Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
With a final sigh of satisfaction, he ran his hand over the smooth surface and placed the bowl on the ground. His small act of creation was in no way comparable to what the gods had achieved, but it still gave him satisfaction and a sense of pleasure.
Andreas lost his father to a kryptes when he was a small child, and his mother to illness just four years ago. Now he lives alone, toiling the land he lives on with only the company of the animals and the occasional neighbor.
Being a helot, certain rules apply – like not being inside after the sun sets. Darkness brings kryptes, young warriors who are given permission to slay the helots. It’s dangerous, and one night, Andreas barely escapes.
But that kryptes enters his home, takes his food… and out of need for something more, friendship – a companion, Andreas begins to leave food, an offering to the kryptes.
As the days go on, Andreas boldness grows, and one day, he invites the kryptes in, and Theron isn’t quite like the bloodthirsty stories he’s heard, like the kryptes who slaughtered his father.
But a man loving a man is forbidden in Sparta, not to mention a helot and a kryptes are as different in status as one can get. But some things are just impossible to resist.
He’d thought the warrior fearless, but maybe there were things even a warrior had to fear.
Kayla Jameth does a superb job of bringing the ancient world of warriors, slaves, and gods to life. It is clear from the very beginning that a great deal of research went into this book, and that’s very deliberately laid out for the reader.
Some may find it difficult to get through the different words, but a glossary at the end proves to be most helpful and a great reference point throughout the book – and for a history geek like me, just plain fun to read anyways.
I really enjoyed the setting and the characters, but I think I wanted to see even more of Theron’s personality. I got a very good grasp of Andreas, but not quite so with Theron. I missed hearing more about his warrior instincts that were literally beat into him. On that same line of characters, I so loved the personality given to Ictis and Pan.
Still, I had some problems. Around the 40% mark or so, it began to drag, and drag, and drag some more. It became monotonous to me. Their internal battles felt like they were repeated a bit too much, and I was ready to move on, and then when we did, I felt like I just kept getting more of Andreas and his daily activities, which is fine, but it just wasn’t very… lively. Even when Theron initially gets sick, things didn’t really pick up for me, except when Apollo became involved. (Speaking of Apollo, I loved the element that the Gods brought to this. It was a bit fantasy, but treated as real – as it is real in this place in time. It was really nice.)
I was waiting for something more to happen, and I kept waiting, and it never did. This story is incomplete, a cliffhanger in my eyes. It sort of just stops and leaves a lot of questions and things unexplored. For example, Andreas never tells Theron about what happened to his father, which I felt was pretty important.
This is listed as a series, but it ended almost more like a serial fiction to me. I checked the authors site and it mentioned that the next book follows not only Andreas and Theron but also Coridan, and I really hope it isn’t made into a threesome. It’d just muddle a perfectly complicated relationship that the story is just beginning to depict.
But nevertheless, I look forward to seeing their journey continue, and I am hoping for a bit more action in the upcoming books. We’ve got a very solid foundation of how their lives are, now I’m hoping to see things take off and the plot grow.
The cover art by Catt Ford is fitting. The red cloak is a signature in the story and for kryptes in general, so I’m glad that it is depicted here. I just wonder if the men on the cover appear a bit too old for Theron and Andreas.
ebook, 210 pages
Published December 8th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
seriesSpartan Love #1, Apollo’s Men #2