Author: Mychael Black
Publisher: Samhain Publishing July 2013
Rating: B+ : Cher
Blurb: Winning this battle requires a faith stronger than steel…
Secrets of Socendor, Book 2
Legends tell of a dragon-forged weapon so powerful, it possesses the ability to traverse time itself. Knowing the havoc it could wreak, the dragons sealed it deep beneath the mountains.
No one was meant to find it, let alone wield it.
General Kalen Ysindroc, leader of the human king’s armies and the long-lost son of Socendor’s most feared wizard-king of old, is in a race against time. His half brother, Braen, is searching for the sword as a means to return their father from the grave. Kalen must not let that happen. Joined by his elven lover, wizard Micheil Thierauf, he sets out on a journey beneath the mountains to stop Braen from doing the unthinkable.
As secrets come to light that test Kalen’s faith in every way possible, including his trust in the man he’s loved nearly all his life, the right path is as clouded as the murky, dragon-blood-tainted waters of the Ebon Sea. And Kalen is forced to make a decision that could very well be his last.
Review: A great fantasy adventure series full of magic, sex, love, adventure, sex, mysteries to be solved, betrayal, sex, a hidden past that comes with new family, sex, swordfighting and dragon fighting, sex, obsession, sex, evil, greed, elves, royalty, sex. I really like these books. There is a lot of sex, this doesn’t bother me in the least, but it has to be said. The sex is well written and both of the men are gorgeous. Together they are dirty, devoted, in love, and sizzling hot. They are both such warriors and strategists that the open affection and desire they show is beautiful to see.
I say these books because this is the second in the series and you must read the first book, The Lost Son, for you to have any hope of avoiding the sense that you are always missing something. You are, because they are not stand alone, while the author does make explanatory references to events in the first book and give brief explanations there are too many things happening and the story too short for a complete rehash of the first book. This one takes off where the first book ended and keeps a strong pace. There was never a dull moment and many of the moments were filled with fighting and adventuring and lots of loving.
We are dealing with an established couple who have been in love for a long time. Kalen has loved Micheil for most of his life and they are such an interesting couple. Extremely devoted and in love, and in this book, freer in expressing that deep love in more than body language. There is a shift in the relationship as Kalen begins to come into his powers and they realize that those powers will continue to grow and they have to try to get some control over them before he begins to do serious damage.
There is something incredibly sexy to me about the reluctant hero. A person who is strong and capable and does what they must to save the people they care about and are loyal to, but who don’t seek out their grand destiny. They have a dangerous adventure full of scary enemies and impossible choices. They rise to the occasion because that is who they are and what they do, but they would have been just as happy living in their small world, loving their mate and doing their job, taking care of and protecting people.
These men are delicious and I enjoyed every well written moment of steamy love between them. They are equals and true partners and compliment each other very well. The support and devotion that they show one another is a pleasure to see. They will not survive without each other and I doubt that they would want to.
The supporting cast in this series is great, I liked the core group that accompanies them on their epic adventuring. I appreciated that there was a flexibility to the characters that allowed for them to change and be more and less than they first appeared as our men gain more knowledge. This created, for me, a depth and a sense of reality that one dimensional props who are static friends and foes could never hope to convey. These men possess a ruthless compassion that made them very endearing and real to me. They are warriors who do what they must, but they do not seek out death nor do they reject new information or perspective.
The world building in this series is great. I love it when authors create a world that is familiar yet unique, populating it with their own animals and rules. This was a slice of a past time and way of life while at the same time allowing for magic, myth, and an acceptance of sexuality that was not of our world. The author stayed true to the rules of their created universe and I would greatly love to visit it sometime.
There is obviously much more to be told of this world, many things left to be resolved and much more of this couple that must be explored. I am waiting, not so patiently, for the next installment to come. Please write faster Mychael Black.
Reviewed by Nina