Genre: Adult fiction, Romance, Fantasy
Published May 22nd 2012
Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the truthful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.
Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.
For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…
"This was Vere, voluptuous and decadent, country of honeyed poison."
Those looking for a deep plot that stems beyond relationships and builds a spectacular world, this is not the book you’re looking for. Above is how the world is introduced to us, in beautiful, but small constructs of what could be considered to be world building. It does, however, paint a lovely backdrop. Picture a romanesque setting, slaves, rivaling kingdoms, beautiful fetes and riches galore. A king is slain in Akielos, the heir removed from the picture and presumed dead by his loyal subjects, except the bastard brother knowingly places the heir, Damianos, in a slave trade to a neighboring and unrestful kingdom of Vere.
Understandably disgruntled he’s faced with the frigid stare of none other than the Prince of Vere, Laurent. It is clear from the start that the tension between these two will only mount throughout the book and it does, but it also develops into much more than contempt.
That being said the character development is exquisite and enough to make up for the small world it takes place in. In this tale, it focuses on relationships and the construction of society. In that, it bases its world on political intrigue, courtier etiquette, and slave tier dynamics. We primarily see how the two Prince’s grow to become more. This, in a non-romantic fashion, was executed splendidly to create deep relationships.
"He was not inclined to believe that cruelty delivered with one hand was redeemed by a caress from the other..."
The closer to the end we can see things begin to slowly shift within the Laurent and Damen dynamic, which sets up for a rather pleasing ending and a beginning to the next novel, Prince’s Gambit.
Fair warning to those with tender sensibilities, this is an adult piece of work with triggers involving rape, underage sex with pre-teens, it spares no details with grotesque scenes to set the mood.
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