to this fucking fantasy shithole. Not sure if it is a planet, the ships masts don’t disappear over the horizon, at least they didn’t the one time I made it to a sea town which, let me tell you, freaked me the hell out.

Don’t know what this crazy place is gonna throw at me next, house brownies aiding the guesthouses and the requirements of their magical union twisted my stomach in knots after nearly two hours of explanation of what “everyone just knows, are you sure you never learned this, how slow are you?” from a well-meaning but angry by the end cutie-pie, so I returned to my sniper days and sleep in trees. Not as comfortable at fifty-two as at twenty-two, but liveable, in that I have survived so far. Those house brownies have a fucking shit-ton of teeth of the meat-eater variety. Survived for fourteen days and counting.

Word of advice. If a glowing blue circle appears, do NOT touch it just because anything has got to be better than a COVID hellscape.

The shaking was a dragon. An honest-to-god orange-skinned dragon, sparkling in the early morning sun. The meadow I bivouacked beside and above had deer during last night’s, and now this morning’s, twilight hours. Now, it has one less. The crunch of large bones made me want to press my back against the tree trunk.

Dragons are vision hunters. Like raptors in flight. Movement is their focus.

Don’t move. Don’t breathe. Don’t blink.

…. And after eating the fucker likes to take a nap. Of course, it does. Yep. That is my luck now. I need my morning piss urgently.

(Words 292, first published 9/14/2022 – from a picture prompt for a Facebook writing group. Aim is about 50 words)

Book Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon


A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction–but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.



Read for a book club.
Not my normal reading fare – Fantasy close-to-epic version. The story follows four (well-chosen) POVs; I love the differences in age, gender, and sexual orientation among them. Ms. Shannon has a good range of motivations, and no one is completely good or evil.

My problem with the story is agency. There is none. But that is typical of epic fantasy. While there is no prediction driving the characters to their fates, the unseen hand giving them help is overt: needing a way to cross a desert, the character will run across a horse without a name but with a saddle (not exactly, but, yeah stuff like that). By midway, you know no one is going to actually fail – the fates just aren’t going to allow that to happen. The characters seem to make choices, but they always lead to the right results – no true dark-night-of-soul here. I love happy endings, but I want the characters to work for it. They do some work, but mostly it is in the hands of fate moving the pieces on the board.

Speaking of endings, the book delivers totally during the climax battle – beautiful and brilliant. Plus has a delicious falling action tying up what will happen with the surviving characters – giving a reader a vision into each of their futures – the challenges they will face and the triumphs they might enjoy. Very well-done.

For the main characters, a pleasant read. If you like fantasy, a great story.