Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing Of Knights and Books and Falling in Love by Rita Rubin. I stumbled upon this one while doom-scrolling one day on Twitter and thought it looked cute. I’ve been in the mood for something cozy and adorable since I haven’t been feeling well recently, and Of Knights and Books and Falling in Love seemed like the perfect book to help me feel better.
Jayce has little memory of life before entering servitude to the Dark Lord, and no hope of ever escaping. Until he meets Alexius, the knight with a heart of gold. He offers Jayce, his enemy, a chance to break free of the Dark Lord’s clutches, and Jayce is not about to let such an opportunity pass.
When the war comes to an end, Jayce finds himself finally free, with Alexius’s help, and surrounded by a new world of opportunity. And the prospect of a new love. The more time Jayce spends with Alexius, the more he finds himself falling for this knight in shining armour.
When picking up Of Knights and Books and Falling in Love, I wanted something cozy, slice of life, adorable, and romantic. This book ended up ticking off all of those boxes and provided a bit of action and adventure, too. I loved the queer-normative world, and while the world-building was pretty basic, it was the perfect amount to let the reader understand the setting while the focus remained on the characters and relationships.
The characters were my favorite thing about Of Knights and Books and Falling in Love. The story follows Jayce after he is freed from the control of the Dark Lord. Up to that point, he had been the Dark Lord’s faithful apprentice and did terrible things, all while being controlled via a magical necklace that kept him enslaved to the Dark Lord’s will. Alexius, a noble knight trapped in the dungeons, gave Jayce the information needed to remove the necklace, and Jayce helped him escape the dungeons. I enjoyed reading Jayce’s journey of coming to terms with his guilt while also trying to understand who he wanted to become now that he was free.
The relationship between Jayce and Alexius was really adorable. They were both pining so much but never realized the other felt the same way. I loved all of the small moments between the two of them where they were just getting to know one another. Alexius was the sunshine to Jayce’s rain cloud. lol. They made such a great pairing, and their relationship was just so soft and safe.
You may be wondering how books factor into all this enough to warrant a mention in the title. Jayce loved books and ended up working at the most adorable bookshop. The shop even housed a temperamental cat and was owned by a troll, who was very particular about the care of their books. There’s plenty of other great things to be found in the pages of Of Knights and Books and Falling in Love, too. From bandits to tournaments, there’s plenty of fantasy elements to keep things interesting, but those set pieces never overpower the central story of redemption and the life-altering nature of love.
Overall, this was an adorable MM romance set in a fantasy realm. It was largely focused on the characters and their relationship, and its focus on their day to day lives was exactly what I was looking for. I actually wouldn’t have been mad at even more delightful mundanity, but I also appreciated the brevity of the work because it kept the plot from getting too bogged down. Therefore, I rate Of Knights and Books and Falling in Love 4 out of 5 stars and definitely recommend it if you are looking for a quick, cozy MM fantasy romance.
Have you read Of Knights and Books and Falling in Love? Let me know what you thought down in the comments!