Jennifer Lavoie's Reviews > Slave Eternal

Slave Eternal by Nasia Maksima
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Dec 31, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: ebooks, gay, historical, fantasy, the-novel-approach-reviews

Reviewed for The Novel Approach Reviews.

I don’t even know where to start with this review. Part of me wants to start swearing like a drunken pirate about how amazing it is. Another part of me wants to do the Kermit happy dance and start flailing around madly. This book had everything I could have wanted and more. So much more.

First, I think it’s only fair that I give you some warnings. This book has a lot of content that might upset readers, and not necessarily in a good way. It’s a violent book. There is a LOT of blood and death. That said it is an historical fantasy novel about gladiators, so that should be a given. There’s also a lot of dubious consent. The characters seem like they’re enjoying it at times, but there are moments when they aren’t. So just a word of caution if that’s a trigger for you.

Other than that, this book…oh this book. I loved the show Spartacus and fell in love with Agron and Nasir. This book isn’t like that, don’t get me wrong, but because of my love for them I needed to read Slave Eternal. And now I love Hektor and Lucan. They are incredible characters. Both are vastly different and their depths are astounding. The world Nasia Maksima crafted in this book is unlike any other I’ve read. It’s an interesting mixture of history and fantasy that blends seamlessly to create a believable world where gladiators fight at the whim of their blind Empress.

The fantasy element of this novel comes from slavecraft and a mark called the Ebon, which binds a person to their master. Once the Ebon is initiated, the slave must do whatever their master bids, even if in their heart they know what’s happening and don’t want to. Legend has it that only true love can defeat the Ebon, but can it? Stratos—the villain—certainly doesn’t think so, and based on occurrences before the novel it doesn’t seem like it either.

There are no fluffy moments in this book. Sure, there is romance, but the reality of the world is harsh and brutal. These are men trained to—as the author puts it—fight and fuck. They either kill their opponents in the arena or they face them in the Claim the next morning, where they have sex with them. It might sound strange, but for the mythology of the world, it works. In order to grow stronger, they believe that they seed of the stronger opponent being shared with the loser makes the defeated gladiator stronger. So there’s your dubious consent, but it’s not exploitative at all. It works. Perfectly.

I should also make a note about the sex. If you’re a reader who likes just one or two sex scenes per book, then this is not for you. If you don’t like descriptive sex, then this is not for you. The sex these men have is not written with purple prose disguising their act. Nope. It’s brutal and honest, just as the men are. It’s hard to make me blush, but I blushed through a lot of these scenes. And while there is a lot of sex, it actually pushed the story forward. Finding that in this genre can be difficult, but Maksima did it masterfully.

I could go on for days about this book. It’s my last read of 2014 and man did I hit a winner with it. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series because I know whatever happens, it will be done with a skilled hand.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
December 31, 2014 – Shelved
December 31, 2014 – Shelved as: ebooks
December 31, 2014 – Shelved as: gay
December 31, 2014 – Shelved as: historical
December 31, 2014 – Shelved as: fantasy
December 31, 2014 – Shelved as: the-novel-approach-reviews
December 31, 2014 – Finished Reading

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