SueM's Reviews > The Invisible Chains - Part 2: Bonds of Fear

The Invisible Chains - Part 2 by Andrew Ashling
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Sep 18, 12

bookshelves: m-m, fantasy, abuse-assault-rape-torture, dub-con_non-con, royalty, betrayal, war, bingo-challenge, ipad-stanza
Read in September, 2012

4.5 stars
This, the second book of the Invisible Chains trilogy, is a dark traditional fantasy novel that has an M/M romance theme underlying it. There is violence, rape, incest (hinted at in this book, but was very much in evidence in the first book), political intrigue, family betrayals and backstabbing royals, all set amidst a kingdom at war with neighboring nations.

It is an intricate tale that revolves around Anaxantis, the fourth son of the reigning King, and the only son of the current Queen. It is a story that is told in both first and third person POV, as well as from multiple characters. Everything says that this shouldn't work, yet it does, and surprisingly well.

In the first book, Anaxantis, along with his older half-brother, was sent by his father to wrest control of the northern border, where rumblings of an invasion from the neighboring kingdom were growing louder. In the meantime, the King, along with his two oldest sons, are overseeing the war that has erupted in the south. When they arrived in the north, the brothers realized that their father was setting a test for them, a test that was guaranteed to fail. Through various harsh trials, Anaxantis, emerges as the sole Northern Governor and begins to take charge of the north.

Here in the second book, we start to see more of the King's plans, and what truly lies beneath them, while Anaxantis fights to prove his father wrong, as well as for his country's survival. He continues to grow in strength, but his internal battles also grow, and at times, he struggles with the burden of it all, as well as the cost of his decisions.

The supporting characters are fully fleshed out, and while some provide some much-needed comic relief (a couple of the Prince's pages in particular), many are almost as central to the story as Anaxantis, resulting in a rich tapestry of personalities, and highly complicated plot.

If you like traditional fantasy, and can handle some graphic violence, then this is a story well worth considering. I was fortunate enough to win this novel, as well as the first in the trilogy, but I'm now off to buy the third book, as I can't wait to read what happens.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Samy Rose I especially like the part: It is a story that is told in both first and third person POV, as well as from multiple characters. Everything says that this shouldn't work, yet it does, and surprisingly well.

He's a very good storyteller... from any POV.

:)


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