AUTHOR: Becca Abbott
PUBLISHER: SL Publishing Group
LENGTH: 528 Pages
Human-like, but not human, the nara ruled Tanyrin for centuries. The most feared among them were their naragi, sorcerers whose power was all but invincible. Not until the coming of Arami Lothlain, King of Tanyrin and Blessed of Loth, did the rein of the nara come to a bloody end. For four hundred years afterwards, the land was at peace.
Stefn Eldering was the youngest son of the Earl of Shia, the last in a long, proud line of demon hunters. He was also a sin-catcher, living proof of God’s displeasure, the shame of his existence atonement for the sins of his ancestors. Michael Arranz was the son of a duke and one of the despised h’naran, half-bloods cursed with the blood of the nara running through their veins. Of all the h’nara, his family alone was immune from the persecution of the powerful Church of Loth, protected by an ancient covenant.
In ordinary times, the paths of Michael and Stefn would never have crossed. Alas, times were no longer ordinary. The latest of the Lothlain kings was a weakling, unable to curb the ambitions of an increasingly powerful, corrupt clergy. Famine stalked the land. Fear of the h’nara, fanned by the Church, spread tentacles everywhere. Tanyrin teetered on the edge of chaos.
A loyal and devoted friend to Tanyrin’s crown prince, Michael could refuse Severyn Lothlain nothing, not even when Severyn asked the unspeakable of him. Determined to wrest the throne from his brother, Severyn intended nothing less than the resurrection of the ancient naragi. Michael, whose naran blood was the purest in Tanyrin, was the logical choice. But for Michael become what mankind feared most, he needed a conduit through which to take the powerful, dangerous magic of the Dark Stream. He needed a man who carried the ancient blood of the cethera.
He needed Stefn Eldering.
Complex plot with a love affair so fragile, that around every turn, I was imagining it would break. This story follows the principle; you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Though Michael and Stefn are natural enemies, Michael takes Stefn as his Cethe at the insistence of Michael’s best friend, Prince Severyn. Stefn has been conditioned all his life to hate h’naran as lowly and horrid spell casters. Whereas Michael knows Stefn’s family is notorious for their repression and extermination of his people. With Stefn’s initial use of hate slurs toward Michael, its doubtful they’ll ever come together. Since a cethe is supposed to be a slave; a body from which a naragi finds his power, this shouldn’t be a problem, but over time, Stefn becomes much more than that to Michael. I was surprised at the expanse of time that lapses in this book, but since the plot encompasses a slow takeover by Prince Severyn, it makes sense for a long period of time to pass in order for all the pieces to come together. Although the characters are involved in the political maneuvering for the coup, the focus is still on the impossible love affair between Michael and Stefn. In addition to the romance, the sex scenes in this book are extraordinary. If there’s ever a sequel, I’ll be more than happy to reread this book.
RATING: Crazy about it!
DARK ARTS ELEMENTS:
Captive, Dark Erotica, Dark M/M Fantasy, Dub-con, Enemies to Lovers, Forced Prostitution, Humiliation, Kidnapping, Non-con, POV of Aggressor, POV of Victim, sex ritual, Slave, Taboo