Review: A Taste for Poison by Aleksandr Voinov #Giveaway

Posted October 14, 2014 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 8 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Taste for Poison by Aleksandr Voinov #Giveaway
A Taste for Poison

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Series: #3 Memory of Scorpions
Genres: Fantasy Romance, M/M Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on October 13, 2014
Pages: 224
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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With where things paused in the last book, I knew to be prepared for things to pick up speed and intensity right on through the end. And it most certainly did that. If last book was the rollercoaster car climbing to the top of a hill, this book was the car completing the journey down complete with tight loops and twisty turns. To complete the analogy, I’m like the little child who eagerly wants to go again.

All those things I said about Kendras in my review of the last book- about how it was a story of him coming into his own and having to make some tough choices, well yep, he did on both counts. It was exciting and heartwarming to see. His journey included triumphs, tragedies, and learning that everyone’s character is not just black or white, but many are shades of flawed, ‘sadder, but wiser’ gray including his own.


More than once he’d found himself resting on Graukar’s shoulder, the man’s arm around him, and Graukar reading to him in the light of an oil lamp. Taking the time to listen to history or poetry or strategy while in the arms of a lover was something he couldn’t have imagined just a few weeks ago, but with Graukar-with Graukar, even madness, love, treason, all became as natural as breath.

Loc. 21 Kendras, A Taste for Poison


I really don’t wish to say much in summary because I don’t want to spoil the story for others who are also eagerly awaiting this portion of Kendras and the Scorpions’ story. I’ll hit a few high points. Kendras has just learned that Adraste is capable of things that he never thought possible in the quest for an empire, but the attack on Adraste’s life has left him on edge and suspicious of everyone. Somewhere in the mountains a mysterious figure calling himself Death is rousing people to insurrection and closer to home there are plenty of backstabbers. Kendras and Graukar have a more deeper and abiding relationship that causes Kendras to worry about Adraste’s reaction on discovery particularly since he has determined that Graukar is one of those who are a danger to him. Adraste sends Kendras and the Scorpions out to deal the man Death and his followers and it is the identity of Death that really puts Kendras in a bind. It has come down to that point he has been dreading. He must choose where his loyalties lie and he must do what is right by the Scorpions.

This one was a very active and exciting plot, it was full of relationship development and passion, but it was also very character driven as well. Kendras is the narrator and it is his story as he finally grows into the true leader who is forced to make difficult choices and do things that will stay with him long after the physical act. He accepts this. He makes hard choices where choices are few or non-existent and must be very cunning to navigate the treacherous situation he is in. I enjoy how the story poses some interesting relationships for Kendras. There is of course the love-hate-understanding-wisdom through experience and so many other things he has for Adraste. Then his pure love and devotion for Graukar- oh Graukar, who wouldn’t love this man. His brotherly and kindred love for his fellow Scorpions and the cautious friendship with the Jaisani ambassador. This felt like the concluding story the way thing culminated to an ending, but I confess that I would eagerly grab up a follow-up story of Kendras and his band’s further adventures in the place they were headed for in the end.

All in all, this was fabulous and like reading a mini-epic (not sure if there is such a thing, but that’s what I’m calling it). Each component was strong as was the whole put together. This is the third part of an ongoing story that has to be read in order to really be appreciated. I recommend this series for lovers of m/m fantasy romance.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.


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About Aleksandr Voinov

Aleksandr has been published for twenty years, both in print and ebook. He has ten years’ experience as a writing coach, book doctor, and writing teacher, and until recently worked as an editor in financial services.

After co-authoring the M/M military cult classic Special Forces, Aleksandr embarked on a quest to write gritty, edgy, sometimes literary M/M and gay fiction (much of which is romance/erotica)—the only way he can use his American Literature degree these days.

He’s been published with Heyne/Random House, Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and others, and is an EPIC Awards winner and a Lambda Awards finalist.

Connect with Aleks:

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anna@herding cats&burning soup

Woots! Yay for awesome reads! mini-epic. I love that Sophia 🙂 And whew! That cover!

Sophia Rose
7 years ago

I always think of good fantasy stories as so sweeping and grand. This last of the series was really like that. So much was going on.

7 years ago

Thanks so much for the review…I need to check this one out!

Sophia Rose
7 years ago
Reply to  trix23

Yes, you do b/c they’re good. Make sure you start with Scorpion if you do decide to read them. They are really like one book in three sections.

Braine TS
7 years ago

Mini-epic sounds good, it means each aspect of the story is fleshed out, right? It’s the M/M that stops me though, I’m not acclimated to the genre yet.

Sophia Rose
7 years ago
Reply to  Braine TS

It’s very fleshed out, but it is also very much connected to the earlier books. This particular book isn’t very detailed about the physical relationship, but the first book is. I understand about having to work into new reading experiences.

AMS (Jaay) @ Reckless Indulgen

And yet another one that’s been sitting there in my TBR pile for ages… @___@;; One of these days, Imma read it. *swears it!*

Sophia Rose
7 years ago

And I’ve said that very thing so many times, Jaay. Well worth the read. Someday I’ll reread this series to experience it all again.