I first heard about this many years ago shortly after it was initially released, and finally picked it up about two years ago to read. I loved it from...moreI first heard about this many years ago shortly after it was initially released, and finally picked it up about two years ago to read. I loved it from the start, but life is full of distractions, so I ended up setting it aside only to pick it up again about a week ago. I'm so glad I did. The world is incredibly rich, and heavily based on historical fact, while winding a subtle magic and mythology through the world we know that feels as though it belongs.
Phedre's story is intriguing, and she is everything I love in a character. Smart, strong, and able to stand on her own, despite (or really because of) the people she loves. Too, the story does not shy from non-traditional pairings; two secondary pairings are of the same-sex variety, though Phedre spends most of her time with men. Still, she services both men and women in her trade, and never seems to differentiate between either.
The darker aspects of the story, and particularly Phedre's world, are excellently wrought in the way only someone who truly comprehends the needs of those who enjoy BDSM. Her need for it echos in her path as she finds herself lost in plots not of her own making.
The characters are lovely and memorable. Despite having a two-year gap between readings, I still was able to remember most with ease, and those I did not slotted quickly into place after a bit more description.
Carey is a master of this art, and I very much look forward to reading the sequels. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy, historical, and even darker sexual stories, particularly those interested in BDSM, as this is not a common theme to find in a genre story of this sort, or caliber.(less)
I've been meaning to read this story since Cecilia Tan began to post it, so when I found a link to it the other day and remembered it was finally fini...moreI've been meaning to read this story since Cecilia Tan began to post it, so when I found a link to it the other day and remembered it was finally finished, I started reading. By the time I'd gotten a couple chapters in, I was kicking myself for not reading sooner, but also glad I'd waited until Tan had finished posting it, because some of the cliffhangers were enough to have me biting my nails. If and when I get the chance, I will definitely be sending money her way to encourage her to write more like this, because I loved it.
I read both volumes straight through in about three days, give or take, and I couldn't stop reading, even when I was supposed to be working on my own story.
The world itself is rich and well thought-out, and the characters are extremely well-written. Each has their own voice, and their own journey that adds to the overall story quite well.
The two main characters, Kenet and Jorin, make you feel for them and empathize with them in such a way that no matter what happens, you want them to succeed.
I definitely need to read this again sometime, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys m/m fiction and fantasy worlds.(less)
I've been going through a phase the past few weeks where I've been scouring online for any good free fiction to read, and this was one of the ones tha...moreI've been going through a phase the past few weeks where I've been scouring online for any good free fiction to read, and this was one of the ones that I found that I did more than glance at. By the time I'd finished the second chapter, I was hooked. The author's grasp of characters and setting are amazing, and she really makes you care about these characters.
Slyvan and his master are both very unique characters. Finding m/m fiction is difficult enough. Finding m/m fiction with true BDSM elements that aren't rape fantasies are even more difficult. But this story goes even further in creating a real situation with characters whose dilemmas are real and imperfect and she makes you feel for them.
I would say I am amazed that this hasn't been published, but as you can see, this isn't the sort of story that you see a lot of. Whether that be because publishers don't want to take a chance on these subjects, or because the author feels uncomfortable about sharing them and doesn't think she could sell them--whatever the reason, I can see why this one would be a hard sell. But I hope it does, someday, because if anything there needs to be more like this out there.
Definitely the best of the stories I've read, and some have been quite good, so that is saying a lot.(less)