*~*~* REVIEW OF THE EXPANDED EDITION *~*~*
2.75 stars rounded up
I admit that I don't remember much of the original story although I did rate it higher than this one. So I'm going to focus on what I feel about this one, and it will not be influenced by the shorter story. Unfortunately The High King's Golden Tongue didn't work well for me. I was a bit lost with the intricacy of the politics, kingdom and court affairs, as well as various characters thrown my way. Or maybe ... I just didn't care enough.
In terms of characters, I liked Allen a bit better than Sarrica though -- when Allen said "I refuse to subject myself to that sort of treatment every time he is in a snit about something, and it seems to me that where I am concerned the snit is permanent. There are plenty of other people I can marry, kingdoms I can assist, without being treated like a punishment", I wanted to shout "YOU GO, ALLEN!" ... I guess I was really impressed with Allen when he showed the High King and the High Commander that he wasn't just a weak songbird.
Unfortunately, I felt distant with the romance since Sarrica and Allen were pretty much apart for the first half, without any delicious sexual tension between them that could at least make me root for Sarrica and Allen to be together. The part with Allen and Rene didn't help the case too, even if it was short, and it helped pushed the plot forward since Allen was caught when he traveled with Rene and Sarrica realized that his High Consort Presumptive might be dead. I guess maybe I was expecting more relationship moments between the two, or at least them learning about each other earlier than it was written here, and felt rather disappointed that I didn't get it.
Having said that, I might be checking out Lesto's story because I liked him enough. I mean, someone who didn't mind being insulted fifty times a week should be interesting, right? *LOL* Also because I have read this one, I might be able to adjust my expectation of the series.
PS: background, off-hand mention of MPREG!! *shudders* I totally NOT liking that particular trope; hope it will stay on the background.