This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Fantasy Romance, M/M Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on December 12, 2011
I have been on a high fantasy romance kick lately and have been trying out new to me authors in the process. I was attracted to this one based on the genre and the blurb. This story was absolutely breathtaking in its scope of world-building, plot and characters. Rachel Haimowitz is a talented author that grabbed my attention from the beginning and kept it to the end (I’ll try to forgive her for ending on a cliff-hanger that had me scrambling for book two since book two was in print already and I didn’t need to wait).
Elfkind and Mankind are in a three-pronged conflict that also involves a darker group or creatures who make up the no-man’s land sort of place in between. There is much mistrust and hatred from centuries’ long fighting. Elfkind and mankind alike are dying off. Elfkind because they’re not as proliferate in producing and mankind because they are being slaughtered by the darken group.
Across into human lands the elf Ayden must go to rescue his sister who is on the verge of being taken by humans. His efforts only land him into slavery to a human prince. The prince is nothing like Ayden expected, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a hated human who has enslaved him and forces him to do his bidding by using Ayden’s beloved sister as leverage.
Freyrik takes one look at the beautiful elven male and wants him while at the same time he knows he must use him to help save Freyrik’s people from extinction. Freyrik sets out to win the elf’s regard, but he is fighting a battle against the elf’s hatred and the hatred of his own people who would like nothing more than either killing the elf or stripping him of his power and selling him into slavery.
Ayden and Freywik slowly come to terms as they go through many things together. But in the end is all they have accomplished and overcome for nothing in the face of blind hatred and fear?
This story offered it all when it comes to what I enjoy about fantasy. There was the creative world that the characters inhabit, there was the dangerous threat to existence along with the need to get past ignorance and fear regarding perception of others, and there was the intense build to a strong, passionate romance.
The plot and world-building were fantastic, but for me it was the characters that made this story truly sing. I could read about Ayden and Freywik for a long time without tiring of them because they are just that well written. Other characters tended to be distant seconds or even more minor just because these guys were huge scene-stealers. I adored Ayden’s sister and I truly wanted bad things to happen to Ayden’s petty, scheming sister in law that I just loved to hate. I so want her to get hers.
Now off I go to find out what happens next. Highly recommend this tale of m/m fantasy romance.
Thank you to Net Galley for providing the copy for review purposes.