Fantasy/ MM Romance
Expected publication: May 2nd 2015 by Riptide Publishing
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Synopsis On Goodreads:
As an elite Sacrati fighter in the mighty Torian military, Theos is blessed with a city full of women who want to bear his children, and a barracks full of men proud to fight at his side and share his bed. He has everything he needs—until he captures Finnvid on a raid.
Finnvid is on a secret mission to prevent the Torian invasion of his homeland Elkat. Being enslaved by Torian soldiers wasn’t in his plans. Neither is his horrified fascination with the casual promiscuity of the Sacrati warriors. Men should not lie with other men—and he should not be so intrigued when they do. He definitely should not be most intrigued by the leader of the soldiers who captured him and plan to invade his home.
For Theos, everything would have been easier if the infuriating, lying, bewildering Elkati had never come into his life, but he can’t stay away. When betrayal and treachery threaten both their nations, they must work together to stop a war that could destroy their homes forever—even as they begin to question everything they’re fighting for.
RATING: 3 stars
*** REVIEW ***
First of all, I have to agree with others about the cover which is not exactly inviting, even though I see its connection to the story now that I've finished the book and I'm definitely glad it's different from those usual "six pack" covers (which started to get on my nerves recently.) But, the cover aside, there are two main reasons why I requested this book:
- I've recently read Mark Of Cain By K. Sherwood and loved the story and her writing style, so there was no question whether I'll read this one.
- The synopsis reminded me a little on Captive Prince by S. U. Pacat and Scorpion By Aleksandr Voinov which are one of my favorite mm books from this genre, so I kept my fingers crossed for this book to be another winner.
Unfortunately, I wasn't exactly impressed with the story after reading the first 100 pages. Why is that? Well, the main reason is the building of the fantasy world which was poor in my opinion. I wasn't feeling the story and to be honest- up until that point this was a 2 stars read for me, but then *something* major happens and since that twist the story turned from disappointing to unputdownable.
The book is written from two points of views- Theos' and Finnvid's who are its main characters. At first glance these two characters couldn't be more different from each other. They were raised in totally opposite worlds- Theos being the fierce, rough and fearless Sacrati warrior of the Torian society and Finnvid being the pampered prince of the Elkati society who can count the number of times he held a sword in his hands. After the initial indifference for their story they started to slowly win my affection. Their enemies-to-lovers type of relationship was lighter on drama and rich on sweet and emotional moments which I really liked.
The portrayal of the characters and their interactions were the strong points of this book for me, the fantasy not so much. I wanted to find out more about the politics and culture of both societies, especially about the Elkati, because the author seemed more focused on Torians. I found the information we got about the structure of their society to some degree interesting and to some degree silly. To get some better picture about the plot, here's what the author said:
"I wanted to explore the idea of homosexuality as a behaviour rather than an identity, but I also wanted to look at how that concept might affect female relationships as well.
So that was where I started. And then as I wrote, as usual, everything became about the individual characters. Theos and Finnvid, both so stubborn, both so flawed... both so much fun to write."
The story was action-packed and suspenseful with some steam in-between. I would have preferred if the author had paid the same amount of attention to the building of the fantasy world as she did when it comes to the characters and the romance. I found the building of the fantasy world not interesting enough and lacking, especially when I compare it to my favorite mm fantasy books listed above. That's why 3 stars.