Title & Author: Master of Crows (2nd Edition), Grace Draven
Genre & Publication Date: Fantasy Romance, June 30, 2014
Book Description: “In an isolated fortress, the Master of Crows battles an ancient god for possession of his soul. Renegade and heretic, he dreams of ways to defeat the god and destroy the priesthood who would execute him. Sent by her masters to betray him, a woman comes who possesses a weapon he can use to triumph over both…but only at the ultimate sacrifice. A tale of love and allegiance.”
First Line: “Yield to me, Master of Crows, and I will make you ruler of kingdoms.”
My Take: Having read and loved this author’s book “Radiance” (Read the review here) I couldn’t resist going for another of her works. And again, the writing was excellent. The scenes are evoked with lush, vibrant words (and I don’t just mean the romantic scenes). Here’s one example that stood out:
“A living flame in the begrimed room, he burned with a cold, still fire. Long scarlet robes swirled around his ankles like bloodied smoke. Taller than most men and lean, he wore his black hair in a tight braid that fell over his shoulder. The severe style accentuated a sun-burnished face neither handsome nor kind but carved from the same rock strewn across the courtyard.”
Such a visual! Reading something like that is like eating a delicatessen fresh from the oven, rich and sweet.
But along with the wonderful prose, I loved the story. The world building, varied cultures, the magic and magery, were brilliant. Surprisingly, the relationship between the two main characters, Silhara and Martise, felt lacking to me. There was definitely chemistry, but love…I didn’t feel it so much on Silhara’s side. Although we are given his perspective throughout the book, he didn’t convey enough sentiment towards her even in his own private thoughts. That he is closed off in what he says and does outwardly is one thing, but I wanted a clearer glimpse at what the man felt for her from within. I knew he cared. There were insinuations of more but I ended up having to assume it was there, which was kind of a bummer. Call me old fashioned, but I enjoy a romance novel in which love, even when it’s resisted, is all consuming and, if the world separates them, is soul crushing. Yeah, I’m a sadistic reader that way but I’m comfortable living with that.
The Magical: I enjoyed the scenes of Silhara’s orange grove they worked in. Earthly and yet a unique addition to the landscape. Sensuous, succulent citrus and chemistry hot like the sun, oh yeah.
The overhanging threat of Corruption, the ancient god vying for Silhara’s allegiance, consistently relayed that sense of dread and danger lurking ahead. Cool.
The Mundane: Martise was certainly a strong character, despite being a slave her entire life. But as she evolved, I was hoping for more strength and demand for her own wishes, especially when it came to her relationship with Silhara. She seemed a tad too submissive to him and devoted even when he showed (from her perspective) no devotion to her. A little more pride on her side would’ve been appreciated.
Summary of Thoughts: Currently, this book is $3.99 for the Kindle.
A good book with a great story of magic, mages and evil. I recommend it with a couple of addendums: The romance between the two main characters left me a touch wanting and didn’t have me believing in it as much as I hoped. There was also far too much repetition of the word ‘cunnis’. With this author’s talent for imagery, it was like having a brick hurled at my face every time it came up. And while my husband certainly benefited from me reading the many graphic, but still romantic, interludes in this one, there were a few that didn’t really add to the story…On the other hand, what’s life without a little wanton you-know-what to spice up the day? *cue Barry White playback*
***FYI, for those who read “Radiance” and loved it, the sequel should (finally! finally!) be releasing at the end of the month, possibly April 1st. Oh, there’s a major book hangover coming up for me!
Curious what others thought? Check out Amazon’s reviews here
Want to know more about this author and her work? Explore her website here