Rating: 4 stars out of 5
After saving his younger brother’s child, Daemon Shar is cursed by a witch and runs far from home, a stray who will seemingly never be anything more. But destiny is hard to outrun, even for a man who is now more cat than man beneath his robes and cowl. A chance battlefield meeting between he and Ehron, a foreign lord, gives him purpose amidst the darkness of his accursed life. Soon Daemon finds that his true nature cannot be corrupted no matter the form he inhabits.
As Ehron’s consul, Daemon plots and plans to shape his new lord’s future so that he may leave it blessed when he runs away yet again. But he never counted on his soul hungering for Ehron’s brother Gareth or for his past to catch him by the tail at last.
The Servant is an excellent interpretation of an old fairytale. The world-build was extensive for such a short story. But at the same time, it allowed the reader to see the battles, the characters, and the extended periods of time in context. The story has a medieval feeling even when it’s a strong fantasy environment.
The opening scene was difficult to follow at times, especially the audio version. It took time to get used to all the characters and their voices. Plus, the story arc starts with Daemon using his real name and the servant taking part of the battle with him isn’t the one the book is named after. There are several POV changes during the story, and it was overwhelming in certain areas, and others lacked importance, but overall, every narrator added to the story.
Daemon’s and Gareth’s relationship can be considered insta-love. Gareth falls for Daemon’s qualities since he couldn’t see his true form under the robes and cowl. In Daemon’s case, he’s attracted to Gareth’s kind heart and his devotion to his brother & their family.
The story moves slow, and it’s very detailed. Everything from Daemon’s clothing to Ehron’s future is important to the romance and suspense plotlines. Like most fairytales, the ending happened quickly, and the resolution felt rush. We get a lot of information that solves all the open questions within a scene, and on the next one, we get a HEA. I wanted a little more time for Daemon’s identity to be revealed and for him to enjoy Gareth. Even so, it was a lovely tale of family and devotion.
As always, Greg Tremblay delivered an outstanding listening experience. The fluidity of the voices and the details he added to each character simply added to an already good story. He’s one of the best narrators in the MM genre.
The DWS Photography cover is a variation from the ebook version which was produced in 2011. It worked at that moment, but now, it makes the book look outdated. More than a re-invented fairytale, the picture in the cover makes it look like an old children book.
Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Length: 5 hours and 8 minutes
Published: March 18, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English