Figured I would write a quick review... So as the blurb says, Keel is taken by the Sarketh Empire as payment for a debt that his father took out. TheFigured I would write a quick review... So as the blurb says, Keel is taken by the Sarketh Empire as payment for a debt that his father took out. The Sarketh Empire is a matriarchal society where women are the warriors/leaders/etc. We don't really get to see much of how men fit into the society save what Keel is exposed to. Keel is taken for the Palace Harem because of his unique coloring, which makes him a bit of an oddity. He's basically a slave until he pays off his debt and in the harem he pays it off with prostitution. Clients send offers and he can pick who he wants to go with. So, there is mf relations, and since he's part of an all male harem as well there is also mm relations going on. While there is a bit of palace intrigue that laces the background plot of the book together, for the most part its about Keel's induction and acceptance into the life of a palace whore, and his individual experiences and relationships with some of the women. Every client has a bit of a kink but it doesn't go too far, more of an exploration of what gets some women/men off. He does get solid love interests (both male and female!) in this book, but not going to say any more on that because of spoilers.
As for my opinion on the book, I felt there was WAYYYY too much sex, and while it does make sense since he's in harem, it got stale fast. At about the 60% stage (on a kindle) I was just wanting for it to wrap up the plot. The book wrapped up rather well, satisfactory with a hint of question about the future, but no need for a sequel (but leaves room for one if so desired). The main character, Keel, while reluctant, seemed to entrance everyone he met... kinda unrealistic imo. As for the sex content, there are dubcon scenes and a rape scene in the book. With the division between mm and mf sex, I would say its about half and half with a few mmf or mfm scenes in there too. So if you don't like your lady bits and male bits all jumbled together, probably isn't the book for you. That being said its $0.99 on Amazon for like 400 pages and an ok read. *shrugs * :P...more
So, putting down a review since there are no others at the moment.
First off, if you pick up Book 1 in the series you will more than likely also be piSo, putting down a review since there are no others at the moment.
First off, if you pick up Book 1 in the series you will more than likely also be picking up Book 2. Book 1 doesn't end in terrible cliffhanger or anything, its just that you want to see the resolution of everything that's going on and the storyline as a whole.
Since I find the description summary of the book a little lacking, let me try and fill more in: The world is split between Lassands and Commoners, two separate races that each have their own districts/social circles/schools etc. The Lassands have strict Codes which they live by and which can supersede the laws of Commoners. They also have Micros genetically passed down which make them stronger and more agile than Commoners. There is very little mixing between the races and they each have their own cultural norms. Lassands also have a very heavily based social ranking system, with very little upward mobility (if you are one of the have-nots). Now toss in Oefir, a 15 yr old Commoner kid who makes a stupid mistake and ends up hopelessly caught up in the the prison of Lassand society.
What I hated: Alright, this a SELF published book. Let me repeat for emphasis... DEFINITELY a self published book! Its a bit rough and could use a heavy and thorough polish from an editor. Its not terrible, but it was a bit excessive, I would probably have rated the books at 4 stars each if not for it. There are the random misspelled/misplaced words, randomly substituted/wrong words (i.e. Outmost instead of Utmost), and just funky usage of grammar sometimes. Its throughout the entire book, so if you can tolerate the sample, I think its pretty much like that all the way through. To not get too in depth, I felt Book 1 was a little rougher than Book 2. But essentially to get the full story, you are paying $14 (from Amazon) in total for the two Books so if you can't stand bad editing steer clear. :)
What I liked: These books are HEFTY. Book 1 (~1100 pages) is about double the size of Book 2 (~550 pages). I devoured them! Despite its length it moves through the story fairly well. The story doesn't focus on just the three main characters but it expands out to cover around 4 different relationships at any given time. It covers both interpersonal relationships as well as navigating through the minefield that is Lassand society. I think the book REALLY shines with the character development and the relationships between them all. Its not all flowers and sunshine, the characters display a full range of emotions and there is angst up the wazoo :). However the characters all pretty much have good distinct personalities, behave pretty consistently, and GROW as individuals. They are all endearing in their own way. The author isn't afraid of abusing her characters or having them act irrationally or like jerks, I found myself cursing and rooting for them all at points. Yes there are some slow parts and some characters can't be THAT unlucky, but all in all it works. You get all the fun cultural differences that you get to explore with Oefir as well as see the utterly dysfunctional world they are living in. Books 1 and 2 span about a 5 yr time span, and while there are some time skips in odd places, the author keeps things moving well.
As warnings, since I know it doesn't come across the descriptions - you have kidnapping, rape and/or prostitution of teenagers/young adults who range from 15-21 years of age at several points through the book. A large portion is done off camera, but some are explicit. Basically in Lassand society you are either an elite, a servant, a companion (bedwarmer to an elite), or a rental (prostitute). Several of the main characters are rentals/companions... soooo you get the drift. The main characters go through torture and beatings, and have big emotional, mental, and physical scars they try to recover from, leading to some pretty dark depressed states. Its gritty in some parts, Book 1 especially.
I have to wrap this up, there are more things, some good some bad about the book. I enjoyed it despite its flaws! At least give it a shot and read the first 10% or so of the book from Amazon. The book is so long its like getting a short novella for free anyway and you can get a feel for it at least.