Reviewed by Jenna
AUTHOR: Clare London
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
LENGTH: 451 Pages
RELEASE DATE: January 19, 2016
Maen is a Gold Warrior, an elite defender of Aza City, respected by his fellow soldiers and favored by his imperious Mistress for services both in and out of the bedchamber. His loyalty and commitment are unwavering until he recruits Dax, a captivating and challenging Bronzeman who, despite his youth and inexperience, seduces Maen with his fierce hero worship. When they’re captured by enemies of the City, Maen risks everything to save Dax: his position, his faith, and even his life. But he loses his lover to the rebels and upon his return to the City is stripped of his rank.
In Aza, where a soldier’s only lawful devotion is to the City and his Mistress’s pleasure, the disgraced Maen is placed under the watchful guard of the arrogant Gold Warrior Zander and relegated to preparing a Royal History for the new Queen. But his discoveries cast a new and shocking light on the past and threaten to stir revolution in both citizens and rebels. With the help of the lively and inquisitive scribe Kiel, Maen initiates a chain of events that will change their world forever—and offer him the chance to regain both his honor and his heart’s desire.
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2010.
This book begins with a glimpse of Maen’s life as a Gold Warrior in the Aza City, a place where the women are the rulers and men are born to serve them. Though Maen’s main function aside from being a warrior and leader is to serve his mistress, there is something missing from his life. Having a relationship is something that doesn’t happen and would be seen as selfish, but Maen slowly becomes drawn to a young Bronzeman, Dax, who challenges everything about their society and what they were taught from a young age. After being captured by exiles, Maen sees a whole new side of the world he lives in and can no longer just obey blindly and continue to take the devotions that are prescribed to every man.
I was initially hesitant about reading this book due to its length; however, I love m/m fantasy, so I took a chance on it, and I’m not sorry that I did. The sex scenes between the two MCs were hot, and the extensive world building, which flowed seamlessly, added rich texture to the story. Though I loved the first part of the book, there came a time toward the middle when I began to wonder where things were going. I think I would have liked the story more if Maen’s character was stronger, rather than a servant to his city and mistress. For a moment, I thought he’d woken up, but then he makes some decisions that made no sense to me. Instead of running off with his lover, he continues playing the loyal soldier. I imagined going off his devotions would give him more drive to take charge of his destiny, but instead he just keeps following the program without making any apparent plans to change his lot. I also couldn’t fathom how he could stay with his mistress when she so cruelly proclaims her intentions to kill Dax.
Additionally, I found Maen’s various sexual liaisons a bit tiresome. There wasn’t the same spark as when he was with Dax, so it just annoyed me to see him with other men and women, when his heart wasn’t in it. Finally, though I don’t have any problem reading M/F, I rarely run into a book I expect to be M/M that has so much M/F sex in it. Despite my issues with the characters and plot, I never lost interest in the book and I enjoyed the happy ending.