Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Khy has been held prisoner for years, drugged, bound with a collar around his neck that keeps him from using his leythe energy, and forced to serve Master Rikard. Treated like a slave during the day and enduring agony at night as his power is ripped from him for Rikard’s nefarious use, Khy has little memory of any other life. Until one day his master is called away on urgent business, and Khy is left alone. When the drugs wear off, he makes a break for freedom while he can.
He meets Jaedin, a former ranger who is still mourning the loss of his beloved Talon five years after his death, in the town of Rosefire. When Jaedin steps in to help Khy, he finds himself haunted by voices and in an attempt to rid himself of them, sets off in search of Khy thinking he has cursed him.
This was written from a photo and prompt for the Love’s Landscapes series of DRitC. The author did an absolutely amazing job with incorporating the prompt and the photo so truly perfectly into the story that was written. I initially read this story (which is second in a series) before having read the first book. I enjoyed it then, but this past week I went back and read it after reading book one, and it came to life much fuller and more completely since I now had a background on Varien and Tor.
The world building in this series is excellent, and all of the characters are well drawn. I cared about them and what would happen to them immediately. Plenty of angst (this author’s guys tend to go through the wringer a bit, which I love!) Totally rooting for Khy to have a HEA although the whole thing with Jaedin near the start did piss me off while at the same time I found it interesting. This story is tagged as non-con, but its a different take on the non-con trope. Almost a reversal. I won’t spoil that by explaining, but give it a read and see.
So back to the world building. There are so many elements of this series that I find pretty damn cool about its world, well, I mean in addition to the magic and the hot long-haired guys, of course. * The Fireskye, made me think of the Northern Lights (which have always fascinated me)! Only even more cool. * The Black? Is it death? Hell? Both? Something else. * The leythe itself and how it runs through what is turning into quite a complex history. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting Tor and Ash from book one. And while I loved the new guys (especially Jaedin), I am still most drawn to Ashnavayarian, I hope he continues to appear in this series as I find him quite fascinating as he grows and changes—which he’s done a lot of from book one to this story! And I loved the little bits of him and Tor’s continuing relationship that peek through in this near the end.
An engrossing fantasy with magic, angst, and a fascinating world. I highly recommend this, but must say I think you might enjoy it even more if you read Human Frailties, Human Strengths first. I know I did.
The cover by Cinchbug is nicely representative of the story.
Sales Links: Free here at Goodreads M/M Romance Group
ebook, 141 pages
Published June 7th 2014 by M/M Romance Group @ Goodreads
series: Guardians of the Leythe #2.0, Love’s Landscapes, Don’t Read in the Closet Events , more
characters: Jaedin (Human Choices), Khy (Human Choices), Ashnavayarian “Ash/Varian”, Tor MacAran